Saturday, September 29, 2012

Paradise at Montelimar

I had heard a lot of things about Montelimar. Nicaraguans refer to it as a mystical place almost on the scale of some biblical Promised Land. I decided it was time to find out.

It was in the middle of September, and I thought that that would be the best place to take my girlfriend, Kathya, for our anniversary. I saved up and borrowed a sum of 3,600 cordobas to pay for us both. That isn’t counting the 500 cordobas I needed to get to her house from my site and back. So overall this was already going to be a pricey trip.

We took buses north from Carazo to El Crucero and waited in the windy highlands for about an hour for a bus to Pochomil. We took it all the way to our stop and switched to Pedi-Cab for another 20 minutes before arriving at the giant Barceló hotel.

The first thing you notice as you enter is just how manicured everything is. This might be an effect of being a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) for almost a year, but it did take me aback. The Barcel√≥ is more than a nice hotel in Granada. It really is something totally different from the whole Nicaraguan experience.

After check-in, Kathya and I headed for the bungalo that I had reserved. The bed stole the show for me. It was enormous, about three meters wide and almost as long. Crashing into its soft white clouds for pillows was a brief euphoric moment. We helped ourselves to the icy beverages in the minibar before changing into swimsuits and walking out to the pool.

As far as fun in the sun goes, Montelimar is pretty normal for a resort. There’s water volleyball and basketball. Some of the workers teach aerobics or dance classes by the pool. A few ping pong and billards tables and even a giant chess board can be found. There was a terrible mini-golf course that was made of concrete only. Someone forgot that without the grass, what’s to stop the ball form just rolling around forever.

The food brought things back up. Although it says on the website that there are 4 restaurants, two serve mainly snacks like hotdogs or nachos. One is only open to guests that stay for more than three nights, but the food is supposed to be divine. But the fourth restaurant is the real meat of Montelimar! FABULOUS!!! Kathya and I gorged on the huge line of diverse delicacies to the point of pure gluttony.

Lounging by the pool, sipping rum drinks and laughing about the past year would have been enough of anniversary for us, but it didn’t stop there. As the sun went down, so began the shows. We went to the theater in time for the crowd warm-up of trivia. We managed to pull off a huge victory with a prize, a two liter bottle of vodka. Not too shabby!

The night heated up as we watched a dance performance of “country” music. It was more of a Kumbaya in cowgirl outfits but whatever. It was still fun, especially after all those house drinks.

After we had had enough, Kathya and I caught a ride on the Montelimar express, a tractor-driven train that makes moving around the resort much easier. We both curled up together one last time in that heavenly bed and drifted off too sleep.