Nicaragua, from León to Isla Ometepe

Nicaragua, church in León

The numbers in brackets mean overnight stays

April 6
Leon – Granada (3) Opposite mine Hostal ViaVia in Leon A direct shuttle runs to Granada daily at 10:00 AM for $ 12; I actually wanted to take it. But since I was on my feet quite early, I decided on the local bus: first from Mercado to UCA, from where it took a bus directly to Parque Central in Granada goes. A total of three hours and only about US $ 2.

I’m in first Oasis landed (room for 20 US $, very hot / shared bath; dorms, tiny pool, lots of PCs, 10 minutes free every day 🙂 call abroad!).

Granada (110K EW) was founded in 1524, is the oldest city in Nicaragua and is located on a lake. Granada is more expensive than Leon. Nice but full of tourists.

For example, there is the street or pedestrian zone La Calzadawhere one restaurant is next to the other. In the evening hell is going on here. Small groups of musicians are looking for paying customers. In between, a fire-eater appears. Here I come across the American I had talked to in Leon. He told me that he was driving from New York and making music on the streets to finance his trip. Now I understand why he’s on the road in a small van: he’s playing an adult piano. In order to push it through the pedestrian zone from restaurant to restaurant, he put it on a mobile pedestal.

Granada Cathedral

Opposite the Cathedral lies the big, lively one Central Park with four cioscos on the corners. There are a few tables here where you can eat little things. Small food stalls and jewelry sellers are everywhere. You can stroll or sit in the shade on the benches. However, some of them lack one or the other rib, so it is not always really comfortable. Children playing everywhere. From time to time hammocks, peanuts or sweets are offered for sale. However, the sellers are not really pushy and move on when you wave them off.

Granada, carriages at Parque Central

Horse-drawn carriages are waiting for customers in the form of tourists on the longitudinal street, opposite two large hotels. Of course there are also plenty of quiet alleys with beautiful, colonial houses and cafes with enchanted gardens full of magnificent plants.

Central America, Nicaragua, Granada, Garden Cafe

The Lake Nicaragua invites you on a boat trip to the numerous tiny islets, many of which are privately owned. Most owners have put a house on it. A German is trying a hotel (still under construction). I’m skeptical whether this will really pay off.
After changing hostals from Oasis to the El Momento 🙂 (central, not such a mass business, nice atmosphere, dorm: 8 US $) tomorrow we go to the island of Ometepe in the lake.

April 9
Granada – Rivas – San Jorge – Isla Ometepe / Moyogalpa – Santo Domingo (2)

Ometepe is the world’s largest volcanic island in a freshwater lake, the Lake Nicaragua. I live in the tiny place Santo Domingo (approx. 9 accommodations), right on the beach (“Buena Vista“, Room with bathroom 15 US $).
Together with Katharina from Cologne, I decide today to take the short 3 km walk to the Ojos de Agua (large natural pool with crystal-clear water, US $ 3; however, the sides are expanded with concrete and steps) and the next day Maderas volcano Ascent (1,394m).

Nicaragua, volcano on Isla Ometepe

The volcano has not been active for several hundred years and is therefore forested. As a guide we hire Hector, with whom we meet for the next morning at 5:00 a.m. in the local bus.
After an extensive and delicious breakfast (Tip: French Toast) on the Finca Magdalena (you can stay very basic on camp beds here) then go to the ascent at 7:00 a.m. Hector (together we got US $ 40 for the day) was a valuable source of information for the fruits, plants and wildlife (cicadas!) And showed / explained a lot that we would not have noticed without him. Almost 4 hours of sweaty ascent, luckily mostly under shady trees. The last third is a predominant slide in the mud due to the damp rainforest. The legs and shoes are completely soaked. As a reward, the lagoon in the crater finally waves. After a break it goes back 4 muddy hours – the mud will stop at some point for comfort.
On the way back we take an alternative route: even more mud than on the way there and about 25 minutes longer. The end point is the Finca El Porvenir. Here you can also live nicely (if you have a rental car), but a little out of the way; Room per person / bed US $ 11.50. Here, however, I lack a pool in this heat. It is too far to the sea. Buses rarely and not always run reliably.
You can climb the mountain without a guide Finca Magdalena do. But I thought the information from Hector was good and finally you should do something for the population!

Part 6 Central America Nicaragua
Nicaragua: Isla Ometepe / Santo Domingo (2) – San José del Sur – San Jorge – Rivas – Managua – El Rama (1) – Bluefields – El Bluff – Big Corn Island (1) – Littel Corn Island (5)

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