Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nicaragua Leon Granada

The chicken bus from the Honduras/Nicaragua boarder to Leon was a grand total of $33 Cordoba - NIO ($1.64 US) for a 3 hour ride. We got dropped off on the highway so had to get a cab into town to the hostel at a cost of $20 NIO each for the 3 of us.

Leon Nicaragua

We stayed at Big Foot Hostel in Leon. It is a very nice place, great atmosphere nice common area and they have a pool and pet turtles. Okay more of a wading pond but still nice to dip in after a hot day at the market. Cost for a bunk in a dorm room was $120 NIO. One of us (not me) did the volcano sledding ($25 US and includes a mojito at the end), she said it was okay but not as much speed as she thought she would get going down however lots of folks coming back scraped up from tumbling off their boards so I guess you have to try it and see. Another friend stayed across the street at Via Via which she said was good as well. I personally like them, we went for diner one night and there was a raffle to aide street kids. I bought 3 tickets for $10 NIO and won a big bottle of rum and 2 packs of smokes. Score for me, always nice when you can get all of your bad habits met at one time, well maybe not all but 2 out of 4 ain't bad.

Leon is a nice little place, very colonial lots of old buildings and nice streets, lots of churches, it is a very safe place I went out a few times at night and had no problems. I have been noticing that I have lots of pictures of churches, can't really avoid them here. I like the buildings and so far I haven't burst into flame upon entering them so apparently god is on a coffee break or has something really evil planned for me later. The market in Leon is great, there are food stalls that serve all sorts of meals. My personal favorite was the pancakes, they are rolled up and filled with cheese. Two of those some mystery meat and a coke totaled $30 NIO.

Granada Nicaragua
I took a shuttle bus from Leon to Granada, the difference in cost between it and the chicken bus was only a few dollars and this way I didn't have to change buses in Managua. Cost for the collectivo van was $40 NIO and they dropped us off by the hostel in Granada. Our little group picked up another backpacker from Finland in Leon who I had met previously in San Pedro and Utila and we lost one from Canada who headed back to Guatemala.

We stayed at the Bearded Monkey hostel in Granada a bunk in a dorm was $130 NIO. Great location and the people are awesome, if you are passing by in the next month make friends with Dave the bartender, he is a party all on his own and a great dancer.. Thanks for the tunes, I could have lived without the 2nd bottle of rum :-(

Granada is like a fairy tale city, all pastel colors and very old buildings, it is located on Lake Nicaragua so there is a lot of beach front along the city. While there I did a couple of little excursions. I went to Laguna De Apoyo for the day, a lake in the crater of a volcano, the cost for a taxi for 5 people was $50 NIO each and a $25 NIO entrance fee for the car to get into the park. Great swimming and a very beautiful place. When we left we saw a lot of monkeys playing in the trees we must have pulled over 4 times to try to get pictures but they are quick little things and after a day of sun and lazing in a hammock I was not very fast. Okay I'm not all that quick on my better days but they really were moving.

Excursion number 2 was a boat ride on Lake Nicaragua through the islands just off Granada, they are pretty small. Most of the islands are privately owned and have houses on them and they are some very nice houses with many water toys (jet ski's, boats etc.) however there are a few for sale if you are interested. We also got to visit the island with the monkeys on it. The trip only takes about an hour 1/2 2 of us went and we had the boat to ourselves, at a cost of $300 NIO's it was well worth the money and if we had bargained we probably could have got it down but neither of us wanted to bother.

While in Granada the Semana Santa holiday started (Easter), lots of parades and religious stuff going. I'm not sure what's up with the purple clan members, kinda creepy and strange. The most important part of the holiday for backpackers is it's the week were getting anywhere in Central America gets difficult as buses are full and accommodations are hard to get and pricey. The smartest thing to do is to find a place you don't mind spending 4 days in and riding out the holiday. We decided to go to the Island of Ometepe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Shar
Next time you spell god, use a capital G or you will burst into flames. Thanks for such a great blog.