Gillian Baty


Gillian Baty

Granada - truly the colonial gem of Nica. Our hotel (Casa San Francisco) was a retreat with everything we needed close at hand. We went searching the first night for a nice restaurant, came up with good food, but found out our last night in Granada that we didn't need to go further than outside our hotel door. The restaurant at CSF was some of the best food we had in Nica. The resident chocoyo, "Sweetie", was just that, but mostly with the boys. Charlie, on the other hand, must have gotten the boy's name because she's sweet on the ladies. They are both pretty social and seem to enjoy the confusion when they talk from the trees. The view from the bell tower is pretty stunning, especially if you plan for the late afternoon sun. ... read more
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Bonnie: The travel gremlins were at work (or perhaps play) today. We arose at the uncivil hour of 4:00am and walked down the dusty, rocky road in the barest of light listening to the fauna waking up, especially the rooster brigade (don't know why they need so many -don't they say it just takes one...). All was well until we inadvertently got off the bus at the wrong ferry, and two more buses and several hours later we made it to the ferry and thence to Granada, where we treated ourselves to a nice hotel. After. Reading Paul Coehlo's The Alchemist all day, it was just more fuel for speculating about signs and fate.... read more
leaving ometepe
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nicaraguan banksy

Today the hike was off to a roaring start but probably not my (Gillian's) most shining moment in choice of family activity. We ascended into the cloud that may have something to do with the amount of moisture that perpetually greases the trail to the laguna. It got wetter and wetter, until everyone in our group gave up chance of keeping anything dry or clean. David, the nice German guy with us worried that he would have to replace his sister's bag that she had lent him for the hike, Niels just stopped worrying about his entire lower extremities and charged through the middle of every slick as snot mud wallow, mom laughed when I said I thought the whole thing was pretty apropos considering this trip was with craig's frequent flyer miles, and I was ... read more
sunset from taxi
edelma - our lady driver
just a taste of mud

My love affair with nica hit reality. I was beginning to think I would never travel without Ganesh again (thanks d!) because all obstacles indeed seemed non-existent. But then we left northern nica for more southern climes. I can only guess that's where the problems began. Or maybe they began with me getting pick-pocketed at the bus station (you'd think I would have learned by now), then an unfortunate choice of bus stations (yup, that would be the one across town you wanted). But the ferry ride uneventful and a very nice lady driver (first I've met in central america but it was the island) with a beat up little pickup with an awesome sunset view but usual third world comfort. ... read more

Gillian - with this country, this amazing place in the mountains of Nica. Richard doesn't know it yet but I owe him a cigar for pointing us in this direction and talking his mom-in-law into taking us under her wing. just have to say that the last night in leon, we had a really wonderful meal at mediterraneo. the indoor/outdoor dining was loverly, the lobster pasta a steal, and the veggie lasagna worth taking to go. after a short stumble, some nice guy pointed us through the market stalls to the hidden bus station and the bus to matagalpa was fairly painless. another little stumble in matagalpa where i discovered I didn't have all the nice info that richard had sent - it was buried in my email which was not accessible until the electricity came ... read more
waiting for the monos
more monos

Bonnie - We have been visiting Selva Negra for two days, outside of Matagalpa. This place is a preserve run with extremely up-to-date sustainable practices. it's an organic coffee plantation with workers who live here and earn the going rate but with free housing, 3 meals a day, medical care, school, etc. on top of that. The leftovers from the coffee shelling and husking process is composted with red worms, and used on the plantation. There are accommodations for 230 people at various costs, the restaurant serves organic food grown here on site. Lights are all CF's, etc. Outside our door is a lagoon with birds, including rather rambunctious geese. Howler monkeys sound like a pack of alligators. There are hiking trails and the forest is old growth (significant because much of the area around Matagalpa ... read more
g´s artsy side
selva negra chapel
our little bungalow

We´re not working hard - an entirely civilized morning which was key for me - still working on a little bit of a sleep deficit from the last night shift. But then we braved the chicken bus out to the beach. As mom said, "well worth the 50 cents" - that´s what it cost us to get out there. and no chickens to boot. but maybe a little crowded. okay, maybe a lot. but dave will appreciate that it was less than hour of standing hip to butt with your neighbor, rather than a several hour bus ride. once we rounded the windy bend and braved the burnt feet on the hot sand, the reward was a great stretch of pacific beach to walk as far as we could stand. a stop off at a nice ... read more
Photo 3
cervezas frias y camarones a la plancha
even the local perros enjoy the beach

another long day - started in Atlanta, spent the flight to nica trying to figure out a gameplan on disembarkation. travel karma intact - found a great hole-in-the-wall thai restaurant across the street from our best western in atlanta (thank you dad, i'll explain later), then a seamless flight to nica, picked up without a hitch from the airport, nice drive to leon and immediately found a very decent room in a nice hostel. once in leon, we dropped bags, got our bearings and headed off across town turned 90 degrees around because we haven´t figured out how to look at our map right side up (we are looking at it sideways). dumb luck ended us up at the very museum I had so wanted to see in leon and it was well worth the 50 ... read more
taking care of the wild life

North America » United States » New Mexico » Albuquerque March 15th 2011

Trying on this blog thing for size and thinking about packing - working a night shift tonight and leaving tomorrow. Maybe it's time. ... read more

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