Here we are staring out at the Laguna de Apoyo in the aptly name Hostel Paradisio. We are also slightly hungover so laying in the available hammocks has been nice. We last left you on Isla de Ometepe on our way to Granada. We made it to Granada pretty easily. Once we were off the ferry in San Jorge we hopped in a cab and took off to Rivas to catch a chicken bus to Granada. Upon arrival we found out the next bus wasn’t leaving until 2PM and it was only noon (although we’re now skeptical that this was true as we’ve heard that the taxi drivers are notoriously tricksters up in Rivas. They want you to take a cab so they will provide a lot of false information about the bus schedule.) ANYWAYS…as we are looking around and assessing the situation a young guy comes up to us and asks if we’re heading to Granada. Long story short Landon joined us for the rest of our trip from Granada right to Laguna de Apoyo.
Day 9/10 – Granada, Nicaragua
The 90 minute cab ride came out to $10 USD and dropped us off at Hostal El Momento. It’s got a pretty nice common area but the rooms are a little grungy and the kitchen is gross. Granada is really pretty, colonial, and touristy (but hey, we’re tourists!) Through our hostel we got a pass to Pure Gym which was really nice.
On our second day we decided to do some exploring and met up with our new traveling friend, Landon. The exploring led to rain, which eventually led to beers. Once the rain subsided, we continued on. We agreed to a boat driven tour of the 350 small islands that dot the coastline of Granada on Lake Nicaragua ($15 USD). This was awesome! There are some amazing properties on some of these islands. Earlier in the day, we had bought some tank tops from a vendor which were put in a plastic bag. Clair put her phone and
sunglasses in the bag as well and was carrying it around her wrist. This is where things get exciting! One of the islands is known as Monkey Island, because there are four monkeys on it. Our tour guide was ready with bananas. Lucy, the fattest monkey, actually
jumped on the boat! Lucy sees Clair’s plastic bag and lunges for it, thinking it’s full of bananas. Clair and the monkey get into a very serious tug of war. The guide is yelling to drop the bag, but suddenly the bag rips open to reveal no bananas. The monkey then instantly makes a dash for our guides school bag, opens the bag, and pulls out a hand of bananas. The monkey perches herself on the side of boat and goes to town on the bananas right in front of us. Clair 1, Lucy 0.
We had a really good laugh about the tussle with the monkey, which then made us need more beers. We took a hilarious horse and carriage home ($5 USD) and parted ways until dinner. We met up at Reilly’s Pub and shared some drinks and even some 2 for 1 tequila shots (this is disgusting). The night ended with ice cream for all and an exhausted mariachi band unwillingly singing to us.
Day 10/11 – Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua
The next morning we packed our bags and had breakfast at Kathy’s Wafflehouse…we had the waffles. We made a quick pitstop at the local market to pick up some fruits and vegetables. Everyone barters in this country and makes fun of the ‘nice’ Canadians because we’re so awful at it. Having Landon in tow keeps our budget in check! We haggle for a cab to get us to Laguna de Apoyo ($12USD) and take off with Landon’s surfboard actually in the car.
This place is amazing! We actually extended our stay by a day. It’s a clear fresh water lagoon in a large extinct volcano crater. After being told by a local that there are hot springs ‘just around the corner’ all three of us take off in kayaks in search of these ‘aguas calientes.’ After about 90 minutes of searching and asking locals along the way, Clair loses patience and decides to go in search of a Pina Colada instead. With no moral compass to guide them, Landon jumps a fence onto private property and is quickly met by a man yielding a machete, yelling at him to get out. Our silver-tongued friend is able to talk the man down and he actually ends up showing them where the hot
springs are. He explains that the hot springs are by the beach, exactly where all or us were, but you need to dig in the soil to create your own little bath and the hot water rises up. Kik and Landon lather their bodies from head to toe with the warm rich clay and kayak back to the hostel looking like Swamp Thing but really exfoliated.
This was a great little piece of paradise with free coffee and tea available all day it was a nice mini-vacation to our vacation!