24 hours in Granada

Border crossing - literally through a chain link fence

Border crossing – literally through a chain link fence

If you recall from my list of “to-do’s” in 2013, going to Nicaragua again was not one of them.  Not that I don’t like Nicaragua.  It’s a lovely country and I always return with good memories.  But getting there is a gigantic hassle.  As I mentioned to one of my neighbors upon my return, it takes over 5 hours to drive to Granada from Tamarindo, including the border crossing.  I compared this to flying from Liberia to New York or California to New York and that really put it into perspective for him (since both of those flights are also 5 hours).  I’m not sure of the actual distance but my guess is it’s right around 150 miles.  More or less.  Compare that to the 3000+ miles for the flights I mentioned above.

This time we stayed one night in Granada.  I took both of my team members with me – to help them understand the “experience” that we want to create for guests and clients when we’re working with them in online marketing.

At the recommendation of a friend, we had lunch at the Garden Cafe and it was amazing.  I really can’t say the same for the dinner we had that night or the breakfast the next morning at the hotel.  I had ordered “pesto pomodoro pasta” and eagerly anticipated pesto and tomatoes on pasta.  Do you see something missing in the photo below?  The server swore there was pesto in it but…??

photo1

At breakfast the next morning, I very specifically requested “no chorizo” with the typical gallo pinto.  Of course, there was chorizo basically sitting on top of the plantains when the dish arrived.  So all I could eat were the rice and beans.  And I’m not even really sure if it was chorizo as it looked more like a hot dog cut in half. (which made me even more nauseous).

Anyways, it was interesting to see the nightlife in Granada.  Lots of culture, street art and kids trying to earn a little extra money by making roses and grasshoppers out of palm leaves.

Watching the baseball finals

Watching the baseball finals

I’m really hoping that I don’t have to return to Nicaragua.  The expense to get there is just too high – both financially and in time.  And then of course there are the payoffs of police officers and border agents.  They’re minimal but still annoying.

But I had to quickly leave the country and it was the only place I could afford at the time.  My residency attorney told me that since my Visa was up at the end of January and my documents from the US still hadn’t arrived, they were not able to file my application.  I don’t really understand why the documents weren’t shipped via UPS or DHL, especially since they were sent during the holiday season (when all government offices close for a few weeks here) but there I was again, having to leave the country and not really happy about it.  But as was mentioned many times that weekend by my team members who are both Tico…Welcome to Costa Rica.

Enjoy the slideshow…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pura vida…Chrissy