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Published: March 18th 2012
Continuamos nuestra viaje...
We headed to Granada to meet up with our travel buddies, Pat and Rob, from Vancouver Island. Granada has a lot of colonial buildings from the time of the Spanish conquest, many of which have been restored as the earthquakes in these parts tend to level cities from time to time. It is a very pretty place with a lot going on from street performers and musicians to beautiful buildings and architecture.
There was a boy who kept bugging us at our table one night, to eat the food from our plates. The story out there is that many kids will hit the tourists with stories of not having money, in order to eat westernized food. We were warned not to comply with their begging as western food is not really very good for them. They are supposed to eat their traditional food, and there are centres for the kids that dish out food. And more importanly - it encourages more begging... and encourages more tourists to be preyed upon. (We are all about setting that habit straight, whenever we can).
The markets of Masaya were extensive and a local affair. We always enjoy the
chaos, sounds and action that they provide. The markets always have a smell too. Rotten meat, fermenting vegetables, cat and dog, flowers, sweat, cigarette smoke, melting plastic, burning tyres, garbage, poo, pee, exhaust, fruit, coffee, perfumes... These smells have a magic to them that is difficult to explain. When combined they are neither pleasant nor unpleasant, bearable nor unbearable - they are just there - lingering constantly. The noises as well - music from dozens of CDs all at once, different TV channels, generators, engines, shouting, screaming, arguments, dogs barking - all of this commotion is the feng shui of market life... And sketchy characters - Theresa saw a boy attempting to reach into Dave´s pocket and the words just came out of her mouth - ¨don't you even dare!!¨ as she shook her finger at him. Again, setting straight the beliefs that gringos are targets... not with US around, you don´t!! This was all part of the amazing experience of being in a local market with the challenges, chaos and over-stimulated senses... it´s all good!
In Volcan Masaya National Park we hiked through some lava tunnels to see the many bats that lived inside, including some rather large
vampire bats too. Our guide even found us a snake in one of the trees near the cave entrance. We climbed to a couple of the volcano´s summits in the gusting wind and enjoyed the amazing views from the crater rim. A little after sunset, we summitted the peak on the far side to look into the crater in hopes of seeing glowing lava... However, after little more than thirty seconds, we were overwhelmed by the powerful noxious, sulphurous gases that were hissing from the mighty cone, we were choking and spitting with teary eyes. All around us was a stark, moonlike environment - hostile and lifeless... Above us were a billion twinkling stars. Volcan Masaya was worth the tour, that is for darn sure.
Stay tuned for our next chapter on our continuing mission to explore more amazing things of Central America.
Hasta luego.. D y T
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