Months on the road: Eleven
Countries / Cities visited: Portland, Orlando (America) and Nicaragua
Monthly Travel Round Up: ‘Americas’ Travel Budget #11
Podcasts / Books: Gemma – Skagboys by Irvine Welsh // Craig – Written in Fire by Marcus Sakey
Best film / TV: Stuck with Jessica Jones and now like it
Music: Gem – Curve of the Earth by Mystery Jets // Craig – Hymns by Bloc Party
Hola from Nicaragua! It’s now February and our eleventh budget article is being typed from Las Peñitas (36 degrees) where we are working / staying for the next month. This is saving us a whole heap of cash – see below for our daily budget in North America versus Central America (which covers January 5th to February 5th)…
Yes, we blew the budget massively but America was a hoot! We stayed in the very neat and new The Society Hotel in Portland, Oregon. This hotel is special – hip yet historical! It was actually cheaper to fly to Nicaragua via Orlando (?!!) so we took a fly by holiday to Florida, living it up like kids again on the famous iDrive! Thanks to our accommodation, Avanti Resort we were granted media rates, which kept costs down, and made room in the budget for sparkly Minnie Mouse ears! We are pretty much against dorm rooms after Seattle so it was a relief to stay with Hostal Monte Crisiti when we touched down in Managua, Nicaragua. We are not so lucky at our Workaway, which is a four-bed dorm. I’ve now walked in on two couples (on separate occasions!) having a cuddles – grow up and shell out for a private room, they’re $15 in Leon. Dorms really aren’t for 30 + soon (ish) to be wed travellers.
As always, food is the biggest spend in our budget. One of the benefits of doing a Workaway month is that one meal per day is made for us, and that meal is lunch! It’s the best meal of the day. Our hotel chef/cleaner/all round superwoman, Carla, whips up Nicaraguan fair (rice!) but with flavour! Meals in Orlando were pretty expensive; we paid the same for two foot-long hot dogs as two main meals at an Italian on iDrive. In Nicaragua we are spending £12 per day on food! Portland was the queen of cuisine, the carts are one of the main reason people flock to Portland! We need to head back to track down The Frying Scotsman food cart.
We took the Bolt Bus from Seattle to Portland and I was delighted as it had Wi-Fi! From Portland we flew to Orlando then endured the red eye flights – Orlando to Fort Lauderdale then Managua, Nicaragua. I felt a bit delirious after both flights. The coolest transport we’ve been on so far are the local buses in Nicaragua, which are known as chicken buses. Brightly coloured American school buses, some with pumping tunes and parrots (on heads) as passengers!
Total: £295 (buses, flights, Über, buses)
A couple of weeks ago, we hiked up the side of an active volcano then boarded down the side of it at 55 MPH. The result? Volcanic rocks in my teeth! Volcano boarding is a big draw in Leon, the closest city to where we are living and thanks to Tinngly Experiences, we had the chance to board down Cerro Negro. Tinggly also sent Craig to Orlando’s Kennedy Space Center where he came face to face with Space Shuttle Captain John McBride and experienced what it would be like to blast off in launch simulator!
Beer is cheaper than water here in Nicaragua. £1.50 will get you a litre of beer. I’m not a beer drinker but Craig has been consuming at least one local beer, Toña, per day. Daiquiris are less than £2 so I participate less frequently! We had a fun night out in Portland at Mississippi / Williams neighbourhood with our family (Erin and Ian) who live there, that city really is neat! Another pull factor is the craft beer – Portland has the most breweries in the world!
Miscellaneous / Luxuries
Sparkly Minnie Mouse ears were a must for cruising about Disney, but now I need to keep them undamaged in my backpack until we meet my parents in Budapest at Easter! In Portland we had a lovely morning at Powell Books, a Portland institution. We bought a few books for Erin and Ian’s kids, and I could have got lost in the stationary section! Craig rented a surfboard here in Las Peñitas then wrecked himself physically for two days! I’ve been attending a yoga class on a Wednesday at 100 cordobas, which is £2.50! We’re both really craving exercise so we’ve booked a full week in Granada, Nicaragua as there is a lovely gym and yoga studio there, time to feel the burn (and not from the sun!)
- Travel Portland
- The Society Hotel
- Visit Orlando
- Avanti Resort
- Tinggly Experiences
- Hostal Monte Cristi
USA Total: £1311 (£109 per day)
Nicaragua Total: 321 (£17 per day)
- Las Peñitas with trips to Leon: February 21st (Leon for 2 nights)
- Ometepe: 24th – 28th
- Somoto Canyon: 1st -3rd (changed from Little Corn!)
- Granada: 3rd – 12th
Where is the cheapest country you’ve visited?
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