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Current Location: Hostal La Casita, Granada, Nicaragua

03.14.11

Cost of beer in a bar: US$2.04/liter in a gringo joint on the main drag (I’m using C$22=US$1 these days to keep up with the constant devaluation)
Song currently stuck in my head: Can’t Stop (Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Things ran smoothly getting here; the Escondito made a smooth(ish) and timely run, we found a much better Hotel in Bluefields the second time around (Hotel Caribbean Dreams, private bath, fan, cable, good restaurant, US$18), had a smooth flight to Managua and an easy cab ride waiting for us on arrival, arranged by the fine people at Little Corn Island Beach & Bungalow (Rogelio, 86234460, US$30 one way Managua to Granada for two, might be the same for one). We slid into a room at La Casita, recommended by a well traveled Canuck we met out on the islands (private room, shared bath, kitchen, nice courtyard, free coffee, US$15/night, near The Bearded Monkey). All and all, it’s just about the easiest time I’ve ever had getting from one coast to (almost) the other, ever.

Our typically intense apartment hunt turned up the best option first and it’s from that  Casita that I’m composing this update. We saw 7 places in all, including an approximation of Hard Rock, Granada; a very nice apartment that we were very tempted by, owned and run by a local Club (true loft style with water, electric, AC, internet, possibly maid service included for US$500/month). We opted for a Casita in a Nicaraguan neighbourhood (yeah, there are enough white people here that only certain neighbourhoods are “Nicaraguan”) and it’s probably the best place we’ve had yet. It’s US$350/month with all utils, 1 bedroom with large kitchen/dining/living area and a central private garden. We noticed it’s available for purchase while sitting in a Remax office hunting for other options; asking price: US$50k.

And now here we are in Gringolandia, mecca for expats in Nicaragua. We dropped into a fund raiser for a local library and the crowd was almost exclusively white and noticeably more polished than their beachside counterparts back in SJDS. I identify more with the harder drinking, shorts wearing crowd at the beach, but I have only good things to say about the metro-pats that I’ve met so far here in Granada.

Besides expats, vacationers, backpackers and throngs of white 20 somethings whose purpose I haven’t been able to decipher yet, there are a lot of horses in this town. Tourist class horse drawn carriages line one side of the central park and I think we might be living near a stable (or, perhaps, a carriage repair shop). Occasionally I’ve seen horses carrying carts of produce or milk, as was common in Esteli and SJDS, but mostly they seem to be here to move vacationers in circles rather than agricultural products from A to B.

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