Sunday, May 5, 2013

When love came to town (part 2): Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua. 

This is a trip that I will never forget. 

As you may know, many traveling Visas that are given when entering a foreign country are for 90 days. Mine was not the exception. So as the end of my 90 days quickly approached, I figured out a game plan. The best option that I could think of was taking my Visa trip while McCray was in town. This would not only be the first time that we were out of the USA together but also the first time that we were traveling across countries together. So he was lucky enough to visit two new countries all in one week (uh, best Spring Break ever)! 

As I mentioned in my last post, we were scheduled to leave at 4:30AM Monday morning for our Nica trip. So we loaded the bus at TransNica in San Jose in the dark and headed on our way! An ominous 9 hot hours in this same bus lay ahead of us.

About half way through the trip we finally made it to the border of Nicaragua! My Spanish is only “mas o menos” so both of us did our best to decipher what exactly we were supposed to do. We got on and off the bus a few times, gave our passports to the driver a few times, took our bags off the bus once, stood in the parking lot for about 30 min, and then re-board the bus again. Finally- we were across the border with some new shiny stamps in our passport!

Crossing the Border
I’ll spare you the boring details of the next sweaty 5 hours and skip right McCray’s first hostel experience- Certainly a monumental moment! We quickly discovered that our roommates were from Australia and had been traveling for 9 months already! But McCray was mainly excited about their really cool accents.

Hostal Mochillas

Never a dull moment.

He is so fun.

Another awkward hostel pic.

 Finally, we got settled in and roamed the town. Granada is sort of an antique town- not quite as modern as Costa Rica. It is also much cheaper (for example, $6/night hostel). All of the buildings are bright colors (as well as the currency) and horse drawn carriages and bicycles are the most popular modes of transportation.

Central Square in Granada

While we were there, we saw many of the Catholic Holy Week (Semana Santa) festivities- including many parades and structures being built in front of the Cathedrals. We didn’t figure out what everything signified but it was still pretty neat either way.

We also had the opportunity to go on an AWESOME $20 boat tour on Lake Nicaragua that included a DELICIOUS lunch, too (like I said, definitely cheaper).

Where we ate lunch!
Did you know that people actually live out on the islands (“Islas”) in Lake Nicaragua? I was shocked to see that there is a whole community living out there!

Soon enough though, we were ready to head back to our home base in good old Santa Ana.

Something we learned about ourselves: I don’t think that we could ever go on a 9 month back packing trip like our Australian mates. Lets be real here, our short backpacking trip was exhausting. From beautiful pictures and fun stories, a trip like that seems glamorous. In reality, that’s just because you’re seeing the highlight real and missing all the bloopers and behind the scene struggles.

Like most things in my life, I like a good balance. As much as “traveling the world” has this delicious appeal…I don’t think there’s anything wrong with appreciating the blessing of having a home to call your own. It’s moments like that when I realize that this little bungalow and my Costa Rican town have become my home.

Just so that I wouldn’t end up rambling on for far too long- I’m cutting this adventure into 3 parts. Last but not least will be the trials that we faced while making our way back to the place I call home. 

Apparently Nica Women don't have arms

1 comment:

  1. Wow i'm so glad you shared this post with me girl!! Just gorgeous!! Those trees into the water are AMAZING!! xxoo Katie


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