As a seasoned traveler, my bravado has apparently gotten out of hand and I arrived in Granada rather unprepared when it came to actually getting to where I needed to be. Of course I don’t know any Spanish, but I had the address on my phone and showed it to the taxi driver. We headed towards Granada (which is like a 45 minute drive), speeding around in his deathtrap with a dysfunctional seat belt.
I checked my phone a couple more times on the ride to make sure I had the address up, but one time when I put the phone away it must have deleted the message. Without service/Internet, Google removed the message from my inbox, but it didn’t reload in my Recycling Bin. So I lost the e-mail and searched frantically for it for several minutes. I ended up remembering I wrote down some directions for the customs agent, so I pulled out that paper to get us close. It didn’t get us there though, and the driver needed to enlist some help to finally get us there.
When I DID get there, I rang the bell and a guy came to the door, who once again did not speak English. Which is fine – gave him my name of the reservation, but he seemed confused and said they were full. We had a broken discussion for a few minutes, with the Taxi driver hanging around to help me (he was really nice, maybe because I gave him a couple extra bucks for the trouble), and finally the guy allowed me to come inside and sleep in a hammock. Whoo.
Turns out 1) they were not full and 2) my reservation was on his sheet, he was just an idiot. The lady who spoke English came in the morning and gave me the room for a few hours, but still charged me. If I were an angry person, I would have been angry, but I’m not so whatever. One of my personal philosophies is to never get in a fight over $6, especially with a poor person.
Here is the famous cathedral in Granada. They use it for services and there were a few going on throughout the day, plus there was a restaurant on the side. It’s a pretty building.
Here is the front of it. This is taken right outside the new place that I’m staying. Nicaragua is pretty cheap, so I can live like royalty. And by royalty, I mean in a really nice location for $30/night, even though the inside isn’t exactly luxury. And by not exactly luxury, I mean it’s a spacious shithole.
So turning to the right from where this is taken, you can see my room. It’s actually 2 rooms and a bathroom, along with a shared courtyard in the middle. It’s too bad about the inside; it has so much potential. Like I’m sure many of the children here do, who will grow up to sell plantains. As I type this, it’s 78 degrees and I’m laying in the hammock outside my room staring up at the stars (occasionally, mostly I watch for spelling mistakes). Here is the outside:
Here’s a view from farther back so you can see the cathedral and a volcano.
And this is the “open plan” bathroom. We don’t have time for shower curtains here.
Here is an old building on the way to the pier. It’s the Church of Guadalupe. Or was, now it’s just rocks.
While there are some lovely beaches in Nicaragua (so I’ve read), this is not one of them. There was a guy walking his cows on the beach, because that’s apparently a thing people do.
I had lunch at El pizzaiol / Pita Pita, having a falafel pita. It all came on a plate and I could make it myself. The dining area had an outdoor garden and fountain, which was nice. It wasn’t “Nicaragua cheap” (close to $10), but it was good, and safely vegetarian.
For dinner I went to Nectar, which is on the more touristy road. I had a plate of nachos and a beer for $6. That’s what I’m talking about. The toppings were pretty good (jalapenos were a little weak though, which I’m totally fine with), but I wasn’t a fan of whatever they did with the chips. Over-fried, I think.
On Monday I found an Internet cafyay (definition: “a cafe with Internet access that you are very happy to find.” Feel free to use it.) called Casa del Cafe. It has a quiet garden in back, so I think I’m going to do my conference calls there and just hope no one orders a whipped or blended drink.
I skipped breakfast and went to lunch at a place just up the road from the cathedral. It was meh. I probably won’t go back. Dinner consisted of two tacos with beans, cheese, and guacamole from the restaurant at the place I’m staying. It was pretty good, and at $8 for those, a large bottled water, and a beer, I can’t complain.
Tuesday morning got off to a nice start at The Garden Cafe, but they didn’t have power so I couldn’t have coffee. This was the beginning of a downhill slope for the day. But hey, at least those eggs with onions and gallo pinto and avocado were good.
Power was out throughout the main part of the city for most of the day. Also, the water isn’t working at my hotel. So I had no water, no power, and a conference call. I spent a couple hours wandering around looking for WiFi, but I didn’t do very well. Ended up having to do it from the hotel because the power was back on, and the other people on the call got to hear every noise of the city. Not good.
Other than that, I pretty much just wandered around. I went through the market area, but didn’t buy anything because I don’t speak Spanish. But my shoes are falling apart and I only have one decent pair of shorts, so I might need to figure something else out.
Wednesday morning. I had breakfast at Cafe de Arte, which is a place that sells art and food. Classic combo. Just like rice and beans and eggs and toast. Which is what I had.
I’m getting adventurous. Bought a bottle of water from a street vendor and a pair of cargo shorts at a thrift shop. So many pockets I don’t know what to do with them (not true, I immediately found uses).
But I walked down to Iglesia de La Merced, which overlooks Granada. Basically, it’s the tower you can go up to get a good view of things. Here are the pictures I took up there.
I’m trying to buy a SIM card for my phone, but I can’t get the back of my phone off. It’s a struggle.
I went to Casa de los Suenos for dinner, which I would highly recommend if you’re ever in Granada. It’s on the main road, but down a block or two. Like if it were Bourbon Street, you’d definitely be in the gay part. I had a delicious veggie panini and a bowl of fruit for $6, plus the waitress spoke English and was very nice.
My main priority is getting a phone that functions and finding a hotel that is quiet and has good WiFi for tomorrow night. I have two to check out. I postponed my trip to San Juan del Sur a day so I can make sure I take care of my calls on Friday morning, and then it’s off to beach town. Business first, ya know?