I’m back from Nica! And truthfully, can barely keep my eyes open. My flight last night got delayed into the wee hours and between that, a long travel day, and almost two weeks of Nica fun, I am falling over. But not enough to not be able to put out a recap blog.
Seriously, if you have never been to Nicaragua, it’s a must. It is such a cool country. I was going down there to help host an investors’ discovery weekend tour but decided to leave a week early for some extra play time. I took a friend who is also doing some work for the development and we had a blast. We went volcano boarding, zip lining, surfing, hostel hopping, hiking, and met amazing travelers from all over the world. After we got our fill playing around the country we met with the guys from the development back in Managua to get ready to welcome the investors. We made it out to the property for 5 days of total chill and relax. It was great to get out there because I was able to see the progress on the construction (amazing), hear more about how many properties are even left available for purchase, and hear updates on site plan edits. I was already pretty convinced last year when I visited that this place was going to be insane, but now I’m really convinced. The construction is under way, a huge hotel partner has signed on and there is a lot of flexibility for what all will end up going into the development as a whole. A convention center is for sure, there is talk of potentially a U.S. medical school, you name it.
As far as who is already buying property(ies) in this development, it is really an interesting mix. Some folks want somewhere to retire to, some want to move money out of the U.S. because of the uncertainty of our economy and government, some are focused on the growth potential, and some just want somewhere they can travel to during the year while also making cash flow by renting it out when they aren’t there. As far as the growth goes, it is already happening. Prices have jumped just since the hotel partner joined on, and the prices are anticipated to rocket as soon as the roof is on the main building this fall. If I were to ever bank on appreciation in any real estate investment, I would count on it here. The good news though is that even if growth doesn’t happen for some reason, the properties cash flow in the meantime so it’s a total win-win.
The point of my saying all this is that if you have ever thought you may have an adventurous side to you and/or have wanted to explore alternative investment opportunities, and you haven’t been in Nicaragua yet, you are missing out.
I leave you with a hilarious story from our trip. In absolutely no way do I share this story to insinuate Nicaragua isn’t safe, so don’t take it like that. I feel safer in Nicaragua than I ever have in LA or Atlanta or anywhere. It’s the safest country, by a big margin, in Central America and I think it’s even considered safer than Canada now? But a funny story nonetheless…
My friend and I were staying in San Juan del Sur, which is the biggest town for tourists and surfers. Our hostel was located right off the beach so all you have to do to get to town is walk along the beach and you hit the bars and restaurants and such. There is also a road you can walk to get there, but since we had been traversing the beach all day we didn’t think twice about maybe not walking on the dark beach late at night after the bar. No big deal. We had admittedly been drinking for a while at this point. We started with drinks at dinner, met a cool group of guys to hang with all night and ended up at the night club partying pretty hard. Soooo, we were a bit lit. Half way down the beach, my friend tells me she has to pee. Well, where better to do that on the beach than go squat in the water? Why not. She hands me her wallet and phone and heads to the water to squat. Luckily I didn’t feel the need to watch her and was standing in the sand facing the road. As I’m standing there, I see a guy walking perpendicular to how I was standing, along the road, and he eventually changes direction so now he is coming in my direction. He was by himself and at first I didn’t think much of it until I realized that of the entire beach, he was only heading towards me and for no good reason that I could think of. I decided to keep my eyes on him, all the while starting to hang onto my friend’s wallet and phone a little tighter.
He kept coming my way, our eyes locked by this point, and I now knew nothing good could be coming out of this. I will say that I was excited to rule out rape and murder once I reminded myself I was in Nicaragua and that stuff really doesn’t happen there. I realized I was about to get mugged for sure. As soon as he was about five feet in front of me, he leapt towards me immediately patting down my pockets and trying to grab anything he could. Luckily my back pockets with my money were button pockets so he wasn’t getting in those, and I had already moved my hands with my friend’s stuff in them back so he couldn’t reach those well either. As he’s patting me down, I apparently decided there was no other way out of this than to start swinging. So now I’m punching the guy in his gut, with the hand carrying the wallet and phone, and it gets him off me but not before he shoves me hard enough to knock me backwards down into the sand. As soon as I hit the sand I know my friend is bound to be en route pretty quick since there’s no way she couldn’t see this happening by now. Her version of the story is hilarious because where she was in the sand she couldn’t see the guy walking my way so never saw all of this start. She said that she had looked down to pull her shorts up and then looked up to see me getting patted down and leapt up to come help.
