Wrapping up the Nica Trip

Our last few days together consisted of still getting up with the sun between 5:30 and 6 am. Watching the light chase away the darkness and headed to the restaurant for breakfast.

It officially opens at 8 am, but staff is there at 7 and will serve you willingly.
The Nica coffee being served there was a nice rich smooth blend. Unfortunately, I forgot to purchase some beans for at home. The first few days we ordered full breakfasts, but soon found it was too much. I typically just have two eggs, sunny side up, and toast for breakfast. 
They had a “Nicaraguan” consisting of fried cheese, fried plantain, scrambled eggs and guayo pinto (mixture of rice and beans). Side of salsa and sour cream and bread. 
It was very good, but very filling as well. We tried explaining sunny side up or runny yokes, but they seemed a bit revolted by the notion lol. So we kept it simple.
After a few days we just ordered two eggs and toast. Felt a better match for the heat of the day. 
That last Monday was mostly a catch up day in our room editing pictures and resting. 
Tuesday, we had a decision to make. 
One of the things on our list of things to do was to see Granada. I had the opportunity to go with Osman…by myself. Leaving Arlene behind was the tough part. Tearily she told me to go, mostly because we didn’t know exactly when/if we’d be back and she wanted pictures. 
So off I went. We travelled down a narrow winding but paved road that took us through a few smaller towns on the way. Osman explained that the setup of most towns was the same in that there was a central park/market and a church on the east side of the town. 

School busses are used for general transport and they get packed to the rafters. If I remember correctly, not so sure everyone was off before it started moving again. 

These parks reminded my a little of the Forks in Winnipeg. A gathering place for families to chill or check out the merchants.

This typical market was a couple of blocks away. Vendors lined up on both sides. Lots of fresh produce to pick up of the day’s meal.
The next couple of towns had a distinct identity. One made furniture. Store after store on both sides of the road with some nice looking furniture in them. This would be a place where someone purchasing a property in Gran Pacifica might come to furnish their home.
I took pictures of some nicer furniture sets on display, but we were moving and they didn’t turn out as well.
Another town’s specialty was pottery. I know a few people that may have had a fun time exploring those stores.
Although I didn’t see many Honda automobiles there, Honda motorbikes were plenty.
Mostly the smaller variety. 125cc for example, would have been a bigger bike there. Gas prices worked out to be around $1/Litre. So similar to here. 
As mentioned, the road was a little narrow, winding but paved. In our regulated world, it was interesting to note the lack of “safety” equipment used by work crews riding on the back of trucks. 
It’s more of a “Get ‘er done” mentality. If that means hanging on to the load on the back of a flatbed, then that’s what you do.

We stopped in a place called Catarina. This is a picture of Laguna de Apoyo. The story I got on this is that this is a collapsed volcano with no connection to any other body of water. Not sure how long it took to fill up, but from the look of it, the water looks fresh. The area around it is a protected park. 
Granada was just a short drive to the other side of this lagoon. I didn’t have the time to explore Granada in full, but I did spend a bit of time at a cathedral built in the 1700’s and the market in the town square.

Anyone recognize the symbol in the middle of this dome? Looks like the Masons were here to help build this cathedral.
There was a long line of horse and carriages at your service…well, kind of. Never a bad idea to take a nap when you can.
Here’s a pic of the new church that replaced the one from the 1700s. Both have are active with services. 
A little side note from Osman. Apparently, Granada and the city of Leon used to battle to see which city was best suited to be the capital of Nicaragua. One being conservative and the other more liberal. At some point the powers said enough of the fighting and made Managua the capital as it sits right in between. 
Lunch in Granada, then off to an active volcano in Masaya. Masaya isn’t that far from Granada and is on the way back to our resort through Managua. 
Legend has it that in order to appease whatever diety believed to be living in this volcano, young maidens and children were sacrificed at this site. 

Hard to imagine, but the holes in the lava rock house parakeets. Not sure how they survive amongst the noxious gasses coming from the bottom. 

If time had permitted, I would’ve stayed til the sun went down. When it gets dark you can see the red “glow” at the bottom of the pit.

Further along the timeline, it was believed the devil lived at the bottom due to the red glow people saw. So this cross was built in order to keep the devil at bay. 
This wrapped up the day. We headed back to the resort. Hit some heavy traffic as per usual at that time of day but made it back in time to see this…
It was to be our last on this particular trip. 
We were up early the next morning to pack and get ready for the trip home. I felt so bad for Arlene. Travelling can be tough at the best of times, but with a freshly repaired broken ankle, tougher. 
The day was extremely long. The Delta staff did a great job of whisking us through two flight connections in Atlanta and Minneapolis. Our insurance had arranged for Arlene to be in first class, however, there still was no room for her to elevate her foot. So by the time we got to Winnipeg it was swollen. We landed around 7 and by the time we were in the car and moving it was just past 8. 
We headed straight to Boundary Trails for a dressing change and assessment. Everything looked good. Arlene’s doctor happened to be on call and ordered an antibiotic IV. Which we came back for the next two evenings.
All in all we had a good time. Met some great people. Caught a glimpse of real life away from the resort. All things we planned on. Next time though, we’d like to be able to do them together.
I’ve added a couple more galleries which can seen by clicking here.
Thanks for following along. If you ever get a hankering to do something where you have a beautiful resort that allows you to get off the beaten path, check out Virde del Mar in Nicaragua.
Cheers….

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