I had been hearing many mixed reviews about Granada, for guide books, blogs, travellers I had met. A lot of people suggestion I spend as little time as possible here, suggesting all sorts of things like it was boring, lacked charm was dangerous etc.
From the moment I was dropped off by the market, I was a fan. I loved the colours of the buildings, the busyness, the noise, the people, everything! Not to the point I’d move here, but it is a very pleasant city to visit.
My hostel, Oasis, it a very well run hostel. Including all he important things like free wifi, breakfast, drinking water and a kitchen. It even has a tiny pool! I was able to check in as soon as I arrived, and even had a free breakfast!
Dante and I spoke for a little bit then I went off exploring the city.
I started off at Iglesia La Merced, one of the many churches in the city. The tower is open to the public to climb and boats an impressive view of the rooftops of Granada. I played around with my GoPro and got a couple of good shots, I’m improving!
I then walked the streets to the Parque Central. This is a really happening area. Lots of food vendors, cafes, market stalls and all kinds of people mulling about. It had a very festive vibe.
I continued to walk down Calle la Calzada which is a pedestrian street filled with restaurants, bars, cafes and shops.
I ducked into a cafe for lunch and happened to bump into Steve and Sandra. They’d spent the last few days at Laguna de Apoyo and recommended I get out if he city and do the same.
I continued to wander the streets. I went all the way down to the lakeside which was pretty quiet. In fact, everywhere was pretty quiet at this time of day. I’m guessing it was because of the heat. I was so entranced by the city I barely noticed my skin melting away.
I made my way back into town but this time to the local market. This was a really cool experience! It was a hive of activity and I weaved my way through the messy maze of fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and clothing. People were super friendly and curious. I didn’t get any rude attention , a pleasant surprise.
The following morning I went for a 9km run past Parque Central, down to the lakefront, through Centro Turistico and back. It was super hot but very satisfying.
I set off for Lake Apoyo, twenty minutes from Granada in the mountains. The lake itself is an old volcano crater that blew itself up and filled with water over thousands of years. It’s really beautiful!
I’m staying at Paradiso hostel which is on a hill with buildings staggered down until the lakefront. The restaurant and bar has an amazing view of the lake.
There are deck chairs on the beach, ping pong, patonque, a slack line and plenty of tables and chairs to relax in. There’s a wooden platform about 50m from shore. People swim to this, dive off or just relax out there. There are free kayaks to use and stand up paddle boards to hire. People come from Granada for the day and use the hostel facilities for a fee.
The dorm is huge, seven bunk beds and a double mattress on the floor sleeping 16 people. It’s kind of in a cage which is a bit weird. Did the job though and was super cool!
I was really glad I’d decided to stay the night as I had almost two full days. I basically spent my time going from shade, to beach, to the water. I did a bit of reading, ate, drank (just a little) and met some of the other travellers.
I got to speak to Dante while he was at the campsite in Rome. Always a pleasure! He is going to have a hectic but awesome few weeks!
Night was pretty chilled. Ate dinner with Geraldine (from Manchester) and two Dutch girls. We had a lightening show over the lake, awesome!
Went to sleep as an epic storm came through. The thunder sounded like it was in our room!
My second day at the lake was pretty much a repeat of my first. I did take a walk after breakfast, read and drank pineapple at another resort down the road a bit.
More swimming/floating, lunch, reading and a tiny nap (because I can).
Arriving back into Granada was madness! There was a big festival with horses parading down the streets. Apparently it’s the rich people from all over Nicaragua showing off their horses. I also heard they get the horses drunk so it looks like they’re dancing when they walk. So sad. Makes me very upset. I saw two young teenagers in a fistfight and so many drunk people. I was glad I had been at the lake most of the day!
Tomorrow I’m flying to The Corn Islands, in the middle of the Carribbean Sea! I’ve been looking forward to thhis for a while for hoping it doesn’t disappoint!
See you at the beach, Mel 🙂