Saturday, March 13, 2010


Having crossed the border from Honduras to Nicaragua, which was relatively smooth, I tried to find the bus stop that had buses to Esteli, the nearest town from the border. According to the guidebook, there was an even nearby town Gausaule but it was a very messy town that had nothing so I decided to go to Esteli instead. I enquired and was told that I had to wait for the bus at a shelter that was at the corner. After around half an hour, the bus arrived. I got onto it , thinking it would go immediately, but it stopped and waited for close to an hour, I supposed there was a bus schedule that it followed.

Nicaragua is one of the poorer countries in Latin America-By the statistics, it concludes that almost half of Nicaragua's 5.67 million people live below the poverty line, and that it has the 3rd lowest per capita income in the Western Hemisphere. Nicaragua had a long civil war during the 1980s. It was the government that was socialist. As such, the U.S. massively supported the guerrillas, and also enacted a trade embargo that strangled the country.

Arrived into Esteli, the atmosphere was very peaceful and nice.
I quickly made my way to get a room in the hostels. Thought it would be near but it wasnt too near and with my heavy bag, I was perspiring by the time I got there. Managed to get a room in a hostel that was in a house . Inside the room was a bed and a chair. Thats how basic it was. Not that I minded since I was only going to sleep there for one night.
Population: approx. 215,000 people
Location: northern zone of Nicaragua, north of León and south of Madriz
Attractions: tobacco production, waterfalls, natural reserves, archeology, arts and crafts
Spent the remaining of my day exploring the city.
Loved the murals on the walls in the streets.

Loved the food that was simple yet delicious
I found that the food in central America is very similar one way or another

The next morning I went to check out the buses that was going to Granada.My Favorite place - a must-go- in Nicaragua!
In the bus, God just reminded me how indeed he is with me along this whole journey.

And it was really interesting seeing a lady holding the chicken in her arms and coming up the bus.

What greeted me in Granada was its beautiful colonial buildings.

I loved the whole atmosphere. Its definately a good place to chill and relax.
My stomach then started to rumble, and so I quickly tried to find some food to ease the hunger. New names were on the menu that I have not seen yet, so I pointed at whatever she was making at that moment of time for another customer. Hoping that there was no pig skin ( which central americans and mexicans love) in it. The dish that I ate was vigoron - and I loved it - though it was quite expensive. It had pieces of tapioca ,shredded cabbage and sauce with lime. It was yummy.

Eating my fill, I made my way to Lake Cocibolca also known as lake Nicaragua. It is known as the 10th largest fresh water lake and I heard you can eat a number of local food there at affordable cost. Families crowded the area , some lying on their mats, some sitting on the benches with some sellers selling local snacks.
I spotted the look alike ice-kachang that was just ice with syrup. Yummy but really sweet. It was great eating and chilling there for the rest of the day with the breeze blowing at you.

The next day in the morning, decided to check out the Masaya market which was about an hour ride from Granada.
Bought some very nice symbols carved leather belts, some pouches and pencil boxes weaven items with the word Nicaragua - very worth the money. Should have bought more.

Reached back at Granada at late noon and decided to find a bus to go to Laguana de Apoyo and do some simple snorkeling as suggested by the guidebook. Went to my hostel reception to enquire about it and was told that I could catch a bus there to the bottom of the volcano crater (NOTE: Remember to check with the bus driver when is the last bus back to the town Granada) but because of the infrequency of the buses to get to the top/entrance, it was advisable to get a taxi.

Being on budget,and my love of trekking, I decided to walk up the hill and just hope that the bus would come. After walking to close to 1 hour, the bus still had not arrive. I tried to then borrow bikes from some small boys but they demanded money for the rental of the bike which was close to that of the taxi. They mentioned by walking it might take another 4 hours or so( which I kind of expected it) and that by then the sun might go down and its dangerous to go back down in the dark. I considered that but decided to continue climbing to a certain timing when I feel that it might be too dark to continue climbing. After close to 2.5 hours of climbing, I suddenly heard the chugging of engines, looked back and - ooo! the bus!- I quickly tried to wave it down. The bus stopped and I happily made my way up to the volcano crater. Upon arrival to the top, I realised I had to walk down the slopes to get to the water. Decided then that it might be too dark then to go down and get back up. So I just took pictures of the lake.
Should I have brought my belongings, I might take the risk of climbing down and then staying at the Beard Monkey or Oasis that laid just beside the lake. But I was told that needed to be pre-arranged too. The scenary there was really amazing and it felt worthwhile for all the climbing.

Along the way up, spotted the cows too.

As the night fell, I made my way back catching the last bus back to Granada.

Ate some prata alike as my dinner and rested my weary legs.

Granada marked the end of my nicaragua trip as I made my way to the border crossing of Costa Rica the next day

1 comment:

  1. Nice photos and nice writing! I am planning to do that same journey as you. Can you please tell me how you got to Esteli from Honduras (via El Espino or Guasuale to Somoto)? How long did it take and how much did you pay? Please also tell me how did you get from Esteli to Granada and also how long was the trip and how much did you pay.

    Than k you travel buddy!

    Sevananda Jose


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