Quickie here because I'm typing on a Nicaraguan keyboard and it is maddening. Al and I pulled into Granada Friday and stopped at a well-known hostel called the Bearded Monkey. The place was a dump and didn't cater to the party crowd so we got a private room for $7/night each and enjoyed some privacy. We walked around town a bit and found that Nicaraguans are especially poor (and ruthless). I was swarmed every three minutes by different vendors trying to sell anything from cashews, to hammocks, to pipes. I could only shrug them off for so long before it got to me and I had to start snarling back at them to go away. The worst was the people who come up, put a hand out, and then follow you around until you put something in it. Too much for me, put my sunglasses on and started speaking angry english at anyone who came my direction.
Al and I got some food and went back to the hostel to check out the scene. We knew that our Kiwi friends Anna and Kim would be arriving that evening and they did shortly after we got back. Together we went and got dinner and then turned in early Friday night to get some much needed rest. The girls had been on a chicken bus (a retired American school bus with religious paintings all over it) since 4:00am while
Alex and I were just tired from all the biking.
The next day we got up late and had a very leisurly start. The girls wanted to move to a place outside of town called the Monkey Hut but I wasn't interested. I can only unpack and repack my luggage so many days in a row before I refuse to move. We compromised and took them out there on the bikes instead. Turns out the place was well out of town and secluded from any real Saturday night action. Granada is a touristy town so everyone was ready to live it up. The town is reminiscent of most Mexican cities with a square, a church, and all the hubub all in the same area. It is also supposed to be the oldest city in the Americas. Someone else can do that research.
Saturday night we had a real good time dancing at a nearby club and everyone had a real hard time making the 12:00pm checkout time Sunday morning. But we had a new mission: The Treehouse. The Treehouse is a 'hostel' thirty minutes towards the Pacific coast. It is a built on a hill covered in jungle and it was quite a hike to get up to the main lodge. Well worth it though, The Treehouse offered an incredible view of the Nicaraguan jungle looking out towards the ocean. There were monkeys overhead roaring all night long. The hostel had steel cord bridges and tons of little platforms all over to connect all the little spots they had built up. The place was run by absolute hippies and thier aroma was almost too hard to handle. We had a great taco salad dinner, but it was served without the ground beef because the house dog had gotten ahold of all 4.5 pounds of it and eaten the entire lot. We watched that dog puke up pounds of ground beef three different times as the night progressed. Each time she lapped it right back up off the ground. Yum!
One day in The Treehouse was enough. Between the bugs and the threat of robbery (their last incident was three weeks ago), we were ready to keep going. San Juan del Sur was the next stop; it's a little surf town right on the Pacific coast. It doesn't feel like Nicaragua. There is a heavy tourist influence here with a lot of white locals. We decided to go out to an off-beat hostel eight miles down the beach called Matilda's. Monday night at Matilda's Alex and I celebrated the 4th of July with the two Kiwis and two Irish guys. There were quite a few empty forties on the table at the end of the night. That's ok though because today we didn't do much at all.
During the afternoon Kim rented a surf board and took a lesson. She came back so excited afterward that I decided to give it a shot and went out in the surf to share the board with Anna. Anna had some experience and it showed; I never really got up. Give me some wind. That's it in a nutshell. Tomorrow we're going to an island in the middle of Lago de Nicaragua and after that the girls fly off to the Corn Islands for a week. Hopeuflly we can catch up again down the road. Back to paradise!