25.01.2014 - 30.01.2014
View Triptacular on gadgetex's travel map.
If you're starting to want to thump us for all our lazing about in sunny climates, be warned, this is not a good post to read! We're beginning to wonder if we might face a welcome home hit squad when we return... :-S
So... the stunning city of Granada is the focal point for Nicaragua's relatively small tourist industry. There is lots going on, with entertainment in the streets like these dancers, plenty of bars and restaurants, a slightly crazy market and a busy central square. Its got the most stunning architecture of anywhere we've seen on the trip, every street could be a postcard.
Info for fellow travellers: Granada is an easy place to live in, and have a good time in, and you really don't have to spend much to do that. While we were here we were on a budget of $300 a week (only £179) for the pair of us ($20 per person per day, plus $20 for onward transport), and we came in more than $50 under budget while still managing to eat out (combined with some home-cooked meals involving a lot of eggs, beans and tortillas), stay in not-too-shabby hostels and have couple of rounds afternoon mojitos every day! Actually all of our travelling works out a lot cheaper than if we'd sat at home for 6 months, and although "The Budget" (it is sacred) has got tighter as time has gone on, we're still having loads of fun with what we've got.
Granada is the most pristine colonial city we've seen on our trip and is centered around the central square overlooked by the Cathedral of the Incarnation with its traditional yellow and white facade.
We spent a lot of afternoons at Azucar bar on the busy Calle La Calzada - quickly learning that you don't sit at the pavement tables if you don't want to get hassled to buy bracelets, pots and sunglasses all the time (although the pots were very pretty). We chose Azucar for its gorgeous courtyard garden at the back (above), and cheap, tasty mojitos (only 40 cordobas for two, that's, er... 95p!) The bar staff started to expect us around 2pm! And just down the road, there was a gelateria with hammock swings in case we got too hot again after we'd finished our mojitos (Sorry, we did warn you you wouldn't like this post!)
Our hostel was situated in the middle of a maze of market streets with chicken buses and scooters constantly trying to push through the hordes of shoppers and vendors - total chaos, really good fun when you're not carrying all your belongings for 6 months and trying to find a bed for the night!
On our final day we visited a church and climbed the belltower for a sunset view over the city. As ever we had a great view of the cathedral and also out over the rooftops of the city as the sun went down behind the hills on the horizon.
Before we left we had to try for a selfie with the cathedral in the background. This turned out to be more difficult than anticipated but in the end we got it.
And so we had to leave Granada and our daily mojitos for Isla Ometepe. But before you decide to hate us too much know that we had to cross the lake on an old ferry for four hours whilst desperately trying to keep our lunches down.