Trip Start Jul 01, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Monday, August 29, 2005

We arrived in Grananda in the pouring rain and headed for a hostel called the Bearded Monkey which had been recommended to us by Stina. Unfortunately it was full so we walked to the other side of town (not as bad as it sounds, it took about 10 minutes!!) and booked into a nice hotel. We showered and changed and headed out for some grub. We ate in a really nice restaurant and enjoyed a bottle (and then another!!) of vino blanco!! After dinner (and with the taste for alcohol) we stumbled across the road to what became our local. The bar was called Zoom and was owned by an American called Wayne. We were joined by a couple we met on the bus from Managua who after a few drinks were wise enough to go home. We, on the other hand, were not so sensible and it wasn't long before John was joined by three drunken locals who tried to have a conversation with him and blame him for the American involvement in the recent civil war in Nicaragua. After a particularly heated debate John managed to explain that he wasn't American and they then became his best friends for the rest of the night!! Meanwhile Kerry went to get more drinks but then couldn't get away from the bar as she had two American squadies chatting her up (she got the better deal)!! Eventually our new buddies were "asked to leave" (the same way John was "asked to leave" college!!) and we were left propping the bar up with the owner Wayne. After another heated debate, this time about America and oil companies, we managed to make the 30metre journey home at 3:30am. We can't remember who won the argument with Wayne but we managed to get some free 5-year Flor de Cana rum (our Roatan friends will be proud to hear) so we considered ourselves the winners.

The next morning (well, lunchtime) we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and went to explore Granada. Granada is a lovely colonial town with some great buildings and a beautiful central park. The sun was beaming down (not good for our hangovers) so we went to a cafe on each corner of the park to get rehydrated with a cool refresco drink. We then wandered through the town and visited churches and museums. We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in cafes watching the world go by. That night we had significantly less to drink and a much earlier night!

The next morning we felt fresh again and decided to do a tour of the islands on Lake Nicaragua. There are 365 islands that were formed when Volcanoe Mombacho erupted 10,000 years ago. Today people (including the owner of the Flor de Cana rum company) have built some gorgeous houses on the islands. We were told they were very expensive but then realised we could actually afford one and considered for a second about moving here! Kerry soon changed her mind though when we were told that Bull sharks live in the lake! We had another chilled out afternoon and evening in Wayne's zoom bar learning the rules of baseball!

The next day we haggled with a taxi driver and got a good deal for him to chauffeur us to a crater lake and to a town called Catrina. We got to the lake and were greeted by some gay guys that were very pleased to see John! Their smiles widened when he got undressed to go swimming in the lake! Needless to say Kerry found it hilarious especially when one guy followed John into the lake wearing just a pair of tight underpants and eye-liner!!! The next minute Kerry spotted the taxi driver stripping off to his underpants to join us also!! Despite these somewhat unnerving events we had a great time. The lake was crystal clear, warm and we exfoliated ourselves with the pumice stones the taxi driver found for us. From here we drove to a little town called Catrina. This has stunning views over the crater lake, Granada, Lake Nicaragua and Volcano Mombacho. Back in Granada we went for another really good meal. Unable to decide what pudding to have Kerry opted for all 3!! The next day we went to Isla de Ometepe.
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