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Published: March 17th 2015
The bus that took us to the pier at Lake Nicaragua.
First of all, we didn't even know about this cruise. On our first full day in Granada we were at Central Park the city's main square, and as I was trying to get some information about the hop on/hop off bus from a tourist booth in front of the Paxeos cathedral, a short dark man approached me. He spoke excellent English (the American version) and offered his services. I was a little wary of him although he had a shirt on that said 'Granada Tours.' I have encountered a lot of bogus tour guides in my travels around the world, and I thought he was one of them. He told me to follow him to his office which was just around the corner, which I did as it was during the daytime.
Anyway, when we got to his office my initial doubts subsided as it really was a genuine tour agency, and there were other employees there. The boat cruise around the islets on Lake Nicaragua looked interesting and the cost was only $20 per person including lunch, which I thought was quite cheap.
As the hop on/hop off bus to the pier was scheduled to leave
While waiting for other passengers, took a shot of the cotton candy seller.
only at noon we hung around the avenue waiting for other people to join the tour group. When there were about a dozen tourists the bus took off. Along the way we passed a long beach and I mistook it for the sea as it had big waves. Then I realized that it was Lake Nicaragua, the largest freshwater lake in Central America.
This was on Good Friday, an important religious holiday in Christian (especially in Catholic Latin America). However, most of the locals celebrating on the beachfront seemed to be having fun and frolicking with beer and booze (nothing wrong with that)! As a matter of fact, I even wanted to join them, hahaha!
When we reached the small pier we had to wait for around half an hour for the tour boat to return as there were many people taking the cruise. There is a bar and restaurant on the pier and as the weather was warm, I helped myself to a bottle of 'Tona' beer while waiting for the boat.
We had to separate into two groups as there was a mixture of Spanish and English speakers, and of course I
People walking along the beachfront.
was assigned to the last seat on the boat besides the boatman. The tour guide whose name I didn't get, stood on the bow and gave a running commentary in both Spanish and English as we cruised along the lake. As I was farthest away from her, and with the outboard motor running behind me, I couldn't hear what she said, but didn't mind it that much as I was enjoying the boat ride.
We passed by many islets, most of them uninhabited except for the larger ones which had elegant looking houses on them. I suppose they were bought by wealthy people who built these houses and used them for weekend jaunts. The boat actually went all the way around the peninsula, and made just one brief stop at Isla de Los Manos or Monkey Island where we had the chance to feed the monkeys who scrambled along the tree branches to get their snacks.
After about an hour in the water we finally moored alongside Henry's Iguana Restaurant for lunch. And man oh man, what a wait for our food! Granted, the restaurant was full but believe it or not, we had to wait
Do you love weekends too?
nearly two hours for our orders. There were about ten people at our table, and by the end of the first hour there were only three left. In fact, a Spanish speaking man who sat at the far end of the table got very angry and demanded his money back! To be fair, even with the very long wait, the meal turned out to be quite good.
To sum it all, except for the lunch flop I would say this tour was one of the highlights of our time in Granada, so if any of you are planning to visit this grand ex-colonial city I would definitely recommend it.
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