Off the Rails in Granada

April 4, 2016
Apparently, Sunday drivers don't exist in Nicaragua, because we made fantastic time to Granada from San Juan del Sur. We clocked in at just under an hour when 1.5 hours was estimated, and our previous drives all took longer than anticipated. This was a great surprise. We arrived at Miss Margrits about noon. It's a small bed & breakfast, I booked on Airbnb. Thankfully, they didn't mind us checking in early. Our Mirador suite was still being cleaned, but we were welcome to park, leave our belongings and grab lunch. We did just that, but first...

Throughout all of our travels most trips go off the rails at some point. You guessed it! Ours derailed in Granada. Right as we turned off the main highway we lost our data connection. We had an idea of where Miss Margrits was located, but we lost the convenience of google maps telling us the way. We circled the block a couple times before locating it. The signage is tiny and we nearly overlooked it because of the man passed out on the side walk right outside the door, and two other men seemingly intoxicated sitting on the corner nearby. Frank gave me a look that said what I was thinking, "where are we staying?" I assured him, the reviews were great and it'd be fine.

It's become routine that I hop out to check in and sort out where to park while Frank waits in the car. We go through the motions; however, this time I must step over the man on the sidewalk only to find all the doors are locked and no one answered my knock. Meanwhile, the men on the corner are clearly talking about me and work to gain my attention. The more I ignore them, the louder they become. I knock again, thankfully, the door creaked open and I was welcomed with a warm smile. Once inside, I relax. The courtyard is beautiful. There is parking inside, so I guide Frank in. We store our belongings and dash out.

Because we left in a hurry, we're not fully prepared for the 15 minute walk to the Calzada. It's hot, we quickly get sweaty. Frank is in sandals which aren't the best for walking, and I'm in a long maxi dress. Which isn't ideal either. When we arrive at the Cathedral, we're approached by a boy that refuses to accept "no gracias" when trying to sell a flower made from palm. He's pretty aggressive which throws up red flags that a scam might be underway. Thankfully, nothing came of it. He sulked off and we pressed on, restaurants line the Calzada much of it is closed to traffic with mostly empty tables in the street. Folks try to encourage you to sit, eat, drink or take a tour with them. It's touristy to the max. We've been spoiled, thus far. Now, we feel like we've been thrown to the wolves and we're less than thrilled. Time was running out and I really wanted to try a nacatamale, vigoron or quesillo. All of which have eluded me and continued to do so. We settled on lunch at Nectar which laid claim to the best fish tacos. By the time we were seated in the courtyard, I was overheated and despite feeling hungry my appetite was fading so I ordered chips and salsa. I did steal a taco from Frank and while not the best, it was satisfying.

When we returned to the hotel our room was ready. It is perched on the third floor and it sits higher than most of the city buildings so there were panoramic views of Lake Nicaragua and the Cathedral and the Mombacho Volcano and Xalteva Church. It was lovely, but we didn't take time to soak in the view, because we were soaked from sweat and eagerly peeled our clothes off and thoroughly enjoyed the cross breeze. When we failed to cool down from the breeze alone, we closed the windows and relaxed in A/C. A luxury well worth the money.

Once refreshed; we ventured back out, this time, we stayed near the hotel. We sought out Espressonista for a pick me up. It was a cute place, but a couple iced coffees and basil ice cream cost far more than expected. The ice cream had an odd grittiness to it so I wasn't keen on finishing it. It didn't hit the spot like we had hoped. We walked over to the Cuidad Lounge. We thought we'd enjoy a couple drinks and a cigar, but the prices scared us away. Afterwards, we tried to locate Comedor La Frontera, but no such luck. After three strikes we returned to Miss Margrits to regroup. Suddenly, I wasn't feeling very well. I chugged some water, but my stomach remained in knots. I had hoped food would settle it.

Reluctantly, we walked back toward the Calzada. This time avoiding the area around the cathedral. We ate at Pita Pita which also shares space with El Pizzaiol so we ordered the Mediterrean Platter and a veggie pizza to share. The restaurant was very crowded and we were seated near the pizza oven which was very warm, I was quite uncomfortable when there was no breeze to circulate the air. I was feeling worse than ever. Thankfully, our food came quickly to the table. The Platter was very good! The pizza sufficed, the crust was a bit too thin and wet for my liking. However, I was happy to have food in my belly. I started to feel a bit better (or so I thought).

We thought about stopping at the Irish bar after dinner, but it was louder than we were feeling. So, we grabbed a taxi back to Miss Margrits. There is a nice pool there, so we thought we'd have a drink, cigar and swim. Unfortunately, my stomach didn't agree with the plan and it preferred I stay near the bathroom. Frank swam, but was unable to finish his beer and cigar because mosquitoes thought he was there for their dining pleasure. We had been in the country five days and we had a combined total of two bites up to now. We never would have guessed it'd be Granada that we'd be feasted upon. Frank is so sensitive to bites, large welts began to immediately raise. At least, it made it easy to pinpoint where to apply the anti-itch cream. Needless to say, we threw in the towel. It had been a pretty miserable first day in Granada. We couldn't help wonder why we left San Juan del Sur? Oh well, we'd make another go at it in the morning.


KathyinNY said...

Thank you for all of the pictures and blogging about your trip. I find it very interesting.
I do hope that your trip in Granada went better than the first day.

Kellee said...

As always I appreciate the kind comments. Thankfully, it did!

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