Well the time has flown by recently and my planned 2-3 days in Granada has turned into staying for a full week here and it's been really great - one of my favourite stopovers and the longest I've stayed in one place on my trip apart from Xela where I stopped for the Spanish lessons. Similar to Xela , Granada is a place that seems to effortlessly suck you in to wanting to stay for longer and just hang around with the friends you make here . It's easy to see why Granada is one of the most popular and highly rated places on the Central American backpacker trail. It has a wealth of pretty colonial buildings, a great setting on the edge of Lake Nicaragua and a happening travellers scene ... but still the local character of city is somewhat more preserved in my opinion than for example Antigua in Guatemala which comes to my mind as an obvious comparison.
So I've been spending much time here checking out the city and its many interesting buildings , playing pool in the local pool hall and frankly quite a bit of simply lazing around at the hostel (which is a super place - hammocks , movies , playing cards and it's own little swimming pool) .... I would describe it as a bit of battery recharging before I go onwards with my trip. Nightlife has been really good , especially the rum filled nights at "Cafe Nuit" , one of which on Friday moved quite impressively on to open-all-night bar by the lake , ending in watching the sunrise and an early morning swim in Lake Nicaragua. Have enjoyed a couple of day trips out of Granada into surrounding places as well - one to the nearby town of Masaya
for the famous artesania market & its lakeside setting and another one to the stunning Lago de Apoya which is a great lagoon setting with swimming in the lake .
. but where we managed to get completely lost trying to find our way home - resulting in trying to follow a cow for guidance (bizarre but true) , hiking for over 2 hours , ending up on a farm trying to explain to a Nicaraguan farmer why we were tramping around on his fenced off land and finally push-starting a tuk-tuk taxi so the driver could take us back to Granada. Going forward the plan is now to catch a ferry on Monday afternoon to the Island of Ometepe
for a few more days, before I head onwards down to Costa Rica and the others are planning to go across to the other side of Nicaragua to the Corn Islands.