Scenes of Nicaragua: Granada

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Granada is a colonial town pouring over with color and beauty. Kyler snapped a few photos as we checked it out. Enjoy!
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Pop-Oy-Oy-Oyo!

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The border crossing from Costa Rica was fairly straight-forward, we are getting pretty good at the game! Our first stop in Nicaragua on our drive North, was stunning Popoyo on the Pacific Coast. The drive along lake Nicaragua to Rivas was pretty, and as we got closer to Popoyo, the road became smaller – and smaller. Continue reading

A Long-Time Favourite: Ti tusen

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The dice game ti tusen, is a long time favourite of ours and our fellow travellers. You need six dice, one or more friends, a bit of time and the desire to have fun! Beware, the game can be hard to understand at first, but when you get it, you got it!

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How to play:
You roll six dice. One five gives 50 points and one one gives 100 points. Three ones give 1000 points, three twos give 200 points, three threes give 300 points, three fours give 400 points, three fives give 500 points and three sixes give 600 points. Each extra die beyond three of a kind, double the points. Four threes will for example give 600 points. Two triplets or three pairs give 1500 points. Straight from 1-6 give 2000 points.

As long as you keep scoring points, you can keep going. At least one scoring die must be put aside each time. If all six dice score, one can toss all six again and build on the score. The only catch is, if you ever roll a non-scoring roll, all points in that round are lost!

In order to start one must score at least 1000 in one round. After reaching 1000 one can stop at any point and then record the achieved score.

In order to win, one must get to exactly 10 000 (ti tusen in Norwegian). If dies tossed take the score to above 10 000, one must wait to the next turn to try again.

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Extra (optional) rules:
If a die is knocked over when moved, it is out of the round. If a die is rolled off the table, it is out of the round. Fifty must be pronounced fiddy, hundred is hundo, thousand is tusen. Whoever is last, must wear the muque (the mask-tuque, a traveling companion since 2008) – this one is particularly tough in 35 degree Celsius surroundings!

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Enjoy!

Some Fine Hospitality!

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About a week ago, we met Austin and Ryan at the brewery by Lake Arenal. They had just moved to Costa Rica and invited us to come stay with them in Tamarindo on our way North. An intense round of “ti tusen” (I promise to let you in on the rules of this very exciting dice game later) along with multiple rounds of “thunder water,” did not make them back down on their kind offer.

After dropping off my dad and Bente for a kayak adventure, we picked up our friends Stine and Fredrik. They flew in from Norway to join us on the road from Costa Rica to El Salvador. That means we will be hanging out for the next couple weeks – fun fun fun!

The four of us rolled into Tamarindo and met up with the iron woman Austin and the soon-to-be iron man Ryan. The six of us have had a great time together, including today’s Sunday Funday on the beach! Surfboards, frisbee, smashball, books, music and beers, all the ingredients for a great day at the beach.

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After a beautiful sunset, dinner and some local rodeo on tv, we all had an early night, saving up energy for the Nicaraguan border crossing por la mañana!

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Another Day in the Office

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Writing the blog and planning our future adventures, require some office time. We have been staying in the beautiful Manuel Antonio area for the past couple days. Our go-to hostel, Vista Serena, has the most stunning view and provides for the office space needed!

Honey parking

In the beginning of April, we will be back in Canada for our friends’ mountain wedding. That means that our trip back North is soon to commence! It seems strange that our road trip from Canada to Panama (and back) is soon over, after six (+) months on the road. We have decided the adventures do not need to end, even though this one in particular will. We are doing some planning – more on that later…!

Office Day

Office View

Local Football Action

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We asked our man at the Brewery if any football matches were coming up in the city, instant reply, “El Clásico es mañana en Alajuela!” Well, if it’s the classico, then we have got to go. A dual between two rivals, Alajuala vs. San José.
We managed to pick up some scalped tickets by the stadium, got patted down and made our way to our unassigned seats. It was mayhem from the get-go and didn’t let up. Root, root, root for the home team! They ended up being the 3-1 victors and the mood was jubilant, despite the extreme security measures. A great time and a great experience.

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In Search of a Volcano

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When we were in La Fortuna, we (the Norwegian mountain goats + the Canuck) were overly keen to check out the famous Arenal volcano. Previously unbeknownst to us, due to past activity, the peak is completely shut for hikers. We drove up to the national park anyway, parked and started on the hike with our backpacks on. About 30 minutes in, we had reached the lava flow from the 1994 eruption and the grand finale of the hike. We snapped some photos, smiled, jumped, hiked around a couple hours and started talking about where to go to really see a volcano!

Siri Honey Arenal

Arenal volcano

Arenal Bloom

Arenal nature

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So what did we do? – Well, we did some research, changed our plan and drove to San Jose, yet again! According to our research, nearby Irazu volcano is Costa Rica’s highest volcano at 3432 meters above sea level. Also, there is a road that takes you all the way to the top with little or no effort other than patting your poor vehicle’s dash every now and then on the way up the hill. We set off early this morning after a 6 am breakfast and made it to the top of Irazu by 8:45 am.

Irazu volcano climb

Irazu volcano

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Irazu Siri Kyler

Irazu happy jump

Irazu drive down

Full score on Irazu volcano! We got up in (fairly) thin air, we got to see some serious volcanic craters and weird landscapes and we had a great day. The drive is pretty steep, but the road is in great condition. After parking, one can hike the summit and do a loop by two craters. We did it all! Half a day later, we had checked the volcano search off the list and were getting ready for another funlovingliving adventure: A classic Latin American football derby. Stay tuned!

Volcano Brewing Company

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We moved on from La Fortuna to the other side of the Arenal Lake. It was a stunning two hour drive on a windy road along the lake.

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We were ready for a major splurge and had been saving up (space in our bellies) for our first ever all inclusive stay! Volcano Brewing Company pride themselves on being the best (and only) micro brewery in Costa Rica and the hotel is part of the brewery. In the bar, they had four delicious beers on tap. Beer on tap is not common in Latin America – craft beer on tap is especially rare!

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When staying at the hotel, you can indulge in as much beer, daiquiris, chicken wings, dinner, ice cream, smoothies, rum, piña coladas and so on, as you’d like. Quite the crazy and irresponsible concept, but a whole lot of fun! We had a great night and ended up playing our favorite dice game “ti tusen” with three new friends from San Diego!

Cheers!

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