Did I mention we both played rugby and coach it now? So our trained inclination, at least my interpretation of it, is- you take my ball I take you out. Just sayin’…
She definitely went into rugby mode because as soon as she saw the guy, who had just knocked me down, she bolted after him to take him out. As I’m sitting on the sand from having just been knocked over I see her enter stage left at full blown pace, and having seen her play rugby multiple times and knowing how aggressive she can be, I was pumped to watch her finish this guy off. I see her sprinting up my left side aimed right for him when, all of a sudden, her alcohol kicks in and she face plants in the sand just ahead of me. She swears it was because she was wearing flip flops and she tripped over a rock, but I think the reason is way funnier than that and much more alcohol-related. I see her go down and realize now I’m going to have to get back up to go get this guy. Before you say anything, yes I completely realize the hindsight about the stupidity on our parts of trying to run after this guy and take him out. I don’t even know what exactly we thought we would do to him if we caught him, but nonetheless, we went after him. So I fly up off the sand to take my turn at catching up and I didn’t make it either. He was gone. We calm down for a minute before we keep walking and I let her know I managed to save all her stuff and he didn’t get anything. She was totally cool and calm, but as soon as I gave her the relief of knowing her stuff was safe, apparently the pain in her elbow from hyperextending it on the fall kicked in and suddenly she was in dire pain from that. I couldn’t stop laughing because she went from hardcore badass ready to take him out to hunched over holding her elbow and complaining about how bad it hurt. Seriously, couldn’t stop laughing.
Don’t worry, the story continues. We get back to the hostel finally (admittedly strutting, quite proud of my win over this guy, especially since I’ve never punched anyone in my life) and we casually tell our story to the guys hanging out who work at the hostel. Not expecting them to get worked up, one walks out and comes back with a baseball hat in hand. My eyebrow raised as I asked what exactly he was planning to do with the bat. Turns out, they were less than happy with the guy who tried to mug us and were ready to go get him. I was quite flattered we had made such good friends. Cool. Well, of course, my alcohol kicks in and decides, well hello, what better way to make sure we can find the mugger again than to have me and my friend go back out as bait while the hostel guys lurk in the shadows waiting. Good idea, right? Of course! Again, hindsight, yes I know. Even funnier, in my less than thinking straight state, I decided that the best way to lure guys towards chicks on the beach was to be in only a bathing suit. I run upstairs, throw my suit on, and I’m ready to head out. It took me a little while of wondering why people, including my friend, were staring at me funny. Oh, right, we were trying to get robbed, not raped. Clothes with pockets with things in the pockets help. Oh well, she had pockets and I didn’t want to change again. Out we went, hostel guys in the shadows. We made it halfway down the beach when I saw two guys sitting a ways away on a log. I let my friend know they were there. She immediately stops and loudly says, so as to make sure the guys on the log know we are going to leave our valuables there, “I think I’m going to go swimming now.” As she’s pulling her shirt and shorts off she says (still loudly), “I’m going to leave my clothes RIGHT HERE” and nicely folds them and leaves them on the sand. I’m laughing so hard at this point I can’t even keep up with our plan, so she grabs my arms and pulls me towards the ocean with her. As soon as we turn around and head for the water I see the guys on the log get up and head for the clothes. I couldn’t believe it worked! My friend kept trying to turn around and run after them and I had to keep her faced towards the ocean and have her continue walking. Next thing we know the hostel guys are running out of the shadows, with their bat, and after the robbers. A whole slew of yelling in Spanish was happening and my friend yet again was trying to run towards them to get into it to and I had to hold her down and remind her we had done our job, it was up to the boys now. The baseball bat never got used and the robbers left and we were all good. Still not sure what all was said or why the bat wasn’t used, but that’s okay.
We were very quickly deemed the coolest people at the hostel (and there were a lot of cool people there), and for the rest of the time we stayed there one of the workers who didn’t know any English called me Mike Tyson every time he saw me.
Yes, I know everything we did wrong in the whole situation. We never should have chased after him, we should have just been grateful we were alive and well. We shouldn’t have gone back out as bait or gone anywhere near the guys at all. We shouldn’t have let our friends go out and potentially get hurt. And lastly, why in the world did we explain so loudly that we were going to go swimming and leave our clothes right there, when I guarantee those guys didn’t know a lick of English.
My friend came out with a hyperextended elbow, a gash in her toe (from the supposed rock she tripped over), and a gnarly little blow to her knee. I came out unscathed and feeling about a foot taller because I’m such a badass. The reality is, we totally won the mugging, but we absolutely looked like the 3 Stooges (2, in our case) doing it. Hilarious.