We had been offered an opportunity to stay at a new upscale development of villas on the Pacific coast near Rivas, Southern Nicaragua, for a free luxurious weekend. Rancho Santana was spread over 2700 acres on the rocky Pacific coastline with 5 beaches. The homes were for sale of course, and they hoped, by offering a free stay, you might invest in a vacation/residential home.
After a pleasant drive by taxi through the countryside from Granada to Rivas…
We arrived at Rancho Santana…
It was brand new, sparkling clean and quite modern… a huge contrast from our last dumpy cabin where we had No Food, No Water, No Phone.
Club house, swimming pools, organic restaurant, store, spa, gym, wifi, activities, and even a private cook were among the amenities.
Hungry when we arrived, we went to the pretty outdoor restaurant and had a light dinner.
Within hours I became very ill. Nauseous and vomiting, I lay in bed moaning. As I alternately hallucinated and puked and sat on the can, sharp cramps left me flat out in bed.
Weak and babbling, I remember snapping at T for no reason whatsoever in a delirium of fever and Traveller’s Tummy. He could do nothing right. (He still reminds me of that day occasionally.)
At one point, I sent him out for tea, trying anything to sooth my aching tummy. He walked for miles, he says, finally finding the American store, where he was charged double what he should have been charged, and came back with the wrong tea.
The next day he got sick too.
Then we spent half our time fighting over the one bathroom! When you both have diarrhea this is not a good thing!
So we spent all of our time in Rancho Santana, laying about our luxurious villa, whining and agonizing, barely able to move.
Getting sick while travelling is par for the course, but it makes you wonder if sometimes in North America we are not too sterile, too clean, leaving us with no immunization from new germs and bacteria in other countries. In short, are we so hygienic that we are easy marks for new microorganisms? Maybe those mud pies we ate as kids were actually a good idea.
Although Rancho Santana was quite lovely, it was expensive, and the rough Pacific Coast beaches were not for us.
We were still looking for white sandy beaches and the beautiful clear azure waters of the Caribbean. Our next adventure would be to go to Little Corn Island on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua.