01.05.2016 - 10.05.2016 26 °C
After exploring the markets of Managua, the first stop with my dad was to the island of Ometepe. We took the chicken bus down to Rivas, a taxi to San Jorge, and then scuttled onto the ferry that was about to leave. The view of Concepción was spectacular as we crossed the calm waters of Lake Nicaragua. My dad and I ever vigilent and paranoid, planning how many life jackets we were going to grab and whether we could fit out of the window. We arrived without any issues and wandered past the pressing taxi drivers in search of our hotel. We found it off the beaten path but an easy walk to the center of town. A delicious traditional meal was followed by a downpour, the first major rain I have seen in my entire time in Nicaragua, hooray!
We spent our second day wandering the streets of Moyogalpa and relaxing. Our last day we adventured even further by renting a motorcycle and zooming to the end of the pavement on all sides of the island. We stopped and swam at Ojo del Agua which is a beautiful, clear pool. Perfect was to cool off and relax.
On our way back to Moyogalpa we stopped off at a butterfly santuary that had a picturesque view of the volcano and goats nibbling on grass in the field.
Next stop was Granada! My dad and I have now been in two Granadas together in the world, Granada, Spain and Granada, Nicaragua. -- pretty cool! My dad was happy to find himself a dark, German beer though was less appreciative about the lack of customer service on part of our waitress. We explored the city and were in search of cigars, finally finding some at a place called Doña Elba's. Old habits die hard, and for dinner we went to my favorite place in Granada, the Garden Cafe, and got a green salad with two fresh, delicious smoothies.
We only had one night in Granada and then continued on to the Laguna de Apoyo just up the road. The lagoon is a clear, blue pool of rain water that has filled in an old volcanic crater. The water was surprisingly warm, but still refreshing.
We spent lazy days reading, kayaking, lounging on the dock, eating, and drinking Bom Bom's -- which are a crazy concoction made of Bailey's, rum, condensed milk and grenadine with a orange-sugar coated rim. Yum!
We adventured out our hospedaje, Monkey Hut, and walked to the end of the road and ended up at Apoyo Resort, where we enjoyed two icy Toñas and fresh ceviche.
We were sad to leave our little piece of paradise, but headed off to the market in Masaya to look for some souvenirs and to have a better taste of Nicaraguan culture. It was a fun experience taking the chicken bus from the laguna to Masaya because it was right when school was getting out for the elementary school students. Our bus soon became flooded with tiny children sucking on various sweet, treats in plastic bags. I was trying to imagine the same situation happening in the US: thirty children aged 5-12 riding home from school on the public bus, filled with tourists does not seem too likely. Masaya market was hustling and bustling as usual, and my dad and I dove right in. I felt confident about where to go having been there once before and easily found the section of artisanal goods. After we purchased our various trinkets, I was getting a little hangry so we found a place to eat that served Baho. Baho is a typical Nicaraguan food that I had been wanting to try, that contains beef, plantains, yucca, tomatoes, onions, cabbage and other goodies. As you can tell, the majority of our vacation together was filled with plenty of relaxation time, good food and great company!
We found our bus back to Managua easily and arrived at my house. Sad to say goodbye to my dad, but so wonderful to have shared more travel experiences together. I know these will not be the last!