A we had left honduras in the afternoon due to flight times from Roatan, we did not arrive at the nicarguan border until about half 9 at night. Crossing the Honduras border was fine but at the Nicaraguan end, the officers tried to get our tour guide to bribe them to let us across the border. The definite advantage of being part of a tour group is that the leader is normally local to the area of travel, so is therefore fluent in the lanaguage and knowledgable about the borders. So even though it took two hours of arguements, we did not have to pay the bribe and were able to cross. This delay meant we didn not get to Leon until about 2.30am. We were due to leave early the next day but this plan had to be changed as we were knackered! The next morning martin took us for a brief walk about Leon before we got the next bus. I think this overnight stop was a bit of a waste of time as we should have just travelled through the night to get the Granada early the next morning. But sure!
We arrived in Granada to a bit of an overcast day but it was still nice! Some of us were finding it difficult to find bank machines that accepted our cards which was a bit annoying but once we found them and toom money out, we had a brief tour of the town. Granada is a nice town with a central plaza where there are daily markets and people busking or organised group performances! On one side of the square horse and carriages are lined up to take people about the city. (this form of transport is very common in most of central american, especially for locals who have markets stalls or work as a trade and need to ntransport goods home. The work like a local taxi and many people can get in at once, a bit like the Belfast falls road black taxis). The other side is the large yellow catherdal (Cathederal of Granada) which was previoulsy destroyed and rebuilt and so is kept in quite good condition. If you climb up the bell tower of the next nearest old catherdral (La Merced) you get great panoramic views of the town and the surrounding volcanoes.
Our hotel was nice and beside a restaurant called ´El Camello´. The owner Leroy, was Canadian but lived in Granada all year. ( many canadians and americans seem to move here for several months of the year normally high season which is Novemeber until end of MArch). He was sound and evry time we got a beer he gae us a shot (realistically a small glass as they were huge shots) of the local smooth dark rum which was actually very nice! And the food was really good, much better than most places we had been!
There are many nice resteraunts but you woudl weant to avoid the Avenue Turistica as it is expenisve, although you do get your moneys worth from the big portions! The nightlife is better at the weekends but as we were there during the week there were only certain bars open, predominantly Kellys (belfast/nicaraguan bar) which was decent for a night out, and then one other bar i cant really rememebr the name of, but it was also good as it had a pub quiz on the 2nd night which was good! Although one man called Johnathan fromthe restaurant brought his wife with him for a drink to see us, and then he told us he was a singer/rapper and proceeded to sing És necisisto´ to us. He wasnt very good.
Me and beck decided to visit the Lagoon which was nearby while we were there. our taxi man droped us at the top of the hill, which we did not realse was about 4km away from the Lagoon. Thankfully some americans picked us up and brought us to a resort called El Paradiso. It was a nice lake/lagoon, even though it was abit overcast so we chilled out on the hammocks and beach chairs for a few hours. Our taxi home thankfully picked us up fromt he bottom of the hill. The taxis are halarious as they are so unroadworthy. At home you would never get in it and the panels are pracitcally falling off the doors and when it started to rain the taxi man got out to put a towl on the roof presumably so the rain did not leak in! But sure, all for the craic ey!