Note from Chrissy…Since I’ve already talked about my travels in Nicaragua extensively and Kevin just wrote one about our October trip, I asked Pablo to write this blog about his experiences from our most recent trip there in January…
Well the day started at the border after a short drive from Guanacaste, Costa Rica and if you are used to crossing international borders, you know that extra patience is required. But this day, it all went smoothly and without hassle for an international border in Central America. Once we finished all of the paperwork, the driver from Jicaro Island Eco Lodge picked us up and we were on our way to Granada.
Before this trip, all that I had heard about Granada was that it was near the lake and a very nice place. But upon arrival, I felt very welcome; the place has a really good energy and I couldn’t wait to discover more, eagerly wanting to get out of the car to explore. By the time we arrived at the hotel, we were really hungry so we asked for directions for some vegetarian food, and the directions were: “ok go up the road, take a right and you will find a nice place”. Good thing Granada is not that big and it was only a few minutes of walking before we found a really nice cafe with a beautiful garden inside an old colonial house. And yes, the cafe was called the Garden Café…imagine that. The food was good and the people very friendly.
The sun was very strong so we decided to take some coffee and rest for a while before heading out again to unveil the beauties of Granada. After sunset, the town turns into this magical place where people gather in the streets outside the restaurants and cafes and local people perform right there in the middle of the road. The moon was on its way to being full in a few days so it gave the place a more magical feeling.
The people in Granada are all very nice and respectful. The old houses and buildings provide you with a sense of being in a different century…something not many places can do. Granada was one of the first cities to be conquered in Nicaragua, and not only conquistadors but pirates also loved the city.
The night ended with Jorge, a cool kid that tends to go around with his friends performing and selling their art in the streets. He made us a grasshopper with some type of palm leaf, and in return we gave him something to eat because he really looked hungry. He was a really nice kid.
The next day, we walked around Granada to see its colorful infrastructure and people. The Granada Cathedral is nice and the cool part is that you can go up to the bell tower and admire the landscape from up above. Next, we walked through the town market. I really liked it here as you can find a lot of stuff from toys to meat to getting your hair and nails done! But what I liked the most was the people, who have such great character and so happy – a great combination!
Now off to the lake and Jicaro Lodge where the water takes over and the sunsets are amazing. Living a few days surrounded by water really makes you feel calm and relaxed. The hotel is very beautiful, made in harmony with nature and the architecture was made from wood from fallen trees that Hurricane Felix took down a few years ago.
Here you can see all kind of animals throughout the day. And the flora found on the island and the surrounding areas is just breathtaking. Food is good but it’s the view that makes it so great. As I mentioned, the moon was getting bigger and bigger by the days, and from the mirador, located on the middle of the island, it gave me a great advantage point to see the moon as it fullest as well as the greatest sunrises and sunsets. From here, Mombacho volcano is in full view and a great subject to photograph. It was this volcano that created the islands on the lake when it erupted many, many years ago.
The trip ended all good and sad to return home but happy to have seen new places and met new people. I was very thankful for all the things I saw and so I returned home with a smile. And really, what else do we need?
Enjoy the slideshow…