Saturday, 2 February 2013

Welcome to Nicaragua ... hello Granada

It's a long way from Roatan Island in Honduras to Granada in Nicaragua....

Wanting to make the most of the idyllic island we decided to take the afternoon ferry. We then jumped in a mini van and drove for 3 or 4 hours to the non-descript town of Comayagua. It was after 11pm when we arrived and as we had to be up at 4am the next day it was straight to bed for me.

The next day was a long one .... 12 bloody hours of travel on not much sleep makes for a grumpy Lynne. Throw in the fact that we were supposed to survive this 12 hours on service station food and there was nearly a riot. Thank god for the Nicaraguan version of KFC is all I can say.

The boarder crossing from Honduras into Nicaragua was slow but smooth. There seemed to be at least three people assigned to every task, meaning nothing much got done.

The boarder security was tight, a rope tied to a couple of drums across the road.

It was a relief to get the stamp in my passport and get back on the road.

Arriving in Granada I was surprised, very pleasantly surprised. The town has some amazing churches and loads of cute houses. Our hotel was on a cobble stoned pedestrian street. As it was early evening when we arrived the cafes and restaurants had their tables spilling onto the road and people were everywhere.

Granada is Nicaragua's oldest city and was founded in 1685. It sits at the foot of Volcano Mombacho and is on the shore of Lago de Nicaragua. Now the lake may sound lovely but it's not. Swarming with mosquitoes and swamped with rubbish it's lucky you can't see the shore from the charming town.

Granada was torched in the mid 1800's during the civil war but many of the buildings have been rebuilt and restored so the colonial charm remains.

I set out the next day on a tour to explore the surrounding area. First stop was up a volcano. It wasn't a tough climb - we were in a bus. The volcano is still active so youre not allowed to climb to the top or wander around aimlessly. I think it was Volcano Mombacho but I was a bit too consumed by sulphur smells to remember.

We drove to a look out are and while it was really nice, I was more amazed to see gum trees. Mmmmm gotta love a touch of home.

Next we stopped for a spot of shopping in a local market. Crazy what you can find in these places.

I really wanted to buy some of these toilet pictures, just because they were the most random art I've ever seen!

We travelled up to the village of Catarina for lunch. What a view...

Before heading back to Granada we stopped in to a local potter's workshop. These guys create amazing pieces using the most basic of equipment... turning the wheel by foot and carving every design by hand.

As I am a traveller not a shopper (oops I forgot about that when I was in the market!) I stayed away from the pottery that was for sale at ridiculously low prices and amused myself by playing with the local kids.

But Sarah managed to find a few things that she liked ...

Back in town I wandered the streets and hung out in parquet central, watching the locals do their their thing.

I like this town, it has enough to keep me busy but still relaxed and chilled out in that typical Central American style.


  1. It's "border" like Allan, not boarder like someone who lives at your house.

    Those toilet paintings are just wrong.

    1. I assume this is one of my sisters correcting my spelling?

      I'm a vagabond ... spelling and grammar have gone out the window