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Thursday, 23 February 2012

Granada, Nicaragua

So today I took a bike (its about $6 for half a day) and cycled round this (surprisingly small) city. I went around all the lovely old buildings and down to the lake. Lake Nicaragua is pretty massive and i'm surprised there isn't more use of the place as its a pretty nice backdrop to the city (together with one active volcano) and fortunately it's not filthy from pollution, like the lake at Managua (im sure the citys sewage goes in there somewhere mind you, its just that its a bigger lake!)
Yep, you guessed it -it's another messed up Church

Kinda what everyone sees on the brochures....(except for the levitating bike on the right)

I sat here for a while and considered writing a melancholy poem about the windswept lake and so on and so on but then a beggar came up to me and I kind of lost my mojo about it

Im sure these shanty town dwellers are happy that the governemnent spent the money on a statue of some General or other rather than a proper sanitation system

Down at the bottom of the main drag, you take the right along the promenade, and get to the 'centro turisco' or something like that. Like most things here, there isn't anything actually for tourists here. Its a row of restaurants and bars set in a nice lakeside park, where they in theory charge you $5 for entry (although i just cycled straight through, waving at the locals.) I cycled right along to the end, and thankfully didn't see a single white face. I had lunch in a restaurant called El Ranchero and where a boatman offered to take me round the archipeligo. He wanted to charge me $15 for an hour which included an island full of monkeys. I got him to $10 and so he took me a '45mins' trip which basically was 20mins with no monkeys. Was pleasant enough though and i got a bit of the sun today.

Where horses go when they die

Fiesta de Pederast 

I really liked this tree. Probably my favourite spot, just outside Granada (notice no white people or beggars)

The fruit pickers, here in the 14th century

Organic Food

The start of the jungle !

10mins later i was eating him


Anyway for recommendations - I'll add to this page later, but i'm staying at a well located little hotel called Hospedaje Cocibolca (not to be confused with the hotel of the same name) the rooms were clean but nothing special but it has its own kitchen you can use and w-ifi and is has nice rocking chairs downstairs for some peaceful writing when your not being noise polluted to death by Harley riding men with tiny penises. As for food, well on the main drag the food is much the same, unless you fancy something special then jump into the Dario Hotel which is the only remotely classy joint on the main street (which by the way is the street leading East down the hill towards the lake from Parque Central.)
For Brekky I went to The Garden Cafe this morning to avoid the noise - a little oasis, and of course like anything that is good here in Nicaragua sadly, foreign owned. I actually cycled round sweating like a pig and thirsty as hell trying to find a place to get a drink that didn't have any whiteys in it. But failed and ended up buying a fanta in some random local butcher shop which smelled awful.


Granada without Gringos or street kids or pointless noise

Flora and Fauna...finally....

No crappy chichichi music here...

or here....

When my beard grows longer I will move here...

And make it like this. all solar panels and fridges and stuff...


So im not finished yet with Granada. Tomorrow I'll check the market which looks quite tedious, (unless fake Abercrombie t-shirts are what i'm after) check some ruined but beautiful old building i saw on the way in (where are those NGO's when you need them?), try to find a cafe or restaurant with no white people, and play poker with some locals. I did the same in Leon in the sketchy poker club, so it will be interesting to see what its like here. I don't trust the locals here though, they've been too exposed to the gringo. White man has basically ruined this lovely city (he says as a gum chewing american walks in, drawling like a true trailer-parker)  I'm sad to say. But at least there is edible food and paved roads. Gringo is treated like a walking ATM here, just like Tallinn back in the day. A veritable festival of choices dear friend but a pandoras box nevertheless.

This is the Nicaragua I want to see more of 

Lunchtime, Nica style

The view towards town, from the Malecon. Nice and peaceful I must add

It is a great place for inspiration if you happen to be writing a post-apocolyptal novel

This is what regular Granada looks like.

Backstreets

I can just imagine some tinpot dictator strutting about here once

Highlights of the day?  Well apart from sitting down under a very attractive tree at the waters edge, with neither a white person or awful chichichi nicaraguan music (whatever it is but its involves guys with moustaches and sombreros i'm sure) anywhere to be seen not heard. Or right now, where bizzarelly the bar across the road has started playing AC/DC's highway to hell....I haven't heard that song since...the hell of the desert Marathon Des Sables where they played it every morning at the starting line ...so now for a well deserved $1 beer....

Someone just renovate these please 

Nicaraguan Funeral

Ok this is the last church for a while...

Spot the gringo! Mercado area

Thats it. Im going to pay lonely planet to tell people not to come to Nicaragua, that its dangerous and they hate Americans and North Europeans. So i can get the place to myself, finally.....


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