We’re getting ready to leave Nicaragua soon, and we do so with mixed feelings: sadness at leaving the great setup we have here, and excitement for what is next.
Somehow we fell into a life here in Granada. Though we’ve only been here three weeks, we’ve managed to make several friends and have a rather full social calendar. John became a regular at a favorite courtyard cafe and got a lot of good work done there. I enjoyed my daily yoga practice on the scenic rooftop and evening swims in the pool. It’s a little sad to leave something that’s working so well.
What makes it easier, though, is knowing what a great place we are heading to. We visited Lake Atitlan, Guatemala back in 2009, and are excited to move into our pre-booked apartment there next week. It will be nice to return to a place we already know and love.
But before our departure from Nicaragua, we decided to do the last touristy thing Granada had to offer – a boat tour of La Isletas. So we talked our neighbors into going with us, took quick cab ride down to Lake Nicaragua and hopped onto one of these boats for an hour long cruise.
There are 365 (or so) islands here, which were formed when the Mombacho volcano erupted and blew volcanic debris into the lake. Most of them are privately owned by wealthy Nicaraguans and several foreigners.Most of the islands are fairly small, with just enough space for a single home, hotel or restaurant. Supposedly one of the nicest hotels in Nicaragua is on one of these islands, but it’s a bit out of our budget so we didn’t check it out.The plant life surrounding the isletas is very similar to what we saw in the swamp area around Ometepe. Lots of beautiful birds, trees that grow straight out of the water, and lilly pads. One island is home to four monkeys, who were placed there by a veterinarian and essentially serve as entertainment for tourists. They make noise and swing around the trees, and if you bring them snacks they will climb on board the boat for photos. We opted against feeding them (they seemed a little too agressive.)The lilies are quite beautiful, but unfortunately our guide thought they would look more beautiful behind the ears of all the girls on board. Before we could stop him, he pulled three of them from the water for us to wear. Sigh. Please don’t destroy the beauty, tour guide man!
This was our last visit to Lake Nicaragua, but not to worry. Experience tells me the lake we are moving to in Guatemala won’t disappoint. :)