Traveling by bus and
walking across borders in Central America is always "an experience" and this time was no exception.
After a slow drive to Liberia, through road construction and student protests, we left our rental
car and caught a bus to the Nicaragua border. We had been forewarned about the gauntlet of hustlers
at this crossing and the warnings were justified. " No" was a word they don,t seem to know and
they totally ignored the admonition of the officials. After a bit of frustration and a tolerable amount
of loss, we finally got on a taxi to Granada.
Granada was a very pretty colonial style town. It reminded us a
bit of Cartagena, Columbia, without the glitzy shopping. We stayed in a small boutique hotel in a restored
building. The rooms were a bit tired but the food was good and the staff could not have
been nicer. On an excellent walking/carriage ride tour of the city we learned that
Granada claims to be the longest continually inhabited city in the Americas. That is quite a feat
considering the town was burned to the ground seven times.
We saw how the very wealthy live on a panga tour of the mansions
on Lake Nicaragua. There is definitely a disparity of wealth in Nicaragua. We hired
a driver who took us to see the closest active volcano. We were warned not to stay at the crater for more
than five minutes due to the toxic gases. Oddly a certain type of bird has developed an immunity to
the gas and make their homes inside the crater. Our driver also took us to a large artisan
market and a town specializing in handmade pottery. Although we were only there few days we felt
like we got a good sense of at least this part of Nicaragua.
The road trip continues as
we brave a bus back to Costa Rica, super excited about a visit with friends from home. Back to Liberia,