Cape Town Tourist Attraction: MOCAA

We went to one of the most amazing museums when we were in Cape Town. The brand new Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) is a marvel in architectural repurposing and home to some incredible 21st century art.

Located in the city’s V&A Waterfront neighborhood, the new modern art museum is in a converted grain silo near the habour. The redesign of this building cost a lot of money and it was well spent. The formerly all concrete tubes now have lots of windows and it looks beautiful from the outside. At first glance, you think the best thing about MOCAA may just be the building, but it’s just as impressive inside.

Interior MOCAA
Inside MOCAA, Cape Town

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I Like This Place! Corn Islands

Corn Island Beach
Corn Island Beach

Brian and I made it to Corn Islands on Saturday morning, and it’s very relaxing. There are a few things to do here in Corn Islands: scuba dive, lie on the beach, drink beer and/or rum, eat seafood, relax in the sun and/or shade, repeat. That’s been us for the first 2 days of our stay here. We like it.

We are staying in a really cool “eco-cabin” up a hill with a nice view of the sea. This is our view from the deck/patio, and from our bed.

Los Escapados Corn Island
View from our patio, Corn Islands

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First World Problems

It’s been a pretty good life for me the past 2+ weeks- aside from really crap hotel management in Managua, of course! But, I do have a couple of issues with the way things work (or don’t) in Nicaragua.

Schedules that are not followed

Caso Oro Shuttles
The shuttle “schedule”

I am talking to you Casa Oro and other businesses in San Juan del Sur that claim to run daily shuttles to the beach! This is really a ridiculous complaint but other travellers to SJDS need to know. Lonely Planet and every other guide seems to believe that Casa Oro’s makes multiple daily trips to different beaches. They don’t. It’s a bait and switch. You show up for the 1030am shuttle to Remanso or 11am to Hermosa and they say “no. We no going there” and offer you the Maderas shuttle. Every time. OK this has has happened to me 3 times, so maybe that’s not a scientific sample but look who’s president of the U.S. now. Continue reading “First World Problems”

Things to Do in San Juan del Sur: Cristo de La Misercordia

There are a few other things to do in San Juan del Sur besides visit the beach – although the beaches are lovely! After one week, I’ve visited places that are tops on tourist lists, and some that aren’t. One of the first sites I visited was the statue of Cristo de la Misercordia, who sits atop a hill overlooking the ocean 134 meters up.

Estatue de Cristo de la Misercordia

A pretty easy walk up a mostly paved road, or you can drive most of the way if you choose, the view is worth it. You can walk right from the beach of Playa del Sur through a residential neighborhood to the top. It offers a 360 view of the main town beach and more. Admission is $2. There is even a little chapel in the bottom of the statue!

It was interesting checking out the spot. According to the display in the church, the statue is quite new and was only completed in 2009.  They did a good job because this is definitely a tourist attraction! Lots of tourists go, and apparently Jimmy Carter and his wife went a few years ago (there’s a photo of them in the chapel).

Cristo San Juan del Sur
View from the beach of Cristo

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A Day At the Beach: Playa Hermosa, San Juan del Sur

Playa Hermosa
The sun was getting low in the sky at Playa Hermosa

The first actividad (activity) offered at school was an afternoon trip to the beach! The town beach is San Juan del Sur is not much, so people take shuttles or private cars to beaches outside of town. Playa Hermosa is a gorgeous big beach that is owned privately by an eco-lodge but allows visitors for a fee of $10 US.

The drive to Playa Hermosa was about 15 minutes from school/home, and it is a beautiful beach! The place is so stunning that is was used as the site of a couple seasons of Survivor, for all you reality TV fans out there.

Survivor Nicaragua signs
Survivor signs at the Playa Hermosa bar

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The Beautiful Islas De San Bernardo

The Islas San Bernardo, combined with the Islas Rosario (where I dove outside of Cartagena), make up one of Colombia’s national parks. There are 9 coastal coral islands in San Bernardo and I was going to stay on one of them, Isla Mucura.

These southernmost islands are much less busy than the Rosario islands, which makes sense since Cartagena is much busier than Tolu.

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