December 15th, 2014
In the hostel at Leon I met a fellow Canadian, Steph from Ottawa who is a river guide and since she’d already been to Granada before, I tagged along with her to catch a couple of chicken buses to get there. The first one took us to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua and the second one to Granada although I got off the bus before it reached the city as I decided to stay at Laguna de Apoyo, a beautiful lake nearby.
The chicken bus from Leon:
And it was a true chicken bus, in that guy's lap is a chicken!
I started to walk towards the lake but after asking a local who told me that it was another 6-7 kilometres I flagged down a cab. After some haggling I was on my way and I’m glad I got the taxi as it was a long uphill climb followed by a steep descent down to the water.
My first choice of accommodation, Paradiso, looked fabulous but was unfortunately full so I backtracked 300 meters to Laguna Hotel and it was a decent place but wasn’t as happening as Paradiso. In the morning I took a kayak out for a 45 minute paddle on the massive round lake followed by a cheeky morning beer floating in an inner tube.
The Laguna Hotel:
The lovely lake:
I shared a cab to Granada with two Americans who I originally thought were a couple but it turns out it was a guy of 20 years old and his 28 year old stepmom! Granada is a colonial town founded by Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba in 1524 and he named it after the Granada in Spain. We wandered around for almost an hour, me with the goal of finding an ATM, and we did admire some fancy churches, a nice square and colourful buildings but I was ready to move on and was happy that I had heeded Steph’s advice of spending the previous night at Laguna de Apoyo.
The Merced church, we wanted to go up the tower to get a nice view but it wasn't open until 3...
A strange Jesus carving:
A big Nicaraguan flag just off of the main square:
We hopped on a chicken bus and who would happen to be there but Steph. Funny yet great how you often run into other backpackers on the Gringo Trail…off to the Island of Ometepe.
Back on the chicken bus to La Rivas, en route to Ometepe