Monday, October 21, 2013

Granada, Nicaragua. A gorgeous colonial town. Kids learn a lot on the carriage ride.

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We travelled by local "chicken buses", from San Juan de Sur to Granada.
We should have paid a lot less for the cab to the hostel, but it was quibbling over $1 and I was not about to be left standing, so we took it.
When we arrived at the hostel G.M. Granada we were so hot and exhausted.
It is still in stages of completion so it had only resident guests, and us.
Quiet and with lovely management.
My son enjoyed the tortoise pool.

We quickly headed for the pool.  The pool was warm but not hot or cold - perfect for me!

We then headed to town to get a late lunch.
The sky turned black.
The wind whipped through the streets and our eyes were full of grit.
So much so, that 3 hours later I was having to use eye drops to try to wash the grit out.
We just managed to get to a hotel and the rain bucketed down.
We were stuck.
So we enjoyed a classy lunch and a couple of drinks for the next 2 hours whilst 'trapped' inside.
It really didn't cost too much. Certainly glad this was not Costa Rica prices.
I do like this photo my son took - it looks like a postcard.
We did enjoy watching local kids slide on the tiled floor - shirts off and whipping each other with them as they slid in the pouring rain and laughed with delight.

But the rain came inside the hotel, and as my son went to go to the bathroom, the polished marble tiles aquaplaned him across the floor and he banged his head really badly.
The staff didn't more. I had to ask for a bag of ice.  The manager did nothing. He was meant to call his superior but told us he couldn't find him.
I wondered what would happen if it was a serious accident.

We headed home that night. So hot and humid, we didn't sleep well.
Next day we wandered to find the markets.
As we wandered down the streets, we loved the coloured colonial town.

We passed the square where we later found out divided the indigenous from the Spaniards.

We then climbed the tower of Merced Church.
Here you can see where part of the church has been not yet restored.
The mad William Wallace torched the city, and they are still trying to restore it.

For $1 each, you can climb the spiral stairs to the bell tower - worth the money for the view.

We met a German couple who took our photos which was nice.
You can see out on al four sides, and right to the lake.

A block down toward the markets, and on the same side is a hammock making workshop and store.
We were able to go in and see how they made all the cotton hammocks.
These are not expensive and they will ship anywhere n the world, so you don't have ot carry it in your backpack.

The square 'Central Park' has a small market and is a place for locals and travellers to enjoy. The architecture around this area is fabulous.

This lady was selling coconut ice and cashews.  The cashews I bought were lovely and hot!

We then met up with our friends and decided to take a horse and carriage ride.

We all piled in and our guide had great English.

The kids got to take turns sitting in the front with him.
It was $15 for 1 hour.
He was so educational.
We learnt all about how William Wallace was President for a year, yet could speak no Spanish.

We finished near the end by the lake. We had a stop here, and were disappointed at the dirtiness of the edges of the lake. Not a place to swim as I had hoped.

Why do I have a photo of horse poo?  well because we hit a rock, just as the horse was having a nice poop.
The poop collecting bag flung off, the horse jumped, and we were all sprayed with fresh poop.
All over our clothes and in our hair.  It was horrible, yet the kids handled it pretty well.

We headed back to their pool for a refreshing swim for the kids.

We wandered back to our hostel as we were meeting some Americans that night for dinner.
We had connected through a long term friend I have know for 30 years.
It was nice to meet them and the kids got along well.

Here you can see how pretty much all the houses have their front room set up.
Everyone has rocking chairs, and often they are pulled out onto the street at night to capture the breeze.

On our walk back to the hotel we passed a traditional funeral.
It was pretty incredible to see the horse decorated and the old wood carriage.

Next day we went to church with our new friends we had dinner with the night before.
The singing was in Spanish, but the sermon was in both English and Spanish.
It is an unusually church in the aspect it is under the trees and has no roof.
My son met an American family who lived here who had an 1 year old son.
They hit it off straight away.

They took us back to the hostel to get our swim-wear and for my son to collect his DS for a game trade.
Their dad sat in the back as the kids rode in the tray f the utility pick-up.
My son loved it.

After a nice lunch, their lovely daughter showed mt how to weave palm leaves into coasters.

The boys enjoyed a swim in their pool; had a nice jump on the trampoline; and then came in for DS & Wii games, whilst munching as many Pringles at once as they could.
It was nice to see them get along so well.
We left piled up with Christmas gifts, a travel cutting board for me, and a heap of books for my son to read.

We were meant to be leaving that day.  
We were meant to also go to the volcano that day.
We didn't do either!

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