Jun 30, 2008
May 09, 2009
On Saturday I went in an American/Aussie contingent to come over all tėpico for the day at the opening match of the baseball season. I didn`t really understand who was winning but cheered heartily and waved my can of beer in the air when everyone else did. The slightly disturbing example of police brutality (involving truncheons and bare skin, ouch) at the end against an overexcited fan gave everything an edge which reminds you (in case it's possible to forget) that Nicaragua is a third world country and force is still a much more common tool than diplomacy.
Granada is one of Nicaragua's two historic rival cities (the capital, Managua, is a modern industrial dusthole specifially built to try and dispell the attempts of Granada and Leon to beat each other to a pulp.) It's streets are straight out of a Garcia Marquez novel, all colourful buildings, bellowing tradesmen, dust and a smoking volcano watching over everything. Granada's charms are well and truly discovered though, and sock and sandalled tourists are everywhere. One street in particular (Calzada something) felt like Magaluf with a third world edge, and tourists and wealthy locals spill into the streets outside irish bars and pizza joints all cheefully imbibing delicious toņa beer and flor de caņa. Which incidentally, at $7 a bottle (from the shop that is) is delightfully taken advantage of by granadeņses and gringos alike. After a hard evening drinking rum, the perfect relaxation is laguna de apoyo, a lake of refeshing and smooth water in the crater of a nearby volcano. If this place were anymore laid back it would be extinct, although there is a marvellous raft in the middle of the lake you can entertain yourself with by jumping off, and kayaks for further laguna exploration, although I was feeling lazy (for a change) and stuck to occasional dips in the lake in between snoozing in a hammock.