Granada, Nicaragua

Published: August 15th 2009
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Day 8: August 1, 2009
Honduras - Nicaragua Border

We left Playa Cuco around 5am and entered into Honduras for a quick 2 hour drive. You have to pass through Honduras to get to Nicaragua, as it stretches from the Caribbean to the Pacific. Due to the political problems we had been avoiding Honduras. A few months back the Honduran army performed a coup on the government. This was supported by the judiciary and the business community. The Honduran president Zelaya was put on a plane in the middle of the night and flown to Costa Rica. Many Hondurans feared that Zelaya was taking Honduras down an "anti-American" path following Chavez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia after trying to change the constitution to allow for another term in office. Anyhow, this is a very complicated situation, but in the short, Zelaya is in Nicaragua trying to get across the border into Honduras. Every time he tries the Honduran army is there to stop him. This makes it difficult to cross the border into Nicaragua.

After passing through at least 5 military checkpoints on the short drive through Honduras we arrived at the border.
We chose the crossing where Zelaya was not camped out hoping to get through. We arrived at the border at 9am and were told that it would not be opening any time soon - the earliest would be 6pm. Our driver was told to get in line behind hundreds of trucks. Then our driver said "eff this" and passed all the trucks making a run for the front of the line. We almost got there before the military came yelling at our driver. They took his license and were furious. Eventually after a bribe we were allowed to stay near the front of the line and he got his license back.
Luckily the border opened at noon and after 6 hours of waiting we got through. Checking the news later that night I heard the border closed again, but this time for a few days!

After passing around the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, we arrive late in the evening to Granada.

Day 9: Granada, Nicaragua
We found an AWESOME breakfast place... Kathy's! It is owned by an ex-pat from Cleveland. It has the best food on the entire trip... waffles, pancakes, good bacon!!!!! We ate all 3 breakfasts in Granada here!! We also got the chance to drop off some laundry.
After breakfast we explored the town a bit. Very similar to Antigua as it is colourful and active. Later we hopped on a bus to the town of Masaya and checked out a market. After that we went to to the top of Volcan Masaya - it is still active. At the top you can see the smoke coming out of the crater. After dark we saw the lava moving about inside of it. We had to wear gas masks during the night as it is toxic to breathe. Down the side of the volcano we explored a bat cave.

Day 10: Granada, Nicaragua
Kathy's for breakfast again... mmm....
After breakfast we went on a kayak trip through Lago Nicaragua, the largest fresh water lake in Central America. It is also home to the worlds only species of Fresh Water Shark... not that I saw any. The kayaks were primitive to say the least. No seat lead to a massive bruise on my back! The water was so choppy, within minutes our kayaks were filled with water and capsized!!! Eventually we got behind some islands and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon of kayaking. Oh, and our so called "guide" Wendy needed to be pulled the entire time as she "didnt know how to paddle". Some guide!
Later I explored the city down random streets and grabbed a beer.
Next its off the the island of Ometepe!

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