Â The man, very dark against his white long-sleeved shirt, stopped
Â but said nothing. He looked at me directly with no emotion or evident curiosity. Heâ€™d been hunting, the dead but still bleeding armadillo hanging from his belt. A year earlier, his machete would have seemed a menacing weapon instead of the useful tool I now know it to be.Â
His mutt dog was passive, thankfully, cocking its head to wonder at this gringa trudging up their mountain â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦
Still, romanticized imaginings of San Juan del Surâ€™s lighthouse drove us â€¦. The incline was truly steep. The temperature near 90. I was having a hard time convincing myself of the value of this exercise, but Iâ€™ll always be grateful I did, even though the historic fort site is no more, as our guides shyly (and belatedly) confirmed.Â Nevertheless, from that finally accomplished peak, the lush, living full-circle panoramaÂ
of San Juan del Sur refreshed me in every way, from the spirit out.
All the tourist blurbs call it a sleepy little fishing village. For those of us used to hype, itâ€™s a surprise to discover that that is exactly what this little
Â town is! A stolidly unpretentious tourist destinationâ€¦â€¦
Thereâ€™s nothing in the locals' demeanor that courts tourists, but they donâ€™t mind that youâ€™ve arrived. The phrase â€œhelp yourselfâ€? is practical advice more than invitationâ€¦..
We had flown into Granada, but opted from there to bus it. We were deposited on a dusty vacant intersection andÂ
shooed unceremoniously off the bus.Â
This little town is bleached and dulled and worn by sun and winds, clean and comfortable like a faded tee shirt. â€¦..
The ocean wears a scalloped necklace of 14 beaches along this southwestern coast. San Juan del SurÂ is the large drop jewel at its center. â€¦â€¦..