Making up for lost time…

Arlene and I were talking about the week that was. It just seemed fly by. Thinking about it, we were trying hard to fit in as much as possible. We had to put so many things on hold last time we were here. It was a celebration every time we made it back from an excursion without having anything catastrophic happening.

Oh we all took our turns with feeling lousy either from too much food or heat, but no trips to the hospital this year!

Something on our list was a trip to Granada, more specifically monkey island. There’s a huge lake to the east of Granada dotted with little islands, much like Lake of the Woods. Maybe a little more tropical.

Nicaragua has a few old colonial style cities and Granada would be one of them. Through history, Granada and Leon would fight about which city would be the Capital of Nicaragua. Somewhere along the line, enough was enough and Managua was made the Capital. It’s situated right in between, so that kinda makes sense.

Side note, one of the issues Osman told us about was the discussion to build a canal through Nica much like the Panama Canal. Foreign countries, notably China, are pushing to have the canal built. Looking on a map, I suppose the canal would be further north than the current one in Panama. The issue for locals is the damage done to the eco-system. According to Osman, a naturalist, a large amount of natural habitat and farmland would be in jeapordy if the project pushes forward. Who benefits? That’s a question best left of another story.

Back to Granada. We wound our way up foothills type topography on the way to a place called Catarina. Touristy type town that features an inverted volcano lake. We passed through some contrasting conditions on the way there. On top of a hill that is hit by very windy conditions and volcanic dust it was dry and dusty. A few kilometers down the road a very different story…

According to Osman, this fresh water lake has no streams or rivers feeding it. Water is either coming from underneath or from rain. It contains several species of fish, as well as, fresh water sharks. 
Being Sunday, we had a tough time finding any place open for breakfast until we reached Catarina. Being close to 10:30 am we were getting pretty hungry. We found a place that houses about 4-5 places to eat over looking this lake.

And yes, you can pick your own bananas from a bunch hanging from a rafter. After breakfast, of which Jacki had her usual plantain and bacon, we headed off to the market. Little shops with t-shirts, trinkets, bags, belts, hats lined one part of the courtyard. Down the street, were shops with hand made goods like pottery, pots and bowls.

We didn’t spend a ton of time in Granada itself. We made our way through to the large lake east of the city where the islets are. There’s a large beach area where families and sun worshipers had claimed a spot. Large umbrella shaped trees lined the lane leading to the where the boats are docked. Every few feet locals with pamphlets are hocking their particular boat tour.

Osman, of course has a connection. We pull in find a boat and get under way. By now Alex is full on sick from whatever he had to eat plus the heat. He was a trooper though for continuing and having a great attitude about it.

The tour kind of reminded me of Lake of the Woods, just a little more lush. Little islands with houses or wildlife dot the large lake. The houses varied in extravagance from the very rich to the very basic.

When we reached the main island, Osman grabbed some treats we purchased from the tour operator and started calling a monkey called Lucille. Slowly but surely, with parents hovering the in the background, out she came.

She seemed quite playful and really seemed to like hair…

At this point, Alex was fading fast and I was starting to feel the effects of the heat as well. We cut the Granada portion of the trip short and headed back to the resort. Osman made sure to take a quicker route with smoother roads. And that was much appreciated. When we hit our room, I don’t remember much. It was mid afternoon and I fell asleep. Didn’t wake up until the next morning…next time I’m taking more Gatorade!

Check out the complete galley here.

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