¡Hola! Today was a great day, so I figured I may as well write a quick post and share some pics. I’m posting from my phone again, so I’m not going to be too literary or detailed or anything. (Haha, yeah right…let’s see if I can actually be concise for once!)
The city is really beautiful; it is a colonial city that has been faithfully rebuilt a couple of times. It was very rich in its heyday (which also caused it to be vulnerable, and pirates sacked the city three times in the 1660s [thank you, Lonely Planet Nicaragua for that tidbit]). It’s located right on the coast of Lake Nicaragua, which is ginormous and beautiful.
We started our day at a cemetery. In Latin America (or at least in Costa Rica and Nicaragua), the cemeteries are above ground, white, and pretty. To be honest, I wasn’t quite listening to our tour guide, but I do remember him saying that it was mostly rich people buried in the cemetery. There was one wall of tombs holding poor people, and every few years, they take the bodies out, replace them with new ones, and paint over the name with new ones. I’m not sure what happens to the old bodies, though.
There was also a whole section dedicated to fallen Sandinistas who died during the Contra War. The Sandinistas were a rebel group led by Augusto C. Sandino. They resisted US involvement in Nicaragua for a very long time.
After the cemetery, we went to a cigar factory (Doña Elba Cigars). We watched the guy hand rolling cigars, which were all organic. We learned that the darker the leaf, the stronger the cigar.
From the cigar factory, we headed to an old church with a belfry that we climbed up. We saw some spectacular views of the city and Lago de Nicaragua. I couldn’t believe how big Lago de Nicaragua was; it looked more like the ocean than a lake (only minus the waves).
We spent some time walking around the main square after we went up the tower. There we were able to do some shopping (I found he bowls I had been looking for!), which was fun. There were vendors set up around the square. It was sometimes overwhelming because they were so aggressive when trying to get us to buy their stuff, but we were able to handle it. No hay falla (That’s nica for no problem).
Then we had lunch, followed by a really cool boat tour of Lago de Nicaragua. We saw Las Isletas (the little islands), of which there are over 300. Most of las Isletas had huge houses on them. They are the summer homes of lots of rich people like the family who owns a coffee plantation or the ex-president of Costa Rica. There was one isleta inhabited by a bunch of monkeys, which seemed cool until we learned that they were put there by humans. Now it just seems kinda mean. But I did enjoy talking to the son of the boat driver, who told me that Lucy (one of the monkeys) is pregnant. They all have names, but I can only remember Lucy and Michael Jackson.
After the boat tour, we headed back to La Mariposa for dinner. It was a lovely day indeed!
Side note: I actually ended up finishing this post a couple days after I started it. Since the Granada trip, there has been quite a bit of adventure on La Isla Ometepe. I will hopefully be posting about that mañana! It’s quite the story! But in the meantime, it’s time for bed. I’ve got a boat to catch por la mañana! ¡Entonces, buenas noches!
Side note #2: I tried to upload pics of the boat tour of las Isletas, but yet again WordPress is sassing me. So for now, I suppose no puedo! The only one that worked is below. C’est la vie!