So we finally manager to leave Utila.Of course this was only after we reached a decision to come back in December and get our Dive Masters!See you soon Captain Jack Attack!We had unfortunate timing about leaving Utila because during that time Honduras was getting tons of rain that resulted in flooding all over the country.So we basically ended up getting stuck in La Ceiba and San Pedro Sula for a couple of days.But as always, we made the best of our time and checked out the malls…needless to say it was a very North American experience and we were happy when we could finally head south to Nicaragua.
Arriving in quaint León was a pleasant surprise after big city Honduras. We arranged accommodations in Hotel Via Via, a beautiful place with open gardens and plenty of hammocks.They only had one room left, although it was a little out of our price range we decided to splurge and stay there for one night until a few beds in the dormitory became available the next day.So that night we spent vegging out in our private room…movies, bathroom, giant bed…need I say more.
We decided it was time to check out some of León's infamous museums.After meeting a local girl, buying her baby formula and going for coffee we ended up only making it to one museum that day.Alas, we were satisfied with the day and began the night with beer drinking.Hotel Via Via is frequented by the locals and by mere coincidence it was Friday and there was a concert that night.So by 10pm we were hammered, what a surprise.Ode made the right decision by going to bed but I decided to head out to the discoteca for some cheap strobe lights, salsa dancing, and yes more booze.
The next morning was an early start (and rough considering I only got home at 4am) as we had committed to meeting a local for breakfast at 8am.After a delicious hangover cure breakfast it was time for a well needed siesta.That night turned into a whole adventure in itself.We decided to purchase some of this local rum we had heard so much about….Flor de Caña.Polishing off a bottle between 4 people went down pretty smooth (maybe too smooth).It was still too early to go to the discoteca so we (along with our newfound Israeli friends) went to the bar to have a few beets.Once again, it seemed like a good idea at the time.I won´t both with any more because the rest of the night can be summed up in a couple words….drunks, strobe lights, sweat, salsa dancing (with short Nicaraguans), and 4am bedtime.
After a rough recovery the next morning we committed ourselves to not drinking.But as the temperature rose to stiffening 35 degrees celsius we once again found ourselves sipping on some beers.However we were able to keep in respectable this time.We enjoyed a couple bottles of wine while a local had us over for a delicious pasta dinner.
We planned on leaving León the following day but were not quite ready to leave so we took the advantage of having no travel itinerary and decided to stay another day.This day was really a detox and finally we managed to depart from the beautiful city and head for Granada.
Travel days are always interesting and you never know what to expect.Although the journey from León to Granada was only 3 hours it was one of the most sketchy travel days we have had.Everybody warned us of Managua but that didn´t quite prepare us for what we were about to encounter.As we had to transfer to a different bus station (well really just a mercado) we were warned by the taxi driver to be very careful and that yesterday 4 girls got robbed at the bus station.He offered (of course for a larger price) to take us to a different bus station that is close to the airport and has express buses to Granada.After much debate we took his offer…bad idea.As we approached at the bus station (once again just a giant mercado) I notice the lack of airplanes flying above.Before getting a chance to ask if we are at the correct bus station the taxi was swamped with guys trying to get us on their bus.We asked if it was going to Granada and (of course) they answered yes.We quickly hopped on the bus, as always all the passengers are staring at us and we ask if the bus is going to Granada.One responds with a 'yes' while a few others start to shake their heads.Instantly we pick up on this being a (more than usual) sketchy situation and ask other passengers if the bus is going (or even passing through) Granada.Ode and another girl we were travelling with at the time run up to the front of the bus to demand a truthful answer from the bus driver.I anxiously await on the back of the bus prepared to throw our bags off the now moving bus.I can´t tell quite what is happening in the front but all of a sudden Ode is yelling (in Spanish and English) to STOP THE BUS.I shove open the back door and start throwing bags off the bus.I´m off and I see Ode jumping off, flip flop in hand I grab it and tell her to jump off…she doens´t hesitate and our other travel companion quickly follows.Unbelievable we all made it safely.Still at the bus station and now attracting more attention than ever we quickly find a bus that is actually going to Granada.After Ode stares them down and ask multiple times if they are lying to us we finally board a bus.In a couple of hours we arrive in Granada laughing about the situation.Later on we also realized that the taxi driver never took us to the promised bus station and we paid him way too much.Our friend summed it up best when she cracked a joke about him being the one that robbed the 4 girls the day before.Hard lesson learned but it could have turned out much worse.
Granada reminded us very much of León only a little richer and more tourists.We found a really cute, quite hostel to stay in and spent most of our time there in deep philosophical debates around the hammocks.We realized that we would be spending a couple of days in Granada in order to wait for the ferry to take us to Isla de Ometepe.We wanted to rent a motor bike to visit some nearby volcano's but they wanted a license.After explaining to them that my license was stolen in Mexico and ensuring them I could drive we left with no motorbike….apparently Nicaragua is only sketchy in some aspects and licenses aren't over-rated.A compromise was made and we ended up renting bicycles.
Anxious to see Lake Nicaragua we instantly headed to the shores with our new hot rides.It seemed like such a nice day but rainy season had other plans and before long the wind was blowing, rain pouring down and Lake Nicaragua's waves crashing over the shores.Of course this would never stop Ode and Tina from having a great time so we never hesitated to turn around.That afternoon we biked through water that engulfed half of our bikes…good memories.
Later on that night, after some happy hour beers and politically named drinks (Boracho Bama and John Macaña) we were riding the streets of Granada like a bunch of crazy ladies.It is moments like these that reality hits and you wonder what everybody back home would think of our crazy lifestyles.Before you have a chance to come to a conclusion you are swept back into the moment and once again find yourself absolutely loving live!
Our last day we decided it was time to head off the gringo trail and found some cool back roads to take our bikes on.At one point we saw a group of guys standing in the road.Deciding that it was better to not push our luck we turned the bikes around.All of sudden I hear Ode in the background ´stop, my chain has fallen off my bike (again).'As I turn around I see 3 guys quickly approaching and she can´t go anywhere…yikes.I turn my bike around and pedal back.As we try to quickly fix the bike the guys can tell we are not feeling very comfortable with the situation and tell us 'passer, no problemo.'Thanks for the gesture but no thanks we will stick with our decision to turn around.After the chain fixed we headed back to Granada and considered ourselves lucky…once again.The whole afternoon flew by as we returned the bikes, grabbed our bags and rushed to catch the ferry.Next adventure destination: Isla de Ometepe!