Sunday 22nd Jan - Managua
Our taxi driver from the previous night had tried to persuade us to go to another hotel saying ours was in the middle of nowhere and everything was shut on Sundays. Surprise, surprise, he lied! There was an Avon shop of all places about 3 doors down from our hotel so Stacie was very happy to stock up on some genuine product. Some further exploring around the neighbourhood (in 32 Degrees of heat and 80% humidity - Managua is very hot!) and low and behold we stumbled upon a well stocked modern supermarket. At home you take for granted the purchase of many well known brands like Nivea, Dove, Carrs (admittedly an odd combo and I won't own up that they were for me) but not here as we were tempted to delve deep into the money sack and splash the cash. The theme continued into the evening as we took advantage of the Pizza Hut delivery service and paid the princely sum of 16 bucks for a distinctly crap pizza! The boy receptionist was a complete arse but I managed to get a laugh out of him by insisiting I wasn't American. Nicaraguans seem
to have double standards when it comes to yanks - they generally all slag them off and pretend they hate them but it's easy to see through that they all secretly desire to be one and go and live with them.
Monday 23rd Jan - Managua to Granada
We rode the express bus to Granada and were treated to an Ayrton Senna esq deluded wanabee driver who took delight in threatening the lives of nearly every motorcyclist he came across along with his passengers. He even managed to get pulled over along the way by a female traffico gendame and get a ticket for something, a 1st for me when riding a public bus but that did nothing to dampen his spirits as he returned to full throttle shortly after. If you ever get the chance to go to both Antigua and Granada, go to Granada first as for us it was a big disappointment having expected so much of the place. It claims to be the oldest colonial city in Latin America and that's probably correct judging by the amount of dust and dirt it's managed to collect! It does have some impressive colonial architecture of Moorish
Andalucian origin and is definitely quaint but the grime and bustle of the place lets it down a little. Having been so impressed by Guatemala and its people maybe our expectations of other places is a little too high now?
Tuesday 24th Jan - Granada
Granada is hot, very hot. We decided to make the most of the heat by walking round town all morning and building up a nice sweat. We made it down to Lake Nicaragua which had waves crashing like an ocean onto its shores and bumped into a nice retired American man who recommened we make a stop at Kathy's waffle house. We took heed of his advice and shortly after leaving with a nice full belly booked ourselves a volcano tour. Ishmael was our driver and tour guide to Nicaragua's first national park and active Volcano Masaya. The views were breathtaking, the craters enormous, the bat caves hideous and the sulphur gases from the lava flows, choking.
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