Spanish Colonial Town by the lake shore

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 0 - Transit
Ended up in Managua around dark and when I tried for a cab at the standard fair of $5 didnt have any luck. Was heading out to the main road to try my luck when I was offered a cab at the reduced rate. Was sharing it with a couple of other people though and since we headed into town a different way I was wondering where I was going to end up. Fortunately the cabby seems to have been taking a shortcut and I managed to get dropped off at the correct minibus stand for the bus to Granada.

Made it out to Granada and was dropped off in Parque Central which made it easy to find the hostel. Especially with the church located next to the parque to help orientate myself.

Went for a bit of a wander before bed and even though it was late the place certainly still seemed pretty lively. One thing that really stuck out while in town was the fact that i passed a bar that was full of pokies. Seems like the Pokie plague has infested Central america and Im wandering who is responsible for their introduction.

Day 1 - Christmas by the Lake
Didnt have any plans for christmas day.  It tends to be a day for family and since I didnt have any around I didnt see much point in celebrating it.

Started the day wandering around town checking out the old spanish colonial buildings and churches of this town. After a couple of hours managed to make my way down to the lake. Seems to be a popular place for spending christmas day given the number of Nicuraguans (assume lots from Managua and not just locals) around the place. Place to go for a swim and have a christmas lunch.

Wandered along the lake sure until I reached an end point where I was once again offered a boat ride. Wanted $15 but didnt want to pay more than $5 (needed a group) so decided I would try with one of teh guys I had passed on my way out of town.

Decided to sit down and have a drink and something to eat while watching the boats on the river heading for the islands. After lunch the guy approached me again and said he had a group going out that I could join. Headed out on teh boat through all the channels located between the islands. could see lots of islands with houses or restaurants on them which would probaly make this an interesting place to stay and kayak.

Highlights of the tour was the trip past the fort located on one of teh islands and visiting the 4 spider monkeys on another one. How 4 spider maonkeys got to the island is a mystery but my guess would be that they were put there by people. Since there is no food available they tend to depend on the food thrown to them by teh boat captains that come past. was interesting to watch the monkeys in the trees and coming down towards the water to pull the fruit out.

After the tour wandered back along the lake shore to town, found a tour for the next day and wandered up the tower of the cities main church. Once again this gave some nice views of the town and teh mountains that surround it.

Given that unlike other parts of CA it was possible to go out late and get something to eat, had a late dinner and a drink in one of the restaurants on the cities main strip. This strip is basically full of bars and restuarants where lots of Nicuraguans (Im guessing from managua as well as locals) wander around town.

Day 2 - Local Markets, Momoboto Volcano
Hostel was located near the local markets. lots of interesting people walking around the streets and even managed to get a few good photos. Markets were located over a large area and had lots of things ranging from poultry and fish, to household goods, to clothing and jewlery. Spent about an hour wandering around taking in the sigts and sounds.

Had to head back to teh hostel before the tour to try and get better flight dates for my up and coming flights.

Made it out to the tour which started 30 mins late due to late arrivals. We were then driven up the volcano to nearly the top where we did a short walk near the rim and had some views of the nearby town, lake  and other volcanos. While the park had a longertrail that went around the rim of the large crater we were told that we didnt have time to do this and so only ended up doing what I would call a fairly short walk. Also was suppose to be done at a slow pace to maximise chance of finding animals but we had no luck with this either.

The second part of the tour was suppose to take us through a coffee plantation and describe how coffee is made. Unfortunately this part of the tour was cut (Im guessing because it is the silly christmas session). Mentioned this to the tour operator along with the fact hat a 6hr tour took less than 4hrs and ended up getting $10 back. while this was nice, it would have been better to have done the full tour.

Once again hit the main strip of town where I had a couple of drinks, dinner and watch the people strolling by.

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