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A Halloween party, margaritaville, Leah and Hillary Duff, and a room for every occasion...

When in doubt, black is the halloween colour...

Because we were completely unprepared to dress up, Leah and I took the lots-of-black-clothes-and-black-eyeliner-counts-as-dressing-up-for-halloween path. After much deliberation, we managed to make Kaleb a bang-up ninja costume cunningly crafted from tie-pants, one of my black hoodies, Dave's singlet, and several well placed safety pins. Then we hurried down to the bar to take advantage of happy hour, and a few more rounds of margaritas.

It's a ninja!

There was quite an impressive turnout, all the more so considering that many of the attendees weren't hotel patrons. There were quite a few boisterous hostel inhabitants slumming it from the town, and there were a collection of impressive costumes, including two girls who we'd met at Ometepe, who were dressed in hessian sacks (one was "rice" and the other was "beans"), some guys wearing copious quantities of palm leaves and holding a hammock between them, and two girls dressed as fruit loops. There were also two very boisterous Kiwis dressed up in lycra bodysuits from the Canadian cycling team (what a random thing to have in your backpack for just-in-case!) Our favourite, however, was a Canadian girl who was wearing hotpants, a singlet with her bra hanging out, a big fake pregnant belly, and a cigarette perpetually lit. She was pregnant Britney, and she was great value. She got drunk and staggered to our table to bitch with us about Americans, which was fun.

Kaleb's prize

There was, of course, a series of costume competitions, the "best male costume" one of which was won by Kaleb based on applause. He was very excited to win a certificate entitling him to two aperitifs at the restaurant, which later meant he spent several solemn half hours with the menu, deciding what to have. It was all very thrilling, so we packed him off to bed after all his adoring fans had been photographed with him.

Dave getting amongst a fish burger with gusto.

Leah and I were fast rediscovering a well known fact about two for one Margaritas - they're high on sugar and low on alcohol, which makes the drinker cranky and on a sugar high, but not actually drunk. So we moved on to a dynamite shooter called a "sweet kiss of death", which did the trick. The Kiwi boys got boisterous and started climbing on the pergolas and pushing each other in the pool, and got kicked out, which was entertaining. The fun started dying down a little after that, so we decided to head back to the room. On a whim, we decided to go and thank the woman who had done all the announcing and appeared to be the host of the evening. We got into a conversation with her, and our predicament of not being able to stay the following night came up. It turned out that she had been going to stay, but wasn't, so she offered us her villa. We rollicked up to the desk to sort it all out, and happily splurged on another three nights. This availability was based on the proviso that we would be moved every day, which we were fine with because we would get to see a variety of rooms. It was at this time we were appraised of Leah's secret identity - Hillary Duff.

Incidental shot of the hotel from town... it's the buildings in the hill.

At the front desk there was some kerfuffle when we arrived, and the main man, who spoke impeccable English, looked hard at Leah, and informed her that all the staff thought that she was Hillary Duff, booked into the hotel under a pseudonym. He was the only one who didn't believe it, he said, and pulled out a photo that he had printed off the internet to prove to the other staff. We thought that was hilarious, obviously, and for the next three days we made to odd reference to "Hillary" within hearing distance of the staff to give them a thrill. Once he had satisfied himself, at least, of Leah's non-Hillary status, he sorted out our rooms and we wandered off to bed.

Men at work!

The following day we breakfasted and packed up our bags to be moved by the staff. We handed in our key and adventured off into San Juan Del Sur proper, to explore, get some washing done, and wait for our new room to be prepared. San Juan Del Sur is very pretty, not quite so colonial as Granada but with a kind of fishing village charm that is very sweet. We wandered around the shops, and went to the markets to buy some food (we had been assured that our next three villas would have full kitchens). After we had enjoyed the sites of the town and couldn't stand the heat any longer, we headed back to the hotel to see our new room.

Hillary... I mean, Leah... with our room cat

It was much bigger than our last room, and actually had two bedrooms, a lounge, and a little kitchen. It was also down near the zoo - which was very exciting because we had to walk past it each time we wanted to go to the pool or the restaurant. We spent the rest of the day alternating between the lounge, the restaurant, and the pool. Kaleb carefully selected one of his free aperitifs for dinner, and it was all very relaxing and sedate.

Dave drinking in the pool. That's the life!

The day after was essentially the same - with the exception of how Dave was awoken in the morning. It began to rain quite heavily, and we discovered there was a leak in the bedroom roof - directly above his head. I thought it was funny, even if he didn't! We did some morning swimming, went back to town to collect our washing and shop some more, and then went back to our new room. This room was by far the nicest. It had two levels, a loft with beds and a huge master bedroom with office space and wireless internet. It also had a lounge, a dining area, and a massive kitchen filled with expensive knives and beautiful cookwear. We were so excited we had ourselves a dinner party that evening in the beautiful kitchen, in between swims, obviously. That villa had two cats - it was all kinds of class.

Leah in the awesome kitchen.

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