Hey Bobby, why do you like soul food?
Here’s some #FridayFunk. Enjoy the sunshine!
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. #takemeback
Top of San Pedro Volcano, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. #latergram
Lake Nicaragua. #latergram
Watching ball practice from afar. Acting like a true Stranger. Granada, Nicaragua. #latergram
Granada, Nicaragua. #latergram
For my last stop I set up in Granada so I could explore bits and pieces of the surrounding region. Unfortunately, my journey to Granada wasn’t smooth sailing; had to endure some long waits, a wrong stop mishap, and getting scammed by the staff that run the bus. I ended up sharing a cab with two other Canadians who were foiled just like me! It was a funny experience as I suddenly found myself to be the “Spanish speaker” for the first time, navigating us through the situation. My Spanish abilities are extremely limited so I felt pretty dumb but was happy to discover how grateful my new friends were of the little words I do know! So… That, and making two new friends to spend the next few days with was a positive in the end.
After getting to Granada, finally, the three of us walked around the city to take pictures and get oriented. I instantly fell in love with the colours of Granada. Each building is so vibrant and everything stands out. The doorways are all elegant and most buildings have gorgeous courtyards inside.
Walking around Sunday evening, we found ourselves in a little festival within the Parque Central. There were a ton of vendors, food, and a traditional live band playing unreal Latin music. There were a ton of people crowding the stage and a boys only dance circle in the midst of it all. I couldn’t stop laughing. Everyone else in the crowd acted as if it was completely normal. This wasn’t like how you would imagine Canadian boys to dance— think latin rhythms, salsa, and very rigorous hips. Hopefully now you can see why I thought it was so funny. One of the main dancers, I later discovered, sells fruit daily outside the cathedral. He was an older guy and his dance partner looked like a 20 year old bar star. It’ll get funnier when I show the video.
There is a lot of culture in Granada- museums, cathedrals, mariachi bands in the evening, and even kids street performers in elaborate costumes. We were even lucky enough to see a hip hop group perform one night. Never thought I would see a group of young Nicaragua men dance and singalong to Gagnam Style as I sipped on a mojito… I have a video of this as well. Hilarious.
I spent the afternoons hanging with the Canadians as well… We kayaked through the Islets on Lake Nicaragua one day and enjoyed the market in Masaya, the neighbouring city, the next. Kayaking was really awesome… So many crazy birds, lily pads, and monkeys! We had a guide, Bismarck, go with us (there is never really an option to go without in these countries) and he showed us all around. He brought us on to one island to get fresh mangos from the tree (amazing) and also showed us an old fortress with cannons and a great spot to swim. There are hundreds of islets on Lake Nicaragua, all just big enough for a mansion or a resort. Mostly they are houses owned by Americans, but there are a few islands owned by some very rich Nicaraguans. Bismarck told us that one of the more elaborate houses was owned by the guy who owns the two major beers of Nicaragua, the most popular rum (Flora de Caña), as well as 6 more islets and 7 hotels. If only we could have gone inside!
The next day we went to Masaya and walked around a colourful market with tons of fruits and souvenirs. There were just piles and piles of fresh bananas, melons, and pineapples. Papaya’s are the size of a two year old. I’m going to be so sad to leave all of this tropical fruit. When you go to buy some the ladies running the stands will often ask if you want to eat if “hoy” or “mañana…” I disagreed with one lady once and she was right in the end— the avocado would have been better mañana! Still good though.
I spent last night at Laguna de Apoyo. Such a gorgeous place… It was a crater lake just like Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Only one side of it is developed so you look across to just jungle. I kayaked early this morning and was the only boat on the whole lake. When I stopped for breaks I could hear monkeys howling in the distance. So crazy. The water in the lake was sooo warm. I could have spent all day swimming. Very quiet place that I really enjoyed but think I would have had more fun with some amigos!
Back to Granada today and did a final walk around getting all the sauces and rum that I need to bring home with me. I stumbled upon a kids baseball practice — baseball is huuuuge here! I watched them warm up doing high knees and sprints and everything you’d expect to see. There was even the one kid that couldn’t get it and was always last. Same stuff everywhere.
Can’t believe my trip has come to a close! Up at 4am tomorrow to make my way home… Will have to get used to wearing pants again.
Hasta Leugo, Central America.
What’s not to love about Chaka Khan? Her hips are are certainly more honest than anything Shakira ever promised us…and those pants! After watching this video a couple of times I can’t really picture anything but leather bellbottoms with feathers. Anything else wouldn’t make sense.
Here is Chaka Khan and Rufus, when she was at her best and funkiest.
After school. Leon, Nicaragua #latergram
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala #latergram
Day at the office. Outside Leon, Nicaragua. #latergram
Striking a pose. Isle de Ometepe, Nicaragua. #latergram
Silk Cayes, Belize
One last morning in paradise. Laguna De Apoyo, Nicaragua