We have left behind the sparkling black sand beaches of northern Costa Rica and taken a bus to Granada, Nicaragua. What an experience!
We were up before 6a to leave for Liberia to drop the car at Sixt. The agent showed up at 7.20a. We arrived at 7a. It was a short 20 minute drive to the international bus station. Lots of people milled around. No one spoke Ingles. So we managed to get directions when Informacion showed up at 8.15a. Our 9a bus arrived just after 10a and was on the road again to Managua with a stop at Granada.
We stopped at the Nicaraguan border at 11.15a. They charged us 9 USD, stamped our passaportes and charged us 14 USD, took our passaportes and customs form BEFORE we could get back on the bus! We would not see our passaportes for another 1 1/2 hour. We were driven to customs and ushered through ahead of the line up and stood in the sun awaiting our bus. Finally the bus came. We still had to wait and wait in the sun. It was after1p before we were given back our passaportes and boarded to continue on our way.
The countryside is lush. We passed huge rice paddies, sugarcane, fields of grain. We passed through mountains covered in forests. We passed through little towns, small cities and villages. Houses were small, tin roofed and brightly colored. Lots of palms, banana trees.
It was 2.30p when we stopped to let people....my Australian seat mate left...at Rebus??0?a.....then we were off to Granada.
We arrived after 3p, got a taxi to the Hostal Oasis. It is a huge hostal, an old colonial house with 3 atria, a small swimming pool, free shots of rum at 5p and breakfast included. Our room is small but clean with comfortable beds and a bathroom.
Now we are sitting on the rooftop patio. It is cloudy. There have been fireworks. We have talked to Australians, Canadians, Americans, listened to guitar music, got recommendations for dinner. We will go soon.