Tag Archives: Granada

Leon to Granada, Saturday, 24 November 2012, Day 144

Lots of Volcanos in Nicaragua and fields this colour brown loving it !

There’s were of couple of things I forgot about last week they being;

  • I copied a load of Kindle books of a chap Scottish Gary (Cheers mate) so I have plenty of reading material for the coming decades problem is some of them I can open and read no problem but there are others that I am guessing are kosher so are brought with some kind of key through legitimate channels so any of my computer geek/nerdy friends or anyone out there have any tricks to fool Kindle into thinking that I should be able to read these books for nothing please send me a PM as I am not sure it’s the type of thing I wish to encourage others to do or for the younger viewers of this site 🙂
  • I also masqueraded as an English Teacher this week there was this elderly Dutch lady who was wanting to learn Spanish but her difficulty was that her English was not that good and most of the teachers here are reasonable in English but not so good at Dutch so she was trying to see if she could improve her English. Well lets just say her English was as good as my Spanish currently is so the hour we did probably did not help that much but it was fun being the teacher for a change rather than the student. I know lots of you are thinking this bloke’s English is crap and you would be correct with that statement but I am getting into languages and I am even considering doing a TEFAL course maybe on this trip and doing a bit of teaching work whilst whizzing around on me bike as I checked this out and they do some serious work on your grammar which I never recall actually learning while at school so it could be a useful course for me to do.

So back to today I set the alarm clock for 6.30am keeping in the rhythm I had built up whilst going to School and the idea was that it should be cooler at that time of the day making the planned ride to Granada easier.

I got the bike out through the restaurant and bar this time no cheering crowd as it was early and no one was up and the first port of call the beach for breakfast.

So was it cooler you all ask nope was it bollocks 26 degrees and it slowly got hotter as the day went on. The beach was about 15km away from Leon I am not sure what I was expecting but I was a bit disappointed when I found the road did follow the coast and you could not see the sea as there where houses between the road and the beach blocking the view. So eventually I just drove into a Hotel/restaurant and it turned out to be a great little breakfast spot overlooking the Pacific just what I was looking for. Downside was the American owner a chatty know it all been there done it all type of chap was offering me info even though none had been requested I manage to loose him and positioned myself in the shade looking out at the waves when I was joined by a local fisherman called Roger so another inane conversation that I rather not had have all I wanted was to enjoy the beautiful setting with a my cup of coffee and my pancakes which I finally got and Roger realised that I was not much company at that point and buggered of leaving me alone which was great as I had been looking forward to this for a while after a week living in Dormitories I needed a bit of Philly time.

Suitable attire for the beach me thinks! Maybe not

After breakfast and a very short walk on the beach as it was getting hotter I had a further drive around this coastal village and then headed back into Leon. I got lost in Leon even though I had lived there for a week but I asked a friendly copper who pointed me in the direction of Managua. It was nice as long as you did not stop for long and there was a cool breeze but the temperature was 30 degrees plus and as we all know this chap is not designed for this kind of heat. Tootling down the road when I see a sign for Viejo Leon and Momotombo volcano so as I have not got far to go today I decide to go and explore. Nice little road through nice countryside with the Volcano in the distance getting closure all the time. Eventually I ran out of proper road as it turns to deep volcanic ash dust so another substance to add to the ever growing list of road surfaces that Philly cannot ride on so stopped here by a lake overlooking the volcano took a few pictures and then back the same way I came before I cooked. Keep on moving is the trick in this heat.

Momotombo Volcano

Later passed another sign for the Masaya Volcano and I remember reading that this was a national park and you could drive to the top to the crater so a quick U –turn nice chat with the lady at the gate in Spanish on what I could and could not do in the national park and of course I understood it all honest injun 🙂

I spent an hour or so first at the visitor center than at the crater itself there was a nice cool breeze that took the edge of the heat but it was still bloody hot.

Crater at Masaya Volcano

I finally hit the road and hit Granada at about 4pm ish with all my little detours this had turned into quite a long ride but most enjoyable in spite of the heat.

It took me a while finding somewhere to stay but I find a quite little hostel 10 minutes walk from the central square which has a garage for my bikes dorm rooms 2 to a dorm and I am the only person in mine and its cheap as chips and the Wi-Fi is reasonably fast as well.

 

So after a quick lie down I headed into town for my tea I had been told that Granada was quite touristy and was hoping that there would be a McDonalds and or Burger King type of place as that is what I have a craving for but nope no luck I did find a Tiptop the Nicaraguan KFC so that will have to do instead. A Bit of a walk and then back to the Hostel getting this up to date. I had a bit of an issue logging into WordPress as it kept asking me for my user name instead of my e-mail address and was I locked out for a while as I for the life me could not remember it so I was nearly banned from me own blog. After a bit of research I found out my user name is the same as your E-mail so that is why I had not written it down as I thought that is going to be easy to remember well I guess not.

