We were able to take a collectivo bus from the ferry dock to a junction about 5 kilometers from Granada. From there it was a short moto taxi ride from the junction to Granada. Our driver cracked me up. He didn't know where our hostel was, and didn't want to look at the map we were holding to find out. He insisted the central park was his destination. Whatever, the hostel was two blocks off the park. Hostel Oasis
is a great place to stay in the city. It has a small dipping pool, hammocks, clean dorms and good decor. Its bathrooms need a helping hand. Nice location though. We found that the city had many minor attractions spread throughout its colonial downtown core. Nothing exceptional happened here. We explored the city the day we arrived, and then headed out to Laguna de Apoyo for a day trip to Crater's Edge
Guesthouse / Hostel. Lake Apoyo is a volcanic crater, and its beaches are black sand beaches. The water is heated up rather nicely by geothermal, and is not cold while still being refreshing. Crater's Edge provides a day trip from Oasis for $14 incl. transport. That gave us 6.5 hours on
their beach to enjoy kayaks, hammocks, beach chairs and their facility. I ordered a smoothie for 20 Cordobas ($1). When I paid the bill, I was surprised that they had added a suggested gratuity of 22 Cordobas. I liked the smoothie, I didn't love it. Because of the pretentious suggestion, I zeroed out that portion of the bill. It is something that I find rather annoying here. In Nicaragua, it seems like every time I turn around someone is adding a suggested gratuity to the bill. Whatever happened for doing the service for the agreed upon price?
Justin and I ate two dinners at a mexican place recommended by the lonely planet guide. Decently good food, but their 2 for 1 margaritas were the highlight. Their service nose dives when you ask for the bill. Took them at least 10 minutes each time, almost as if it was a surprise to them. The 2nd night we ate early and were 1 of 2 tables. Not sure what the holdup was. There is a constant parade of venders passing by the table. Less annoying then the parade of beggars. The 2nd night we had a kid lounging on our table
that would not leave. I assisted his departure by grabbing his neck and shoving him off our table (just goes to show that working in a children's home before traveling can come in handy). I think I bruised his ego, because he had nasty things to say and hand gestures to accompany them as he departed. The sooner he learns that no is no, the less bruised his ego will be. His neck might feel better as well.
Granada is a scenic place, worth a stopover. However, it is too touristy too unrepresentative of the Nicaraguan spirit to justify a long stay. After two nights, we were off to Estili in the northern part of the country.
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