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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 11.94, -85.96
TIME CHECK: 0742 Saturday 23rd January 2016. This would have been my dads 95th Birthday!
He was born in 1921 just 3 years after WW1 and from a generation who only traveled if in Armed Forces.....a real gentleman.....
We have spent the last day or so investigating for this great City which lies at the foot of another active Volcano: Mombacho! It is some 1344m high and last erupted in 1540.......me thinks we are due for another blow out.......bearing in mind it's nearby to chums Momotombo and Masayar are getting somewhat excited.
Granada is a fascinating and relaxed fusion of cultures where South America, The Caribean, and Colonial Spain combine to produce an amazing vibrant City.
Every house in Granada is painted a different vivid colour...green...purple...magenta....yellow, has it's resident street dog snoozing outside and coconut tree nearby........On the whole, animals are well cared for and look content with a ready supply of vets in each town and village.....we stroll for hours through an eclectic townscape....children play.....old people relax and the odd street vendor calls out his wares.....SUDDENLY......Cathy spots a tatty poster on a building......we can just make out the words and faded photo.......it is of a WANTED MAN....a western tourist...probably from the USA.....called
JUSTIN DOBSON....."a dangerous thief and swindler!!.......what did he do????
Nicaraguan's are fiercely house proud...washing....polishing and sweeping their little terraces and tiled front porticos at every opportunity. Every restaurant and tourist faculty is immaculate...as a consequence, we have "tucked" into salads and seafood with gusto! The "embryonic" supermarket scene run by Walmart is dominated by washing soaps and cleaning products as opposed to the decadent ready meal culture in the UK.
So far not a bad meal in sight!......tortillas.......steak...seafood....salads...ice.....and even a pizza that would not have been out of place in Rome........all have been consumed without any side effects.... as YET....however, that's what I said in Morocco in 2006 until a dodgy Pigeon Pastille laid me flat for a week......so bad....that I had to lie on the floor of the Air Morocco 737 for 20 minutes out of Marrakech until the Immodiam kicked in.....or worse still the time I went "native" on prawns in Burkino Faso after a week in the dessert......we were 300 miles from the sea!...I should have known better.....
The locals do not venture into tourist restaurants and cafes...they are busy eating street food....cooked on charcoal braziers at every corner......guzzling strange cheese and tortilla contraptions that are
sold in watery plastic bags....you bite off the corner and suck the contents out from above your head!!!!
SYDNEY FINDS A FRIEND!
You are probably familiar with the exploits of our little red travelling chum...who was rescued from a souvenir shop in Sydney in 2000...he has been a constant travelling companion for over 15 years.....Today, the tour guides were keen that he was introduced to "PEPITO" and much larger, mute and undoubtedly hardened bear who has spent several years "glued" to the windscreen of a large open top lorry that ferries tourists between the town centre and The Volcano. My first impressions of "PEPITO" was that he may be an avid "Village People" fan....due to his exposure to manly Latin American truck drivers clad in cut off shorts and tee shirts etc....however, the introduction went well and Syndey assures us that he will stay in touch with PEPITO via Facebook...we will look out for any disturbing character changes.....
Today we ventured forth from the hubbub of The Town and took a trip into the rainforest canopy....we clambered about a converted open top lorry and set off for Mt Mombacho that looms menacingly above the town. We start to climbed and
soon disappeared into cloudy jungle....we spent all morning tracking through spectacular trails and were fortunate to spy a very relaxed sloth as well as a couple of Howler monkeys....the peace and tranquility only broken by a noisily gaggle of local school children stuffing cheese nachos......
Tomorrow we take a boat across the huge lake to Ometape Island....and spend two nights in an isolated nature reserve....our rum stocks have been replenished in readiness!
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