On our last night in Granada, Chico mentioned that if we wanted to see a Nicaraguan market we should get up at 6 am the next morning and he would show us where they sell everything from artisan crafts, food, clothing and everything else. It was a tempting offer but we had just spent 2 long days touring around the country and in some ways we were looking forward to going home to Costa Rica so we decided to pass. Guess we will just have to go back again to see the many sights that we couldn’t fit in this time.
The Hotel Granada is located right across from the oldest church in town and at 6 am we were woken to the ringing of bells. At first we thought this was nice and they were waking everyone to go to morning mass…..but the bells rang about 2o times before they stopped. Ten minutes later it started again and still they rang more than the actual time and gee it was early. Then another ten minutes of silence and another round of bells at which time we both wondered whether the pirates from England were invading Nicaragua again. Thankfully the bells finally stopped and we both fell back to sleep. After sleeping in just a bit we met Chico in the restaurant for breakfast, I think he was glad to have slept in as well. The following is a picture of the church that we borrowed from vianica.com (this is a great site to check out all the places to see in Nicaragua) as we forgot to get our own picture.
After breakfast we headed out to the Apoyo Lagoon which was created when a volcano erupted hundreds of thousands of years ago. It is very large, very deep and very blue. There are couple of stalls where you can buy souveniers.
A trip to Masaya would not be complete without visiting the artisan market where there are a number of stands where you can buy items such as pottery, hammocks, art work, leatherwork etc. As soon as we got to the market Chico suggested that we could take as long as we wanted to do some shopping but since neither of us are that crazy about shopping we figured an hour would be more enough time. Boy were we wrong…..we could have shopped all day. As soon as we got out of the car a guy attached himself to us and chatted about where we were from, how we were enjoying Nicaragua, what kind of things we were looking for and showed us around the market. He told us that he worked for the Nicaragua government to help tourists have a good time and steered us to specific shops and appeared to barter on our behalf. Apparently he asked John for a small tip as we were leaving but John didn’t understand what he was saying so he lost out. I am a little skeptical about the whole scenario but we did get some nice things.
Chico mentioned that he had bought a ceramic statue the last time he was here and John wanted to go and see them. John and Chico both called them virgins but I have my suspicions. We picked up this one but unfortunately it broke on the way back so John bought some glue and will see if we can’t put it back together. It is now part of our new decor at the condo. The beads are from Mardi Gras in Louisiana that Danny brought back from his last trip.
Another item that we bought was a painting of houses from Granada which we thought was nice and colourful and would brighten up our place. When we got back to Coco we took it into a gallery to have it framed where we met Marco and Alessandra from Italy….more in another post.
We must have shopped for about 2 hours when Chico came to find us and then it was back to Coco. We had an absolutely amazing time and were pleasantly surprised with our first trip to Nicaragua, the scenery was gorgeous, the people fabulous but I am sure we wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much without our new friend Chico. Chico is one of the best guides we have ever had and we hope that we will get to see him and meet his family during our time in Costa Rica.