We leave Leon on a Monday morning, bound for Granada. There are three of us today as we have added a new member to our loosely defined gang of two. Shannon is from Victoria, BC and has come to Nicaragua, all by herself, to take some Spanish lessons from Eli and rent a bike from Juergen (www.bike-nicaragua.com) and ride around to see the country. I’m so impressed by her courage and independence, and she’s a hoot besides, so she is good company.
Brian leads us through and around Managua and then on to Volcan Masaya and we turn off the highway and into the park to ride up to the top. We run into a couple from Canada traveling on a bike as well. The dreadlocked-blonde and her boyfriend paid $1800 for the old cruiser and left home for a warmer climate. They plan to turn around and head back fairly soon. Shannon takes a ride on a pony up to the top while I walk over to check out the Santiago Pit Crater that is spewing tons of smelly toxic gas into the atmosphere. Someone really should tell Mother Nature about the acid rain this causes.
Then back down we go to the plains of Nicaragua below. Everything is so dry here. I hope for the peoples, and moreso for the animals sakes, that rainy season comes soon. Everything is starving here, except their spirits. Maybe I’m just fresh from a night of acoustic guitar folk music in a Leon bar, but these people are passionate and strong.
And on to Granada…
With it’s large churches and lovely town square…
It’s horse-drawn carriages withy tiny, tired and thin work horses….
And some lovely colonial streets and other that are run down. Ruins of a large building on the city’s edge near Charly’s Place catch my eye. It’s lovely in a sad way.
We wander down the touristy calle toward the lake but turn back after making it only halfway. The bugs are bad tonight. So off to bed and on to Lake Nicaragua tomorrow.