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Where’s the Alhambra?

Posted by on January 9, 2018

Vulcan Masaya: the billowing toxic gases don’t seem to bother the nesting parakeets!

Last erupted in 2001, volcanic bombs hurled 500m into the air and smashed into vehicles in the car park. Only recently reopened.

This one is for you Thomas.

We were not allowed to cycle on this beautiful road up to Vulcan Masaya (only 15mins at top because of fumes) but the van decended from the museum without us so we walked!

Found a restaurant with a pool below the volcano and bogof on beers and burgers and chips. Charles ate two burgers, a salad roll and chips was enough for me. Couldn’t manage the beer either, but Charles helped out by the pool.

From Masaya to Granada  (founded 1524, pop 123,000), we enjoyed a pleasant Sunday morning ride on an empty road. Charles’ pannier rack has snapped – wearing out – rather like ourselves! But he has fixed it with wire and it is holding…   

Elegant Granada is a low rise town backed by craggy Volcán Mombacho to the south and huge Lago de Nicaragua to the east. In fact the lake connects Granada to the Caribbean coast along Rio San Juan, then an important trade route, so Granada became rich, and vulnerable to pirates! Murals and paintings show the town attacked by Spanish conquistadors, pirates, and most recently by Somozo’s Guardia Nacional. A not to be named local described life here in the 80s, any child strong enough to wield an AK-47 would be kidnapped from the street to fight. His father and two uncles died, he migrated to the States. Today his brothers suffer from post traumatic stress. And his opinion of President Ortaga? He has committed so many crimes he must remain at the top to avoid jail.


I love Granada. It helps to have such a beautiful hostel right on the square: pool, kitchen, ac, hot showers, quirky, ever so friendly and only $25/night. I can overload my blog with pictures using this super  fast internet. There is so much to see and do here, we are staying for four nights. Each colonial building houses a delight, a secret  courtyard, most often a gorgeous garden with fountains and brightly coloured birds.  We sit on covered patios enjoying the best of western food! I have even spotted a cafe with teapots!!

Yesterday we kayaked among the Isletas on the lake, tomorrow to Apoyo, apparently the clearest lagoon in Central America. Doubt it’ll top Lake Bacalar.

Semilla hostel on the square.

Mombacho last erupted 10,0000 years ago.

Distant Masaya volcano, constantly venting.

Another surprise!  Who should greet me warmly outside our hostel this evening? Michael! Yes Scumbag Michael!! I was sitting in a swing chair chatting to a Canadian travelling the whole length of the Americas.‘Michael’ I admonished as he cut across the Canadian to peck my cheek, ‘ I heard what happened at the last hostel’. ‘ Yes’ he joked, ‘you know me, any criminal activity and I’m there’. So flippant!! I scowled ‘And I thought you’d be volunteering somewhere to account for your sins’. He saw my angry face ‘Well I guess if that’s how you feel..’ and he walked away. I was staggered. No remorse, no shame, he truly expected our friendship to continue. What a scumbag!!

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