Monday, December 3, 2007


This is Patio Del Malinche, our hotel in Granada. The hotel pleasant is enough, currently populated by German guests. It has good showers and air conditioning, and a small pool. The breakfast is full of many different fruits. Lydia, the manager has been quite helpful in arranging tours, and helping us navigate around the city. She also selected two restaurants that were described in the Lonely Planet as "the best in the city". I have, however, had to start on cipro -- due to Montezuma's revenge.

This is a photo of the waiters at the Mona Lisa Cafe (pizza & pasta). Note the "after" (a week in the USA) image of Mona Lisa with blonde hair and a boob job!

With the dollar I gave this gentleman for his photo he promptly left his stand of nachos and sauces and got a dinner for himself on a palm leaf : beans, rice, fried bananas for less than half of the dollar.
Horses are everywhere in Nicaragua, although most of them are very small and skinny and often have open sores where their harness fits. They are used for carriages to take the tourists around the city, but also used to haul carts, more often than trucks.
Thusfar we are underwhelmed by Nicaragua. The people are very poor, and the infrastucture is lacking -- for example even main roads are full of potholes. They say they haven't discovered tourism, but the cost of tourist activities is relatively high -- higher than Guatemala. We originally signed up for a horseback tour, but declined when it turned out to be $100. For half that price we went to the mouth of the Masaya Volcano, which was steaming sulfur fumes. The driver then took us to the Masala Market, which was specifically for tourists followed by a lunch in an area specifically for tourists.

The town square has loud masses at the Granada Cathedral, with amplified services and lots of people and singing. Last night we gave up waiting for the parade of the "blessed virgin", a festival that started at an indeterminate time. The square was full of young people (we see very few people over 40 years old). They were cruising, and preening for each other. After waiting for the parade for three hours we gave up and went back to the hotel.

The next morning I got up early and went to the local market as they were setting up. It wasn't a colorful market, and I didn't stay long. Tomorrow we leave Granada with a driver and a guide, headed for the mountain country, hopefully for a better impression of the country.

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