01.02.2016 - 03.02.2016 26 °C
Traveling from Playa Gigante to Granada went smoothly and was an interesting experience. I traveled with Gwen and Brian on the Chicken Bus that stopped right outside our hostel and took us all the way to Rivas for just over $1. It is pretty amazing the number of people that can actually fit on public transportation. Every seat was filled with multiple people and the whole aisle was packed with people. I was happy for my window seat and only a small backpack on my lap. We ate fried chicken in Rivas and then took a taxi to our hostel in Granada.
My new accomodations are great! There is free water, coffee, and banana pancakes for breakfast. Very central location and a nice staff. I met three ladies from the Bay Area who are going to be living in Granada for a month taking Spanish classes, and we decided to do a boat tour on Lake Nicaragua of the small isletas that dot the lake. The tour was beautiful. We saw monkeys and stopped a two islands, one for a small snack and the other to look at the old fortress that was used to ward off pirates.
Our tour guide, Alberto, grew up on one of the islands with his grandparents and told us that he would take a row boat to school every day. There is a definite contrast between the islands. Some are owned by small families that keep their fish fresh and alive by constructing nets that hang from trees into the water, and have simple hours. Others are owned by foreigners or very rich families - such as the family that owns Flor de Cana the national rum company. That island even possess its own helicopter pad. You can buy your own island for $300,000 USD, which many of the loca families are doing because they have never seen that kind of money in their entire lives.
The following day I proceeded to relax, read and gorge myself on delicious food. Lunch was fish tacos that were so lightly breaded they tasted like they were tempura battered or something, with fresh cabbage and tomato on top. But dinner was the real winner, I went out with the three girl from my hostel and we went to this adorable restaurant called the Garden Cafe. It is the combination of a coffee shop, library, souvenir shop and restaurant all rolled into one. Books line the walls as you walk in, and it opens up into a beautiful courtyard with an overgrown garden in the middle. I also my first Nicarguan craft beer that was quite tasty, and a huge salad. Leafy greens have been in short supply during my travels thus far, so this was a real treat.
This morning I had a few hours to spend before my check out and journey to Managua. I went up into the bell tower of La Merced church, and got a magnificent view of the entire city. Just beautiful. After I wandered down to El Museo del Chocolate and tried their chocolate tea, which I am still undecided about.
After a bus and a taxi ride later I am now back in Managua ready to start training for Global Student Embassy, and excited for the next few months!