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Category: Granada

Lake Nicaragua

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Lake Nicaragua is surrounded by volcanoes, lush vegetation and colorful boats. It is the largest fresh water lake in Central America and the 9th largest in the world. Life on the many islands of the lake is rustic and consists mainly of small families or small communities who make their living mainly by fishing. It was fascinating to watch the children transporting themselves in small canoes to school or to one of the other islands. Once again we noticed the extremes of this country, as several of the other islands boasted large hotels or luxurious homes where the rich Nicaraguans or foreigners come to vacation. We enjoyed our time in Granada but we knew that it was time to move on. This was not the city where we wanted to settle for three months or maybe longer. It is a charming place and the the local Nicaraguans are friendly and accommodating, however, we were looking for something else….

We couldn’t post this without mentioning some of the wonderful restaurants and pubs we experienced in the short time we were in Granada. For those of us who don’t know us we are vegan (and also foodies) so getting great food at restaurants, especially in Central America can be a challenge at times. We would definitely recommend Pita Pita, which had wonderful vegan options, includings shawarma, falafal and Hummus, as well as, a fantastic selection of Italian wines. Our other favorites were¬†Garden Cafe and Kathy’s waffle house.

We also found a couple of great pubs in the town center. The Road House, which has great cold beer, unfortunately no vegan food but a great atmosphere and friendly staff. Another favorite was O’Shea’s Nicaragua. Mario is very accommodating and although not a lot on their menu for vegans he will do his best to get you something that you want. I wasn’t disappointed!

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Super Mario at  O'Shea's Pub in Granada
Super Mario at O’Shea’s Pub in Granada
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More of Granada

Granada, to us, was a stepping stone to other parts of Nicaragua. Although we enjoyed the city we felt claustrophobic in a sense. We are land locked in Alberta, so this should not have bothered us but in Granada the heat is stifling and your time is spent mainly in or around the two or three square blocks surrounding the town center. It is a city of extremes. You can be enjoying a nice cup of coffee or tea in the town center, surrounded by beautiful architecture one minute and then a five minute walk will take you to some of the poorest areas of the city where people are living in nothing more than one room tin shanty’s. However, what amazed us the most was how happy, generous and kind they all seem to be.

Beautiful gardens around the center of town in Granada
Beautiful gardens around the center of town in Granada
View of Lake Nicaragua
View of Lake Nicaragua
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Granada

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We arrived in Granada on June 3rd, approximately 11:00 pm. We were exhausted, excited and apprehensive at the same time. It had been a long day and an even longer week. Saying goodbye to our family had been extremely difficult, especially our little Grandson, Miles. I think it has surprised both Edgar and I how much we have fallen in love with this little guy. It’s a defining moment in your life when you become a Grandparent. Instantly your world is turned upside down by this tiny human being who grabs at your heartstrings. He is the son of our youngest son Tim and his beautiful wife Danielle and we can’t get enough of him.

We were picked up at the airport by a wonderful woman named Dora and her son who safely delivered us to the door of what was to be our home for the next week. The next day was full of exploring the town center of Granada. We loved the cobblestone streets, the horse drawn carriages and the friendly Nicaraguan people. We immediately felt welcomed into this city and accepted by the people. The Nica’s don’t have much but they are willing to give you the shirt off their back. Somehow we were able to communicate with them and they were with us. It was a fascinating week full of surprises and some disappointments. Unfortunately, when a country is so poor the desperation of the people can become quite overwhelming. You can never let your guard down, as people will always take advantage of a nice Canadian couple. But all in all, I think we did pretty good in this charming city.

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