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Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

Well I'm not sure what those boys were going on about....Granada is beautiful and maybe one of my favourite cities so far. I can see their point that it probably isn't a good exaple of 'true' Nicaragua as it is quite touristy in the main areas, but still the buildings are gorgeous, brightly coloured colonial structures and the Central Park is a blissful place to spend an hour reading your book.
When I arrived I headed straight to a hostel called the Bearded Monkey that Jonny and the boys had recommened to me. They didn't have any space in a dorm but luckily I had met two lovely Swiss girls on the bus so we booked into a three man room together. We were all quite tired after our hot couple of chicken buses so headed out to grab some lunch and then wandered down to the edge of Lago de Nicaragua. It was a beautiful walk down to the shore and the view point offered some pretty good views of the lake, though I am sure I will get better photos when I take the ferry to Isla de Ometepe.
That evening I met up with Louise and her friends, and Lennart again as it was her (Louise's) last night so we went for a very nice Mexican meal and some drinks at a bar. A very lovely evening but I was sad to see Louise go as she was a great girl to travel round with.
The next day Lennart and I signed up to visit the Laguna de Apoyo which is a lake nearbye to Granada. The Bearded Monkey hostel offers trips to a hostel which is run by the same person and for a small day fee you can use the hotel's facilities and use sunbath on their land. It was such a great day of really doing nothing! There were lots of little places to sunbath on sun loungers so I grabbed one in the shade and read my book for a few hours before doing a little bit of sunabthing and plenty of swimming in the lake. It's freshwater which made a nice change from the salt sea that I had become used to in Utila, and about ten metres out into the water a platform had been floated so you could swim out and sunbath in the water. There were also canoes and rubber rings that you could use if it took your fancy.
It's such a cliche but it really is a small world! I met a couple from England who had both been to Birmingham Univeristy and when we got talking about where we go to school I mentioned that I had been at a small girls' boarding school near Wales, and she chriped up "It wasn't Moreton Hall was it, only you remind me so much of my friend Emily Arthur who went there"!. It turned out they also knew Hannah Boon well, funny old thing this travelling!
After a lovely day at the lake, the bus took us back in the late afternoon and Iwas feeling surprisingly tired having done nothing all day! I deciced to get some food at the hostel (yummy nachos with chicken and beans) and then read my book for a few hours before having a relatively early night.
Yesterday Lennart and I decided to take the bus to a nearbye town called Masaya that we were told was home to a fun market. We spent a few hours wandering round looking at the stalls but it was huge and slightky overwhelming so I'm sure we only really saw a fraction of the stalls. I bought myself a baseball cap to wear during the Inca Trail and some gorgeous rainbow striped flipflops that I had seen and wanted to buy in Utila, so they made me feel pleasantly nostalgic. Overall I have to say I was nothugely impressed by the market, and thought the one in Antigua was much better by far, but hey ho, it was a nice little excursion to see a bit more of Nicaragua. We arrived back in Granada in the afternoon so I wandered off by myself to take some photos of the town and try and get my hands on a South American guidebook at a book exchange. It's notoriously hard to find, so it was unforutately a fruitless search. I managed to capture some pretty piccies though so not a completely failed mission.
Last night I just had some quiet drinks at the hostel bar and once again read my book in bed, a very pleasant evening.
Today (Mummy's birthday) is my last day and night in Granada so I have been making use of the speedy internet for about the last two hours getting all my photos uploaded so people can have a flick through. If anyone (who isn't mummy as she already knows about this) wants to look through them, then go to: www.flickr.com and log in as me.
Username: veritykent
Password: Charlie
You should then be able to browse through the photos. The best way to do it is to look at the "sets" that I have created as it gives the pics some structure.
Tomorrow I head off to Isla de Ometepe, an island siutuated about an hour offshore from a small town called San Jorge, and home to two pretty fine volcanos, one of which I intedt to climb whilst I'm there. I will tell you how I get on in my next blog.

permalink written by  veritykent on April 19, 2009 from Granada, Nicaragua
from the travel blog: Up, up and away
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