Granada, by Norm
11.02.2015 - 17.02.2015 40 °C
As we sweated through our earlier travels in Guatemala and Honduras, locals repeatedly told us that Granada, Nicaragua was HOT. Escaping the Canadian winter, everywhere seemed relatively hot to us so we shrugged off the comments but weren't really ready for the extreme heat we met when we reached Granada.
Granada is a beautiful colonial city at the north end of Lago Nicaragua. We saw some of its most picturesque sites as we took a horse drawn carriage ride one morning with a guide that pointed out every hotel, finished each sentence with "this is Granada" and repeated the founding date of the city for any important date in history: 1524 for anyone interested. Apparently, the cathedral was built and burned down three times over in 1524. Captain Henry Morgan of pirate (and rum!) fame sacked the city in 1524. American William Walker and his mercenaries took control of Granada and the country and declared himself president in 1524. We may need to double check the accuracy of the carriage driver's claims. Maybe the heat was getting to him.
The casa we rented for the week had a beautiful balcony view out to the Mombacho Volcano and the cathedral on Central Park. We strolled the city streets each morning before the heat forced us inside by 10am to relax in the shade or in the saltwater pool. After a couple of weeks on the move and in transit, including a two day bus journey to reach Granada, the respite was welcomed.
As I cycled alone along the lakeshore one morning my backpack was snatched by two motorbike bandits. The bag held an iPad and our beloved point-and-shoot Canon camera so the photos on the blog for the next few weeks will be from the goPro and the spare iPad. It was quite disappointing but not wholly unexpected given the poverty we witnessed here. And although I am a firm supporter of some global wealth re-distribution I really prefer to do it on my own terms!
In a not completely unrelated turn of events, we sampled the local Flor de Caña rum, frequently regarded by experts as the best rum in the world. And, for the first time since our travels began, we discovered that fresh mint was easily available (8 cents Canadian for a bunch!). That could not have come at a better time! Maybe it was the heat or the poolside setting, but those mojitos were the best we have ever had! Cheers!