Granada is a very beautiful city situated on Lake Nicaragua. It is Nicaragua’s oldest city and is known for its colorful buildings, beautiful churches and its architecture. It would be our last destination to visit before Murphy headed back home to the USA.
On our way to Granada we took a side trip to the town of Masaya to visit the artisans market. The market itself was interesting, although the products were mostly trinkets geared to tourists. We bought Keira a doll for her international doll collection but nothing else.
Unfortunately Keira ate a Tiramisu cake (apparently loaded with caffeine and maybe some dodgy cream, which we did not know at the time) and became ill. It took her few days to recover. Needless to say Tiramisu will not be on her favorite food list!
We really enjoyed our time in Granada. Murphy and I spent an afternoon wandering the streets, taking photographs and enjoying the atmosphere. Although touristy it still holds a certain charm.
photos are a mix from Riss and Murphy
THE COLORFUL BUILDINGS:
all photos taken by Murphy
PERCEPTIONS OF NICARAGUA:
It is interesting how your perceptions of a country can change as you spend time in it. Before coming to Nicaragua we were thinking we would avoid Managua at all costs, being a capitol city in an unknown country. However after a week in Nicaragua, we could see that the media has once again focused on negative aspects of the country and that Nicaragua is quite safe.
We noted that the roads in Nicaragua are in good condition and actually very well maintained. We assume that like Ecuador the new roads are attributable to the Chinese. Ecuador has sold off the oil rites to some of the Amazon jungle to the Chinese and in return the Chinese have provided money and resources building new road systems, in Ecuador. China is currently building a Chinese canal through Nicaragua that is going to dwarf the Panama Canal. Hopefully some of the generated profits will filter down to the Nicaraguan people.
Our drive to the airport in Managua was certainly busy, but the roads in Nicaragua are really good, and our previous experiences of driving in big cities in Sth America definitely helps. We were all extremely sad to say goodbye to Murphy. We had a really good time together, with an ease of a long and strong friendship. Keira adores Murphy, and really enjoys spending extended time with our friends, and hearing stories of our friendship prior to her existence. There were many statements of “boo hoo, Murphy has left”.
Being in Managua we took the opportunity to get a new car battery, as ours was obviously not charging, as we were still having some problems starting Priscilla.
MURPHY's IMPRESSIONS OF THE TRIP: (in his words)
I learned that the Gypsie lifestyle is fantastic, free and unteathered - you go where the wind takes you, but it is NOT easy, especially with a (wonderful) 5 year-old. Most need to plan every last detail of their journey, and know that all has been prepared for their stay ahead of time. Mike, Marissa and Keira feed off the unknown, and all of the encounters that come with an unscripted journey. Most of what I saw and experienced with my friends could never be recreated in a vacation package. It was real. You get much closer to people and cultures than you ever could otherwise. You aren’t “served” by locals, you live amongst them. It was unique. And the stories and challenges are ours alone. When you cross paths with fellow “Overlanders” you feel like the stars aligned to place you on this same pinpoint, at the exact same time, with people from any corner of the globe. And yet you share the same sense of adventure, kinship and welcoming. You know why the other’s there. You’re Overlanders. Pretty special.
LIST OF FIRSTS:
Murphy did many things for the first time on this trip, here is his list:
1/ first time visiting Central America- Costa Rica and Nicaragua
2/ first time sleeping in a tent
3/ first sunset over the ocean
4/ first land border crossing
5/ first time having my nails painted
6/ first time meeting Keira
7/ first time seeing monkeys, sloths, macaws, iguanas and crocodiles in the wild.
8/ first time waking up to A Howler monkey alarm,
9/ first sarong (they’re not just for girls anymore),
10/ first parrotfish dinner.
MORE OF GRANADA:
We continued to stay on in Granada a few more days for Keira to recover, Mike to get some work done and to explore the surrounding area.
We did a horse and carriage ride at dusk, which took us around the city to see the various churches and sites. The most interesting thing was witnessing the locals going about their nightly chores and settling in to enjoy their evening. Many would be seated on rocking chairs on the pavement outside their homes watching their televisions or chatting about the day’s events. The locals were trying to get some relief from the heat and relax after their busy day.
VOLCANOES AND LAKES:
Nicaragua is a landscape of volcanoes and Lakes. It seems everywhere you look there is a volcano in site.
We did a day trip to Laguna de Apoyo and to the Masaya Volcano. The volcano is really interesting to visit, as it is active and continually smoking. Only in a third world country would you be able to drive your car up to the crater edge of an active volcano. It was slightly amusing and a little disturbing that they made you park your car facing forward. We could only guess that this was for a quick get away if the volcano decided to erupt??!!!!
RISS, MIKE AND KEIRA:
HIGHLIGHTS/CHALLENGES OF THIS AREA:
MOST VALUED POSSESION: a new battery
BEST EXPERIENCE: Mike- seeing the smoking volcano/looking around Granada; Keira- seeing the smoking volcano/getting my new doll; Riss- seeing the smoking volcano/looking around Granada
MOST CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE: Mike- dealing with car problems; Keira- being sick- I hate caffeine; Riss- Keira being sick
BEST FOOD DISCOVERY: Mike- steak at a good restaurant, Keira- not Tiramisu/sushi rolls; Riss- sushi rolls
BEST CAMPING SPOT: hotel with ac and semi hot shower
HIGHLIGHTS/CHALLENGES OF THIS AREA: Highlights: The colors!
MOST VALUED POSSESION: My camera. You can’t take a bad picture there.
BEST EXPERIENCE: Exploring the city with Riss. Dinner out with three of my best friends.
MOST CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE: Just some crazy, screaming man charging me and Riss. With a rock.
BEST FOOD DISCOVERY: Mocha Frappuccino!
BEST CAMPING SPOT: Hotel with AC!!!
Just a place to keep our mates informed on where we are at, and what we are up to.