Going to spend another day in Granada as it Sunday tomorrow so a kip in and a lazy day is called for.

Granada, Sunday, 25 November 2012, Day 145

Busy Market in Granada

A bit of a sleep in then I hit the showers bugger no water easily resolved just a question of getting the pump switched on downstairs. Tried a Skype call home but continually getting an engaged signal so gave up and headed in to town to find somewhere for my breakfast. Simple exercise one would think but as I fancied pancakes and honey as I had seen them advertised on the central plaza I thought it was a no brainer but they did not have any I finally found a nice little place that did have pancakes on the way to the market so I had a nice relaxing breakfast there.

Cool little cafe for breakfast

Spent the rest of the day just wondering around the town people watching and taking loads of crap pictures.

Base Ball a national passion for old and young in Nicaragua

I spent some time watching the local play baseball there national sport and I eventually went back to the hostel where I sat on the balcony reading my Kindle and watching the world go by. I headed back into town again for dinner  and I found a Chinese restaurant down a side street and had the special fried rice with prawns and chicken I am hoping that the prawns do not come back and haunt me and then to the Eskimo ice cream shop for desert and I wander for some more before heading back to the hostel for more blog writing. So a bit of a rest day.

Yesterday I was stopped by the police and the first thing he said to me was that I had done an infraction which even with my bad Spanish I understood infraction seemingly I had been in the turn right lane and had gone straight on at a roundabout which was in fact correct but in my defence it was not well marked and I only saw this when it was to late so I plead my innocence and I am let of with a warning so maybe my Spanish is not so bad after all.

I was walking along the lake when this bloke starts taking photographs of me which is weird even weirder was when he asked whether his wife/girlfriend could take a picture with both of us on it which of course being the tart that I am I obliged so she took pictures of me and my new best mate! And then they jumped onto a horse and carriage and disappeared. I wonder who he thinks I was I had my yellow Valentino Rossi t shirt and I look like a smelly hippy but I guess he thought I was some celebrity or it was just plain weird. This used to happen to me all the time in China but it’s the first time this happened on this trip well weird me thinks

Granada to Balgue, Monday, 26 November 2012, Day 146

Loads of Volcanoes Vistas and I have no idea what the furry plant is answers on a postcard please

Back on the road again yet another short day I had planned to go to the Isle de Ometepe. My distances I am traveling these days are very short and this is for a couple of reasons. The heat, that there is a lot I want to see in Nicaragua and that I have heard that Costa Rica and Panama are expensive so I would rather spend more time here and then do a quick spurt through the other countries to catch my boat. I am in a sort of in a holding pattern keen on getting to South America and getting some serious miles under my belt but totally dependant on the boat so it looks like a few more short riding days for me for the next couple of weeks.

Nice run to San Jorge again pretty scenery cattle country and loads of volcanoes vistas. I pulled into the harbour usual chaos I had no idea how much the ferry was and what time it went but somehow managed to get on the next one which was leaving and it did not cost to much. Pretty rough considering this is a lake the wind was very strong whipping up the water so hard slog into the wind so made sure the bike was tied down securely. I nearly dropped the bike doing a U turn on the ferry the deck as it is sheet metal which has no grip but I  just managed to stay upright.

Ferry to Isla de Ometepe

First thing I did when hit the dry land was breakfast and then a lovely ride to Merida well that was the original plan.

Hit Rush hour leaving the habour

  

I got stopped by the cops who asked for all my papers and when I told them they where buried in my luggage they where then not to interested in seeing them but I had to pay 30 Cordoba’s (1 EUR) toll for the use of the road or a contribution as it is called here. The cop and the man with the clipboard pleasant enough so I coughed up and got a receipt but I am guessing I will be stopped again on my way back. I was heading to town called Merida and I had heard that for the last 10 km it was a dirt track but I was going to give it a crack anyways. So turned of onto the road and it was paved for a short while then it turned to crap. Huge boulders and no real track to follow so after 5 minutes I decide f**k this for a game of soldiers I managed to get the bike turned round and head back to the paved road into Balgue. The road was just too difficult for me and I had other options so I did not have to prove anything to anyone by continuing down that road. In Balgue I met some folks on the road and asked them about accommodation in the area and they pointed me to a coffee plantation about 1.5km up the hill. This was also dirt track but considerably more manageable than the road to Merida. So that is how I ended up Finca Magdalena a gorgeous run down old coffee plantation set in the side of one of the Ometepe volcanos with views over the bay to the other volcano.

Finca Magdalena Gorgeous old coffee plantation home for the next couple of nights

Lovely I have a little box with a bed in it and the views that are terrific so I presume the position chatting to the other inmates and watching the sun go down. Chicken soup for dinner and a reasonably early night as this is an early to bed early to rise type of place. I am glad that I was not able to do the road to Merida as it got me to this great little location