|We leave Ometepe today by ferry, back across Lake Nicaragua. Hector never did sort out his problem with immigration in Nicaragua so we are met at the ferry by a new driver, Manuel. We drive for an hour or so to reach Granada by noon. We can't check in so we leave our bags at reception and Tomas shows us the beautiful square in the centre of Granada and the street that runs off the square that has all the restaurants. We are to eat lunch and be back at our Hotel at 3pm for a walking tour of the city.
We aren't quite ready for lunch so we go in search of a barber for Phil to get a haircut and beard trim. We find a barber just beyond the square and Phil has the haircut and beard trim for A$5. Bargain!! We then use a Lonely Planet recommendation and eat lunch at The Garden Cafe. We have a wrap each in the most beautiful courtyard and there is also a lovely shop to browse through.
Back to the Hotel to meet Chris our guide for the city tour. It does start to rain so we walk under verandas and call into some of the many art galleries to wait until the rain eases. Granada is a very colonial town with architecture from 1856 as the mercenary William Walker burnt the city after he failed to conquer Central America. Only the fortress walls and steps of the city fort which then became San Francisco church and the facade of the Inglesia La Merced Church which still bears blackened walls from the fire,remain. We enter a few of what were once large homes, and have now been turned into either art galleries, retail spaces or Hotels. All have beautiful courtyard interiors and elaborate decoration and cover a whole city block. One we enter is the cocoa shop and cafe. They make all sorts of liqueurs and chocolate products and we try some samples.
After the tour Phil and I wander around the shops and buy another umbrella and then we decide to have a drink during happy hour at Nectar Restaurant and Bar. The G & T are on a 2 for 1 deal so cost A$5 for two. I should have had ten!! We sit in the inner courtyard at first and when the rains stops, we move to a table out the front where all the restaurants have their tables and umbrellas and there is a really nice atmosphere. The menu here looks good so we stay for a meal. Phil has quesadilla and myself, fish with a spicy mango salsa. There are street performers and a mariachi band so it's all happening!