The terraced dining area was the hub of all activity at the hotel. The front desk in the lobby was practically non-functional. Instead, all business was conducted from the counter nestled in the corner of the upper terrace, in full view of the ocean. The restaurants, hotels, and homes are all very outdoor/open-air oriented.
|The best (only) photo I have of the counter|
The main corridor of the hotel opened into a lush courtyard which expanded into the wide terraces facing the ocean. The first level was tile, the second level a few steps down was sand, four more steps down was the beach. At high tide the foamy surf would wash across the bottom step
Large lava rock formations dot the beach. The sand is black, colored by the volcanic ash. On the beach it didn't look that black to me, but on the tile and in the shower it was like ebony.
The first morning when we woke up we were aware that the sun had been up for a while so we assumed it was late in the morning. We were surprised to discover it was barely eight o'clock. Seems the sun rises at 5 a.m. in Nicaragua! It also sets as early as it rises: around 5:30 in the evening.
There was no hot water in the rooms at the hotel, which is fairly common. But after walking on the warm beach, a tepid shower always felt good.
While we were waiting for our lunch, two little boys 'befriended' us. They were peddling seashell trinkets they had made. Real charmers, they were. We politely told them "No, gracias", so before I knew it, the younger one (about 8) presented me with a rose made from a tightly woven palm leaf, assuring me it was a gift. I thanked him. With that success, his friend, (I'd guess 12) soon presented me with a palm leaf grasshopper! We smile, marvel, they chat us up, ask if we are American, ask our names. By the time the food arrived I had a collection of a palm rose, a palm twizzler, 2 palm grasshoppers, and yes, I bought 2 seashell turtles! They were adorable kids.
Our room was cleaned while we were at lunch. A young woman came to the table and asked for our room key. We thought maybe it was to see our room number to charge lunch to it. Like the good Americans that we are, we gave it to her. She took it and left! When we got ready to leave, Bobby figured he would get it back when he signed the ticket for lunch. Not so. That's when we decided it was the maid that had asked for it. Sure enough, when we got the the second floor breezeway, she handed it to us. Our towels were folded like starfish in the center of our bed. An interesting thing they do here: The bed is made with the top sheet folded and placed under the pillows. We found that on more than one occasion.
|We made more friends at dinner that evening. Yes, I bought|
a necklace from each of them!
|View of the dining terrace at night|
Our second and final morning at Poneloya, we got up at 6 a.m. to walk on the beach and soak up all we could. We went back down to a little fishing village wrapped around a bay that we had spotted the night before after sunset. I wanted to see it better in the daylight.
|Moon rise over the bay|
|Bay at dusk|
|See the volcano?|
|The bay and fishing village|
|Early morning on the beach|
|Surfers watching the sunset|