Granada and San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

I headed over to Granada from Masaya and checked into a huge hostel with lots of hammocks and a pool.  I’m glad I chose a hostel with lots of amenities, because I wasn’t a big fan of the town itself.  After I grabbed breakfast, I wandered down to the local market.  Whew!  It was super intense.  It reminded me of one of the markets in Saigon, except this one was outdoors and jam-packed with people, bicycles, buses, everything.  The town center and parquet central is pretty… very touristy, and seemingly out of place.  There is such a stark contrast between the colonial buildings that house expensive restaurants and bars, and the surrounding area.  I found it unsettling actually, so I spent most of my time reading in a hammock in the hostel.  I did talk to a few local people, including a hammock seller named Leonard, a jewelry seller named Chapi, and a painter named Nike.

The last day I was there, I was wandering far away from the town center looking for the bus station with another backpacker, and there was a lot of tension in the air.  I definitely didn’t feel that my presence was welcome.  Also heard about five separate sets of gunshots.  Maybe some were firecrackers or something, I’m not sure.

In San Juan del Sur, I was looking for a non-existent hostel and found another one, super cool and it has free wifi.  So the beach is two blocks away, there’s a market one block away, and I can work here.  Hmmm, think I’ll be sticking around for awhile…

Off this dirt road is a staircase, about 300 steps to be precise, that leads to all these luxurious hotels and restaurants.  The pictures are from a restaurant at the very top with a pool and amazing views over the beach.  The menu was in US dollars – not a good sign for a backpacker!  Honestly, as nice as it was, I felt strange being up there in the lap of luxury when I’m sure most local people haven’t even been up there.  Sounds like Granada…

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