After snooping around on the internet for pictures of Granada I was well ready for feasting upon this colourful city on the shore of Lake Nicaragua. Local buses are awesome and for $2 I came safe and sound from San Juan to my destination in 3 hours. Feeling like living it up for my last 3 days of ‘freedom’, I booked a stay at La Pergola, which had air-con, hot water and a pool, what a sweet deal, I thought. How ironic when I was standing at check-out I realised I hadn’t used the air-con nor had I had a swim in the pool or used the hot water in my shower, in other words a serious waste of dinero on luxuries I thought I wanted. Getting ready for the simple life already.
The day I arrived was a strange one. For 2 weeks I had been traveling with Maaret and all of a sudden I was back to the life as a solo traveller with all the pros and cons of it. However that day it was only the pros that hit me and whilst I was sitting at Nectar café, sipping a mango mojito and eating a tomato, pesto, mozzarella, chicken sandwich, without tomato and pesto, I was struck by a sudden feeling of loneliness and homesickness. It was quite sudden and unexpected as I always enjoy my own company more than most people. With afterthought I have realised it was a reaction to leaving the coast and a friend behind as well as arriving in a place that was new, unfamiliar and felt a bit cramped after enjoying the ocean and the open space of it. I gathered by stuff and quickly got back to the hotel where I spent the rest of the day watching comedies and feeling a bit sorry for myself, mostly because I had a small box of Pringles for dinner…
The second day I felt heaps better and after a nice breakfast I went to explore Granada. Exploring is a bit of a lie to be honest. The day had one purpose and that was to find somewhere to get pampered. Aaah yes, I found it. At Coco Berry Spa I treated myself to a pedicure and booked in for a massage in the afternoon. Where else in the world can I get a 1 hour massage and a pedicure for $40?!? Sure as hell not back home, where I would only be allowed to sniff the price list for the same amount. And it was good too. Feeling refreshed after my pedicure I wandered the streets, looking at beautiful churches and cathedrals. It’s like a bucket of rainbow-coloured paint exploded all over this city. It’s amazing what some colour will do to old buildings. The appeal just shots through the roof.
However, my peaceful walk around town was soon interrupted by my jaw dropping so fast it hit the ground with a thump. Heading back towards my hotel I could hear the unmistakable sound of ‘man driving around town shouting through speaker’ moving closer behind me. Not paying attention to what he was bellowing out I turned to face the road as the truck caught up with me. So shocked I was literally standing there open-mouthed and staring in disbelief when what I thought was a small van turned out to be a car with a massive cage attached to it with five lions and two jaguars walking aimlessly around less than 2 meters away from me. What the hell!?! My thoughts exactly. I whipped my camera out of my pocket and got a couple of pictures as the men on the van was cheering themselves on, with a cheeky smile on their face. Bastards, is what came to mind. I can’t stand animal cruelty in any shape or form and these cats had no water, nor did they look like they were being taken care of more than you would take care of a rat in the sewers. For hours they drove around town in this horrible heat announcing that there was a circus in town. Wouldn’t go if you paid me to, you ignorant, stupid prick.
On Saturday Maaret caught up with me after her trip to Ometepe Island and we spent the day walking through town ending up pub-crawling, drinking mojitos, margaritas and daiquiris to a standing ovation from tastebuds and my buzzing light head-spin. Not so happy was my growing fever and aching body, but I thought, well if I get the flu anyway, I’ll be in bed regardless of a banging hangover. However, the hangover was more or less non-exisiting on Sunday morning and I figured it must’ve been cause I never really went to bed. I spent my last night in Granada the night with new friends talking about life and travel, whilst staring up at the stars, waiting for the sunrise and another day.