Back to the Mainland and north to Granada!

Trip Start Jun 21, 2008
Trip End Sep 03, 2008

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The morning ferry from Ometepe back to the Nicaraguan mainland was smooth  and it is a little surprising how well organized everything is.  We got on the road and headed for Granada which is the second colonial city in Nicaragua and it is supposed to be a little more built-up than Leon.
Unfortunately we only had one night and no rest days to spend in Granada but we were able to find a great cheap hotel close to the city center.  It did not have parking so the owner let Jess ride the bike into the "living room" and park it inside!! It worked out perfectly!
Granada is a beautiful city with great restaurants, cafes, and bars. It has one of the most quaint zocalos we've been to with plenty of trees creating this calm shady space for people to spend time together, relaxing over good conversation and an ice cream. We found a small stall that sold the Grenadian specialty - fried pork rinds with yucca and cabbage, served cold...I didn't eat the pork but I loved the rest of the dish.  Jess of course ate the whole thing and half of mine!
 In the evening, we went to a Spanish restaurant for dinner where I had one of the best meals on this trip. It was grilled salmon with a type of Swiss cheese on top! Two of my favorite things combined! Couldn't be better.  Again, I found myself wishing for more time in this city but at the same time feeling thankful for being able to experience it at all.
Hey Jess here...believe it not, Nicaragua kind of rocks!  Mix a little colonial charm of Grenada and Leon in with the volcanic island getaway of Ometepe...bind it all together with some of the cheapest prices anywhere,  and you've got yourself one kick-ass Ebenezer Scrooge good-time!
Granada is great!...of course, as Malin mentioned, my favorite parts of this adventure are usually motorcycle related, and today was no different!  The owner of the hotel insisted I park the "Ménage à McKinley" (the bike...submitted by gschowe!) in the spotless foyer of the hotel, right on the zebra skin rug!!  Nothing but first-class accommodations for our steed!  Now all of the other hotel guests would be forced to admire her dirt-covered beauty as part of their holiday as well!...I love spreading the cheer!
Anyhow, there were two curbs to negotiate the beast up before plopping her into the hotel, but the bell-boy ran and got a couple of plastic Pepsi crates that would help was a breeze...I think Malin got some photos and video as well.
Like a commercial trucker, logistics and the limitations of the human body prevent me from riding  the motorcycle 24 hours a day, so in between rides there are mandatory stops that we must do that generally consist of site-seeing, eating, drinking, sleeping, and absorbing the local culture...Granada proved to be a great place to unsaddle for a night and as Malin mentioned...the food was great!...although I don't think that pork-skin salads are going to be making their way to California anytime soon!
Tomorrow we try our luck crossing into Honduras for a second time...we'll be crossing at a different point so I hope it goes a lot better, but I'm preparing myself for the worst.  Once across the border,  we have to navigate our way to the snarling capital city of Tegucigalpa, which has generally been described as "a hole" by other travelers we've met.  Our end goal is to get up to the Caribbean coast of Honduras and ferry the three of us over to the Bay Island of Roatan to enjoy a little more island life and introduce the BMW to the  Caribbean side of things...but we're not going anywhere until we get across the Honduran border.
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lisamckinley on

hmmm...I have a question!
I am very intrigued by this meal of fried pork rinds on yucca and cabbage. Were they crispy, like chicharrones, or were they floppy, like thick, undercooked bacon? Because I think a chicharrone-topped salad would be pretty darn yummy, especially with a little lemon juice and some hot sauce!

Also, I was relieved to see your post(s). I was just starting to look at the calendar and debating on whether or not to be worried. Glad you are still trekking!

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