The adventure has begun for our two weeks in Nicaragua. We arrived in Managua a little bit hairy after a turbulent crossing from Miami but in one piece. Nica is already leaving an impression on us and we are looking forward to enjoying the culture, the people, the food and the warm weather.
We plan on spending time in Granada, an old colonial town. Then onwards to San Juan Del Sur to stay at Rancho Chilamate with the incredible Heather Blue Van Doornick. We will drive north to Leon, a cultural town with the roots of the revolution and check out Matagalpa and its coffee plantations. Our final destination will be the Corn Islands before we return home.
Today we spent some time getting acclimatized to the country and spent our first day in Granada about an hours drive south of the airport. It is 31c in the sun so we took advantage of a dip in the pool at our lovely little hotel Con Corazon(pictured above). This oasis is a hotel whose heart is for education for the Nica people and whose profits go to the cause of education for this poor nation. We learned that it is very expensive to educate children for poorer families here. Nicaragua is the poorest country aside from Haiti in Central America.
We wandered the cobble stone streets and brightly coloured colonial buildings. There are several cathedrals here and the town square is bustling with people enjoying each other in the shade. Horse drawn buggies are everywhere and we were stuck in a little traffic jam with them in our rear view mirror. The malecon or sea wall lead us to a palapa with a crowd of locals enjoying cold beverages and a DJ with Spanish Salsa music. For a Saturday afternoon we were amazed to see people dancing. We enjoyed a Great steak dinner with plantain chips and deep fried banana's and wandered the main drag with lively people enjoying their night out. Granada feels like a mini Havana. Charming and vibrant.
My greatest appreciation while lying in a hammock today is realizing that I have the privilege to travel around the world and experience new cultures that teach me so much about the world and my small part in making it a better place.