Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3/28 Granada, NA - San Juan del Sur, NA: 60 miles, 1.5 hours

Spent the last few days in Granada checking out the sights, churches, etc. Weather is getting even hotter, and was glad to have stayed at Oasis, a hostel with a life-saving pool. Sprung for a private room for 13 bucks a day, well worth it. Visited the cemetery (very cool), took a short boat tour of the Islas de Granada off the shore of Lake Nicaragua, and took a day trip to Laguna de Apoyo. Supposedly the cleanest water to swim in in the country, this collapsed volcano crater lake did not disappoint.One thing that sticks out in my memory is a guy who asked me for food while I was eating a plate of chicken and rice. He was totally out of it, drugs, mental illness, I'm not sure. I set some aside for him and he jammed his hand forward and picked up some food I had off to the side of the plate. It was some chewed up fat and gristle that I had set aside for a dog or the trash. I told him that that shit had been in my mouth but he adamantly insisted that it was ok and popped it all in his mouth before eating anything else.
Granada is a small city, touristy and although I was planning on staying here longer, I was pretty ready to leave after a few days.I went to the dock on the lake to buy a ticket for me and my bike to cross over to the Islas de Ometepe. The ferry leaves from here twice a week, so I went early that day to make sure everything was cool. Bought a ticket for $4.50 (mandatory 1st class for foreigners) and went to talk to the lady controlling the cargo area. She informed me that it would be 7 bucks for my bike and then hit me with the bomb: I had to have no gasoline in my bike before boarding. I had just filled my tank. Where would I dump the gas, and how would I get anywhere once I got to Ometepe? I realized I was not willing to go through all that, so I was refunded my ticket money (after a little begging) and was going to be headed to San Jorge, 60 miles south and a much shorter and less restrictive ferry ride to Ometepe (no need to dump "combustibles"). I checked Facebook before I left and 2 travelling friends frm Costa Rica, Tali and Aki were at the beach ay San Juan del Sur, not far away from San Jorge where I was headed. Tali suggested I come hang at the beach for a night and then the three of us could go to Ometepe the next day. Sounds good, so I head to San Juan, find the hostel they are staying at, and hang out in the cool little surf town until they arrive from surfing all day at the beach a couple of hours later. It's a cool reuinion and I'm glad I came.
We decide to stay an extra day and I ride the bike 17 kms down a bad dirt road to a remote beach, Playa del Coco. I went solo because there is no public transport that goes there, and I plan on meeting my friends afterwards at another beach closer to San Juan. It is amazing, and there is NOBODY there. I soak in the solitude for a while and head back down the dirt road to Playa Hermosa, the beach my friends went to, and hang out there. There is a gate and a $3 entry fee, and I end up picking up a lady with an armful of computer equipment there to take her the 3 kms to the beach. The road is terrible, with multiple river crossings and its all I can do to control the ride. I apologize for soaking her legs in river water. She is just happy to have a ride and I am happy to make it to the beach without dumping the bike. I meet up with Aki and Tali, and we hang out for a couple of hours till sunset, and I ride back to the hostel and meet them there later on. Dinner on the rooftop of the hostel is great, chicken burritos and kebabs and now, I'm sitting here typin this getting ready to go out and drink some rum. Tomorrow the three of us head to Ometepe for a few days, and where we are all looking forwards to splitting a room with some AC. Did I mention its hot here? Really hot. But Im not complaining.

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