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Popoyo Nicaragua through the lens of Conor Barry

(all photos by Conor Barry)

To start, my name is Conor Barry. I am 23-year-old surfer and photographer from Long Island, New York. My time in Nicaragua started back in April of 2016.  Me and a few of my friends were looking to go on a surf trip for quite some time and one of our friends recommended we go to NicaWaves. He had been in the past and loved everything about it. We checked the swell forecast and couldn’t believe what we were looking at. 8-10ft + with offshore winds everyday. It was safe to say we all agreed and booked our flights immediately.

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It was planned to be a 10-day trip, but I ended up extending it an extra week. Not only because of the waves, but the amazing friends I made here. It was the trip of a lifetime and definitely the happiest I have ever felt in my life. Everyday we would wake up at 5:30am, hit the beach to surf, come back for breakfast and go back to surf again. We would come back for some lunch and an ice cold Toña and either try to surf again depending on the tide or just hang out by the pool listening to music enjoying every minute of everyday. When it came time to leave, the only thing I could think about was when I could book my trip to get back.

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Some time passed and I was bartending back home in New York. Everyday throughout the summer I would see photos posted from NicaWaves on Facebook and it was killing me. Jump forward to October and that is when I contacted Mike, the owner of NicaWaves, and inquired about bartending and surf guiding at NicaWaves. It just so happened NicaWaves was getting pretty busy and I got the go-ahead to get back down to Nicaragua. Saying I was excited was an understatement. I immediately gave my two weeks at my job at home and started to get ready for the time of my life.

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Going into it, I knew it was going to be a great time, but looking back on it now it was much more than I was expecting. As I said before, not only are the waves great here, but so are the people. NicaWaves tends to attract such an amazing group of people from all over the world. After the first group of friends I met left I was kind of bummed out, but later that day a new group of people showed followed by 3 other groups of people the day after. One day into everyone being together we were all hanging out having a blast. I wish I could put it into words, but it is just something that you have to experience to understand. Every few weeks I would make more and more friends that would end up being more of a temporary family here at NicaWaves. Sure the photos and the waves are amazing memories I will have forever, but none of it would have been the same without the friends I am able to share all of those memories with.

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After 3 months here in Nicaragua it is definitely going to be difficult going back home into the guts of winter in New York, but I really can’t be sad, I’m more grateful than anything. I just want to thank Mike, all the staff at NicaWaves and all the friends I made here for making this trip what it was. I hope to be back soon and hopefully can live what felt like a dream all over again! Hasta luego NicaWaves!