Though we have been in Panama for a while, we are still catching up on our blog. After our wonderful tour in Costa Rica, we found the Nicabus terminal in San Jose and headed to new adventures in Nicaragua. The bus ride was pleasant with the windows opened there was a pleasant breeze and, even though there was no a/c, the bus was equipped with wifi. Go figure! We were headed to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua and were dropped off in some small town somewhere and told we could get a bus there. We had, fortunately for us, made friends with a young couple from England on the bus who were also headed to San Juan Del Sur and who spoke Spanish!! A taxi driver immediately approached us and said he would take us to our destination for $25/person. Our Spanish speaking friend looked into finding a bus but ended up negotiating with the taxi driver to take us to San Juan Del Sur for $25 for all four of us. It was a small taxi, but somehow we all got in with our luggage for the 30 minute ride ahead.
We arrived at our home for the next week and immediately fell in love with the view.
San Juan Del Sur is a quiet little town on a bay with a statue of Christ overlooking the area
and sunsets that everyone in town stops whatever they are doing to watch.
The beach is lined with restaurants
and with the spectacular sunsets as wallpaper, we enjoyed some wonderful seafood meals along the beach.
Nicaragua is a poor country and children follow tourists begging and selling little trinkets, chicklet gum, or things they have made from palm leaves. They assemble these so quickly and perfectly and will make whatever you want if they don’t have it made. Flowers, bugs, hearts, you name it.
And, of course, new country, new money. We were busy learning how many Córdoba Oros make $1. It’s somewhere over 25 Cordobas to the dollar, so confusing. So much money for $1.
We rented a car for a couple of days so we could look around and drove to the base of the Christ statue. We still had a hike up to the statue but it was worth the effort as the view was amazing.
Our time in SJDS came to an end and we found a shuttle service to take us to our next adventure, Granada.
Granada was a very welcoming city and we immediately felt a good vibe there.
Our hotel, home for the next several days, was in a great location far enough away from the center of town to escape the noise yet close enough to walk or take a horse and buggy
or taxi to the many wonderful restaurants in the tourist area. We took advantage of all of these.
We climbed the stairs, including the narrow spiral staircase near the top
of the La Merced Church across from our hotel for a wonderful view of the entire city.
Taking a break at the top for Suzi to recover the climb, we welcomed people from Texas, France, Germany, California and other places we don’t recall.
We walked to Lake Nicaragua
and even took a boat ride for a wonderful view of many beautiful homes on the numerous islands in the lake. Most of them are seldom occupied and are vacation getaways.
After the tour,
our guide accompanied us to a local restaurant in the city park
and we enjoyed a typical Nicaraguan lunch.
We heard there was a Chocolate Museum in Granada so we set out to discover the nuances of making chocolate.
We skipped the chocolate massage but did splurge on a treat at the restaurant in the museum.
Many of the restaurants and hotels are built around a center courtyard
as was our hotel with the swimming pool in the courtyard. There was a beautiful marble staircase up to the second floor and our room.
When our time in Nicaragua came to a close, we found the Tica bus depot and bought our ticket to take the bus to Jaco, Costa Rica.