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Published: October 10th 2011
Amy at the market.
The past few days we have spent in Granada Nicaragua and the surrounding area. Granada is probably most similar to Antigua in that it is a popular colonial town with ex-pats and a very large and ethnically diverse group of restaurants to choose from. However, it seems to be cheaper than Antigua. Granada is located on Lake Nicaragua, which as I understand has the only fresh water sharks in the world. During our time at Granada we stayed in Hostel Oasis, a nice place to set-up camp.
Saturday we took a trip to Catarina, a small village in the hills above Granada. The ride to Catarina was pretty interesting for two reasons. First, we were on a "chicken bus" which was standing only for most of the trip - so far we have found a seat on most the chicken buses. Second, while riding we came across a few cows on the side of the road, but one decided to jet out in front of the bus and we were about one second from hitting the cow at about 25mph. Animals on the side of the road is nothing new in Central America...it is just that they are usually very
Both of us on a bridge between canopy zip line platforms.
good about not causing issues with cars - almost like they know to look both ways before crossing. In fact, I watched a dog cross the road yesterday and he looked for cars before crossing (hard to believe, but true). Catarina looks over Laguna de Apoyo (Apoyo Lagoon), Granada, and Lake Nicaragua and the views are stunning. I would say the views in Catarina are the closest rival to the pure beauty of Lake Atitlan - but Lake Atitlan still holds on to first place so far. While at Catarina we bought a bag of Lichas - a small beautiful fruit that we have seen throughout our travels. To eat them you split open the outer covering and eat the center translucent fruit inside, however there is also a pit that you must chew around. They have a unique delicious flavor - worth a try if you ever see them at the supermarket or on the streets. Given that you peel the outer part of the fruit we figured we were OK to eat them.
In the city of Granada there have been a few highlights. The Garden Cafe had a wonderful selection of sandwiches and veggies all of
Really good fruit....also known as Rambutan
which are cleaned properly so we could eat them without worrying about getting sick. We shared a vegetable sandwich, which had no shortage of veggies, and was probably a necessary vitamin boost for our bodies. Also at the Garden Cafe, they had a wonderful quote by Lance Morrow who stated, "People travel because it teaches them things they could learn no other way." I thought it was quite appropriate for what we are doing. The EuroCafe has a good selection of Panini's and was also very enjoyable. We ate at El Tercer Ojo (The Third Eye) and had some great Sangria, bread with fresh tomatoes, and curried vegetables. We spent some time in the market in Granada, which was close to the same size as the market in Antigua. It is always fun to get into the center of the market where the locals shop - there is always something interesting to see. Granada's market seemed to have more meat hanging and on display than the other markets we have been to, but there was no shortage of fruits or vegetables.
We went on a canopy tour (ziplining) with Leo Tours. The experience was well worth it and we
Center of the fruit that you eat, it has a pit though.
enjoyed our time in the canopy. Overall we did 13 lines. We were able to latch onto the the lines upside down and hanging with our stomachs towards the ground and stretched out like Superman. I've attached some videos to the blog - I hope it works.
Our next stop is Isla Ometepe, two connected volcanic islands in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. We are taking a four hour ferry from Granada and will be there Monday evening if all goes well.
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