Alright folks we are back from our week long hiatus and in Granada. This morning we woke up and made the most adorable breakfast – we’ve been on a health kick so we feasted on fruit salad and blueberry bagels. Shortly after we were on our way to Granada. We only vaguely knew where we were going and how to get there from the guidance of Mario’s housekeeper and Gabriel’s mother. Both were very encouraging and told us it should be no sweat.
The walk to the bus stop was 20 long, hot, sweaty minutes but in true Central America style there was no waiting the bus to UCA was there waiting so we hoped on. The fair cost us C$5 Cordobas each, which is roughly $0.25 Canadian – this was much more our style! Not knowing where the stop for UCA was I used my amazing Spanish language skills to ask the lady sitting next to me. Most people on buses are super friendly and super helpful. They generally tell you where the stop is, how long it will be until we get there and then once we arrive they remind us to get off. Don’t believe what people say public transit is the way to go, just watch your stuff!
As soon as we were off the public bus we were corralled onto the already packed Expresos bus to Granada. For an hour ride, in a crammed van, with A/C, we paid C$25 or $1.00 Canadian. For the first while we stood but soon we both had seats and were free to enjoy the ride. The lady who sat next to me was super sweet and offered me a coconut carmel candy that she purchased from one of the bus vendors. Here the buses are like mobile markets, vendors get on at one stop and ride with you until the next, all the while trying to sell whatever it may be that they have. Usually candies, corn on a stick or cookies. On the rare occasion they sell ice cream or full meals. The most appetizing thing we saw was on our way to Lago de Yojoa in Honduras, where three ladies were selling freshly battered and fried tilapia with vinegar and crema!
Once we were in Granada we checked into our choice hostel and hit the town. Our first stop was to walk along Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua) which is one of the top ten largest fresh water lakes in the world and home to the fresh water Bull Shark. After paying a C$5 entrance fee we set out along boardwalk. The view from the lake side, shaded benches was lovely. Eventually we decided that we were hungry for lunch, and in dire need of a cold beverage. It was the first sunny day in a week and on top of that the climate in Granada is more humid than Managua.
Our lunch was delicious, we both had paninis with fresh grilled vegetables, a fruit salad and shared an ice cold lemonade to cool off. Once the light rain subsided we headed back to our hostel to relax and regroup until our dinner adventure. This of course ended in a nap, which was well needed. We haven’t been this active since we arrived in Managua.
Dinner was a bit of an adventure. Neither of us were particularly hungry due to the large lunch we had, but still wanted to get out and get a taste of the Granada nightlife. The initial plan was to find Café Nuit for some live music and dancing. But after about half an hour of walking around a quiet neighbourhood, without any sign of activity we decided to head back to Calzada to join the rest of the tourists. Calzada is a promenade lined with restaurants, bars and street entertainment. It is a tourist and local hotspot, driving the prices of food and drinks up quite a bit. None the less we sat at a great bar called Nectar and watched a group of street performers breakdancing. As we sat there we couldn’t help but feel like we were back in some European city – Pawel thought of Poland, while I thought of Spain. In true euro style we ended the night with gelato and an evening stroll.