Lakes, Volcanoes and cities – all in one day ! Marvelous Nicaragua !

sunny.gifWeather has been great. Around +33C (as every day) and sunny. We have moved around a bit and therefore been to areas with wind and areas without wind.

We got up around 7am and had breakfast at the Hotel before we met Don Pedro. He took us for a tour around Granada, we looked at old traditional houses and we took pictures. Oh. I will not lie. Only I took pictures. Hehe. We also got our return tickets to Costa Rica so that we knew that we would have that part of the trip ok. TicaBus had no available seats for tomorrow so we decided to go home with TransNica instead.

From what Don Pedro tells us they should be just as good as TicaBus and they will take off even half an hour earlier. That might get us through customs a bit earlier as well.

nicalake.jpgAfter touring around in Granada downtown Don Pedro took us to Lake Nicaragua where we had ordered a boat for a tour on the lake.

The 3 of us and the boat driver (that also functioned as a guide) enjoyed a great tour around the archipelago of islands that the lake is, for about an hour and a half.

We saw turtles, spider monkeys, lots and lots of bird including blue herons, white herons, and a lot of birds I have no idea what are called, beautiful houses on the islands and marvelous nature. It was the first time ever I have seen spider monkeys. They lived on a tiny island where their diet must consist mainly of mangos and cocunut, becuase there was no place for other trees on the tiny island and the monkeys are afraid of the water.

Done with the Lake we went to Esters boutique to check out the traditional embroidery that is typical for the region, before we continued to “Dulceria de la Miel” to buy cajetes made of coconut, papaya, nance, pinolillo and I dont know all the different flavours they had. I bought some for my Costa Rica family and I hope they will like them.

We headed for Masaya again and had lunch at NicaPollo, a traditional restaurant that had really good food. Delicious. We invited Don Pedro (as in payed for his meal) since he is working a full day for us for US 35$ and that includes all the driving and working as a guide. He has been an angel.

After lunch we headed for Volcan Masaya national park.
It was 70 Cordobas to get into the park and then we went uphill to the crater.

Masaya Volcano is a highly active volcano, although it does not throw lava down its hills every 20 mintues like Arenal volcano in Costa Rica, and in its crater you can see the lava boiling at night.

We could not see it during daytime today since it was spitting out smoke. That was pretty impressive though. It was a HUGE crater with clear layers from previous explosions and you can see layers of sulfur in different parts of the crater.

We went uphill and got to a mirador to check out the view. At that point we noticed that some of the smoke that came from the crater must have had some kind of strange stuff in it because we all started coughing. Hehe. No other reactions though.

I also went up to the closest crater that was about a 5 minutes walk from the other crater. That is a “sleeping” or dead crater full of vegetation.

cratersmoke.jpgAs a part of the safety instructions (that we, of course, didn’t read until we were heading downhill) there were a lot of advices to not stay at the crater area for any longer than 20 minutes a day, park the car nose downhill (in case the volcano has an erruption) and if it starts throwing rocks – hide under the cars !
Do not breathe too much of the smoke and leave if you feel dizzy or nausious.

There is even a story from the last time Masaya had an erruption throwing rocks this Gringo dude had rented a car and one of the lava rocks landed on his rented car. All the people scared to death running downhill while the gringo starts taking photos of the rock in the front of the car and he ended up taking the rock with him home to Gringoland (USA for those of you who did not know). The park rangers had gas masks with them at all time but as they said. That might help to put on so that we can get away, but not to protect us to stay up here.
On our way down we stopped at the visitors center to check out the history museum they had in the park. I even got a couple of post cards.

Next stop was the market in Masaya again. I found a couple of cool things, but I dont need to get in there ever again. All the small shops were located WAY too close to each other, way too many shops and too much of the same stuff. At 5:15pm they started packing their stuff together to close because at 6pm the fumigador car would pass. Fumigar is to smoke out all the nice mosquitos to hope they get rid of the mosquito that gives us dengue fever.

At this point we were pretty tired and wanted to go home to relax. Don Pedro left us at Hostal oasis Granada again at 7pm and we went in to relax before going out for dinner. Celia and I went to a tiny local cafe 4 houses down the street. It was great. Beans and Rice and egg ! What more could I ask for after a day like this one !
Then Celia went for a shower and I wrote this masterpiece for rememberance (and entertainment).
Have fun folks. Im off to bed.

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