We’d had an awesome time going Volcano boarding in Leon and were on our way to the splendid Isla de Ometepe, one of our favorite places of the entire trip. With one stop to make between those wonderful locales we decided to try and do something we hadn’t been able to do for a couple of months…couchsurf.
There weren’t many profiles available for us to choose from but we did find one for an ex-pat who said that if you stayed with him you’d help to ‘give back’ and paint the neighbors’ homes. We thought that sounded nice and sent the request, we got a response back almost immediately upon our arrival in Grenada went straight to his home.
What we found surprised us a little. This gentleman painted the neighborhood to help bring up the value of his home, which he wanted to turn into a night club. We were subjected to a video of political conspiracy theory (something about how Obama and McCain are in the payroll of the Federal Reserve….which is no more Federal than Federal Express…according to the video) and we listened as he offered his very negative opinions on everything Nicaraguan. The best part was probably when he told us the US Government tracked his whereabouts.
Later that night he took us to the local casino where we found some slots and blackjack games and not much more. He had a pattern while there and the staff was all to eager to help him lose his cash….he wasn’t exactly skilled at the games. We had a drink and gambled a total of five measly dollars in order to fill the time while we waited for him to do his damage at the Monte Carlo table. We took him to dinner and he later asked us to leave $30 behind for some paint…so he could buy some more of the colors he liked to paint the neighborhood: he refused to let people choose their own colors. This was one of the weirdest guys we’d meet in two full years.
I’m not sure why, but we stuck it out for two days. This was the ONLY time on our entire trip we felt uncomfortable with our couchsurf and although it was uncomfortable, we both felt we were not in danger in any way. Still though, the experience caused us to make a plan for ‘getting out’ of a couchsurf gone wrong. By staying with him we didn’t save any money and worse we were limited in what we were able to do on our own. On the plus side we did see a side of Grenada we wouldn’t have gotten to see otherwise but the real positive here was that we learned a good lesson without any real consequences.
When it was time to leave we did so in the middle of the day, he was still asleep and we quietly let ourselves out. We headed to Ometepe and had a wonderful time there…not couchsurfing.