miércoles, 21 de julio de 2010

The Four Day Trip

Since Julia and I seem to have a restless soul, we decided to take a vacation from a vacation. Hence, the idea of renting a car for fourdays came about---and to save money, we invited a friend, Nigel, from Australia. Here's our new family (everyone looks great except me).






Granada





Well, for some odd reasons, nothing ever happens smoothly in Nica. There always seem to be a need for a bump of one kind or another before arriving to the planned destination. Even though I didbring a pair of extra contact lenses, bringing a second pair is---still not enough. Not with all the salt from the ocean, and hot humid weather---thosetwo things crumble those little circularthings up! I had a pair of very ugly, old glasses! Good heavens, I wasnot going to wear those things for the rest of the trip! Off to Rivas,a small city on the way to Granada to buy "cooler" looking glasses.

Then we headed on to Granada to visit friends that we met in Tamarindo, CR. Anyhow, the problem with traveling is that there often to seems to be a lack of appropriate words to describe these places. Granada is a very beautiful old, colonial town with a lot of color. Ther
e's a beautiful central park in the middle of the town--where you can eat a meal, buy souvenirs and the like. Unfortunately, there were also a lot of children asking for food. We were told not to give out food and it was explained that once you start handing out things (food including), you will suddenly be surrounded by more children. A pretty hard thing for two teachers to do--not share food.














We did visit one church---we were warmly welcomed and encouraged to visit the top of the church with a small donation. I'm still hitting myself on the head for not bringing the camera with me at this time...we walked up narrow stepsto the top where there were big, open circular windows where you could see a beautiful view of the city. Stunning! And to add more character to the view, it was raining!

There is a market that seems to be endless. It continues on and on and on. It was hard to stay with the group because there are so many things too look at while trying to keep one eye on your friend. Once you lose your friends, chances are slim that you'd have a heck of a hard time finding them. Thank heavens, Elyza wanted to stay at the apartment with her friend in the pool instead of coming with us. I would have had to tie a rope on her to not lose her.


The next day we all drove to Laguna de Apoyo. It's a crater filled with water. Extremely beautiful---very humid, very green, verybad road. The lake is so fresh, clean and surprisingly warm. We stayed in a hostel that was pretty much in the middle of nowhere...and one of the rules of this hostel was: Children under the age of 14 must be with one sober adult! Hmmmm....that's quite a rule! Here's a photo of Julia taking Elyza for an early morning boat ride.
























Masaya
This was supposed to be the "art town" where amazing artworks. It was more like a city with a lot of people, cars and loud music. The art center was hard to find...it's an interesting open air market (we also didn't know that the market would be in a "castle-like" building without a roof) butwith same artwork after artwork. A bit disappointing. And, the frog thing, is that art?

















We went to see Volcan de Masaya---wow! The sulfur is quite strong---almost intoxicating. But, there are no words to describe how amazing it is to be so close to a live volcano. There are deep craters, and thick smoke coming out of it.



Leon
I wish we had a chance to stay in this city longer. This is the most historical part
of Nicaragua---this is where the civil war between the Sandinistas and Somozas took place. You can see bullet holes in the walls---however, it's also the most intellectual city where the University is located. There a lotof amazing murals on the wall (political, of course). It's also the home of the famous poet: Ruben Dario.
Take a close look to see who the figure is crushing....

Poor communication is not uncommon in Nicaragua---the people at Alamo car rental neglected to tell us that we didn't have to return the car until the very next day. We were under the impression that the car was to be returned by 5PM...so we spent only a few hours in Leon and drove back as quickly as we could for 5 hours...and the woman looks at us frazzled travelers like we were crazy for returning the car so early---god dang it---it didn't need to be returned until the next day!

It's the journey--not the destination right?

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