Saturday, 24 March: We headed out this morning, very keen to learn something about Nicaragua, of which we knew nothing much at all! It’s the land of volcanoes and lakes and very pretty countryside. There seem to be many lakes in South America that look as large as an ocean, and Lake Nicaragua is no exception, stretching 99 miles long and 45 miles wide. It even has waves!
Interesting facts: 1) San Juan del Sur has no names on the avenues and uses an indigenous method for finding addresses. Instead of numbered houses, directions are given from nearby landmarks, for example, lakes, churches, trees and even where previous buildings once stood. So, the address might be “the third house after the coconut tree”! Our guide said that letters addressed in the conventional way would take much longer to be delivered. 2) This is a very safe place – our guide told us there is no crime here. (Not a claim that many cities could make these days!)
Our coach took us on the 90-minute trip to Granada, stopping at the Catarina Viewpoint for a look at Apoya Lagoon Natural Reserve along the way. Lunch was a Nicaraguan buffet of pulled chicken, pork and vegetables in a corn tortilla and a sweet treat at Le Gran Francis Hotel followed by a walk around parts of the 500-year-old city of Granada, with its ornate churches, narrow streets and rich architecture, in the shadow of the Mombacho Volcano.
This city certainly warrants another visit to explore more deeply into its amazing history.