Just a couple of short days after getting back from the hospital, I was feeling much better and stronger. Jon basically made me drink water and hydrating salts until I felt like I was going to pop! The hydrating salt water did NOT taste good at all–it tasted like straight up salt water with a hint of sweetness to it. I gaged with every long chug, but knew it was the best thing for me to be able to get back to normal. I had to get better as soon as I could because our French friends & former managers of Paradiso, Diego and Vincent, were leaving the next day. I not only wanted to be able to help Jon with the hostel and LOOTB, but I also wanted to be able to to give our friends a proper goodbye.
The day before Diego and Vincent’s departure, we had a big lunch with the whole staff. Albertina, the cook, whipped up an amazing typical Nica meal with some grilled steak, rice, beans and plantains. Diego brought down a handle of Flor de Caña 7 year (the good stuff) for us all to have a celebratory drink in honor of everyone there. I wasn’t at the point where I could drink anything dehydrating yet, so I gave mine up to Diego, which he happily accepted. The food was amazing, the company was great and there were of course a few tears shed. These guys would be very much missed by us all, they were amazing people.
That night, fortuitously, was the night of a blue moon. A blue moon is when there are two full moons in one month–this rarely happens, hence the phrase that describes rarity, “once in a blue moon”. It was the most epic full moon Jon and I had ever seen. Vincent and Diego had described to us how amazing the full moons were here, but we had to see it to truly understand. When the moon came out, it came up slowly over the crater as a huge ball of yellow. Once it was higher up, the yellow ball lit up the sky and made it feel like it was morning’s dawn, the moonlight reflected off of the lake and made the whole crater sparkle. It was magical.
The next morning, Diego and Vincent had one last meal cooked by Albertina, gave us a few last minute pointers and then threw their luggage in the taxi waiting for them outside. We all walked up and promised each other that we would stay in touch and come to visit them in France as soon as we made it over to Europe. We gave each other big hugs and I held back the tears. We had become so close in just two weeks–I truly considered them close friends. They hopped into the cab and waved goodbye.
Jon and I walked back into Paradiso through the gate, hand in hand. This place was ours now, it was just us two. Here we were on our own, team JBQ, running a hostel and restaurant on the edge of a volcano crater in Nicaragua. This was going to an interesting and once in a lifetime experience. We had no idea what we were in for, but were excited for the adventure.