Now that we are in the final stretch of our trip, we have finally been able to break free from our Western mindsets of always being in a rush. So we slept in and had a late breakfast, or as we say in the North, brunch. Last night was a bit sleepless, due to all the excitement we had after planning for Costa Rica. As plans often do, ours have changed and it seems we will be skipping Corn Islands and heading to Costa Rica a week earlier.
We hit the market on our way to breakfast and were reminded why we became vegetarians in Guatemala. It didn’t last long but I’d consider doing it again after the butchered meat we saw, sitting in the sun on a wooden table. I wonder how much bacteria has soaked into that wood? None the less our main mission at the market was the find Pawel some new shirts to replace the ones he’s worn out. This we accomplished.
On our way back from breakfast we stopped to rent bikes for the afternoon. We have really fond memories of biking in Belize and wanted to try to recreate this in Granada. We have decided the best way to see a city is on a bike, you can cover way more ground and the breeze is a bonus. As we were biking along the shoreline we were approached by a man offering to take us on a boat tour of the Las Isletas and Las Zapatera. From the shore you’d have no idea how expansive the area really is, when they say 350 islands they aren’t counting small rock formations. They are all large enough for full properties and a maids suit. The captain of the boat just drove us around the maze of canals that are formed by the islands. Each property was more beautiful than the previous one. When we saw one for sale, we inquired about the cost with our captain. He said it was around $350,000 USD. Not bad for your own private island and mansion alongside. And we hear you can get a maid for $150.00 a month!
Amongst Las Isletas there is a small island where monkeys live. The area of the island is about the same area of a medium size two storey home. Three monkeys inhabit this island and about five large mango trees. This was quite funny to see since the man that convinced us to go on his boat really oversold the fact there was an island full of monkeys and it was something that we couldn’t miss. Talk about over hyping.
After about an hour we arrived back at shore. We hopped onto our killer bikes and rode along the rest of the shoreline. We thought it would be cool to take an alternate route back to town. When we were here with Mario and Cri we took this same scenic route – or so we thought. The road was crowed with herds of cattle and it was fun winding our way through them. Dodging piles of poop and trotting bulls we made it through the madness.
When we arrived at crossroads were we made a right, back towards to town. Soon the pavement gave way to dirt road and things started to become unfamiliar. This was definitely not the same way which we drove down a week prior. Feeling a little like we were in the middle of no where and a little lost, I kept reassuring Carling that this road would lead us back to Granada, though I was starting to doubt myself. As we passed a man riding in the opposite direction I asked him if the road leads to Granada and he assured me that it does. We trudged on for what felt like an eternity, climbing steep dirt slopes and rocky roads we started to see an inkling of civilization. Finally the road was pavement once again, but we did not recognize where we were and thought maybe we had managed to ride into a completely separate city. Fortunately through the herds of school children in the street, Carling recognized a building from our stroll last night that was at the top of the hill. The only obstacle between us and Park Central was a bustling marketplace, filled with oblivious pedestrians and aggressive taxis drivers and motorcyclists. In the end we made it back covered in sweat and an hour early for our bike return. But we didn’t care because we had enough biking for one day.
This evening we decided to have a low key dinner at a nice restaurant called Garden Café. This is the restaurant we tried to find last night, but it turns out and it is on the complete other side of town, just a few blocks from our hostel. Thank you Google Maps. Though we can’t really blame them too much, as Nicaragua is a country where the streets have no names. Addressed as based on how many blocks, and in which direction you are from a reference point. For example Parque Central is a reference point and Garden Café is 1.5 blocks East of Parque Central. Thank the gods for Lonely Planets guide books and maps.