Friday morning we woke to the undeniable smell of bacon. Our housekeeper Rosa must have made an early morning trek to the market because I don’t remember seeing bacon in the fridge the night before. Rosa prepared a typical Nicaraguan breakfast which consisted of black beans and rice with chopped eggs and mixed vegetables. Bacon is not normally a component of a Nicaraguan breakfast, but we made a special request to add bacon to our meal.
After breakfast we headed out to Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral which is one of the oldest cathedrals in Nicaragua. Our Lady Of Assumption is such an important church to the people of Nicaragua, that it sits on its own plaza surrounded by colonial buildings. After arriving in the center of the city we were dazzled by the historic architecture and the familiar cobblestone streets that lined the way similar to the cobblestone streets in New Orleans. Still fascinated by the breathtaking views and elaborate architecture we decided to walk over to the city center in hopes of finding a tour guide.
After exploring the city center we spotted Buena Tour. Shortly after a quick rundown of what to expect we jumped in the van and headed to Lake Nicaragua, here is where we met Mauricio our tour guide and new friend in Nicaragua. Once at the lake we boarded a waiting motor boat. Our first stop was the San Pablo Fortress, which used to keep Granada safe from pirates. As we traveled down Lake Nicaragua Mauricio told us the story of how “The Pirates of The Caribbean” assaulted Granada on 3 different occasions before the Panama Canal was built.
As our tour continued, Mauricio took us to the controversial Monkey Island. Monkey Island is a 8200 square kilometer island inhabited by monkeys. The monkeys on the island have been abused and or abandoned by their owners. Monkey Island is where we met Lucy. Although we were a bit apprehensive at first, eventually we were able to warm to each other, so much so that before Lucy exited the boat she stopped and posed for a few selfies.
After working up an appetite we headed over to Rock Island. Rock Island is a hostel/hotel on an island of its own, with a enormous boulder in the middle of the pool. We were told by the owner, that the rock was too heavy to move and because of that reason the pool had to be built around the rock….very Interesting.
Rock Island was a retreat of its own, the unique pool overlooks Lake Nicaragua and the patio is pleasantly covered by huge trees and enclosed with tables and swings appropriately placed to enjoy the beautiful view. The service at Rock Island was amazing, we ordered whole fried fish, which could feed six easy.
Washed Out On Mombacho
While on rock Island, Mauricio talked us into visiting the Mombacho Cloud Forest and since he’s well connected he was able to get us to Mombacho without an escort. The drive up, was pretty steep, but we had our 4×4 which made the drive easy. It wasn’t raining when we started the hike into Mombacho, but of course it rains on us in every cloud forest. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a view of the entire coastline due to the clouds, but the trek was amazing. While in Mombacho, Mauricio showed us where the heat from the volcano makes it’s way to the surface via tunnels and caves hot enough to cook an egg. At one point, we were so close to a tunnel that the heat was keeping us warm as the frigid rain fell on our heads.
Before taking the trek we were told that our journey to the top of the mountain would take anywhere between 2 ½ hours to 3 hours. Well because it was raining we ran through the hiking trail and finished in 1 hour. After Mombacho, it was time to head back home dry off and enjoy dinner. We invited Mauricio to join us, by this time it felt like was family. We cooked spaghetti while finishing up on a bottle of wine and of course we cracked open a bottle of Flor De Cana.
After dinner Mauricio gave us dancing lessons and after realizing rum and dancing lessons didn’t mix well we decided to take a dip in the pool and soon after adding some music it quickly turned into a club with Mauricio on the turntables. We had such a good time but with an early check out it was time to say goodbye to Mauricio and that’s how our Friday in Granada ended at 1 am.