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Travel Adventure - Backpacking Latin America's Gringo Trail Backpacking Latin America starting in Cuba, then travelling from East to the west coast of Mexico before making our through Central and finishing in South America.

Granada and Laguna Apoyo

NICARAGUA | Wednesday, 22 July 2015 | Views [271]

The shuttle from Leon to Granada only took 3 hours and it felt like we were there in a flash! We checked in to Backyard Hostel where Guido and Steph are also staying. They are doing the opposite trip to us and we planned to meet up when we crossed paths - Granada is it! 
We went to get food and had a quick look in some small markets and around the streets before meeting back up at the hostel with Guido and Steph. It was so good seeing them and so random to catch up in Nicaragua! Didn't even know this place existed about a year ago! Haha We booked to do some boat ride to an island with them. It was pretty average but interesting to see where the rich people spend their money, buying islands. The Nicaraguan president bought a house on one of the islands for his guard. We stopped at one island for a drink and jumped off a diving board, saw monkeys on another which was pretty cool, we were supposed to feed but they forgot the fruit and then one more which had an old fortress on it. The best thing about the boat tour was catching up with Guido and Steph and hearing about their adventures and getting some good advice off them. Definitely got me excited for South America! Oh and we cuddled some puppies which were literally a couple of days old when we were back on land. We had a few drinks and ordered pizza back at the hostel and stayed up chatting till about 2pm reminiscing on school and old times and getting an update on what the guys and girls from school are all up to. Shame we all don't hang out like we used to. But definitely got me keen to organise a school reunion! Bridget decided that she wanted to see some friends in Costa Rica so was going to leave in the morning to fast track down there and hopefully we'll meet up again with her in Costa Rica. We had coffee in the morning and said goodbye to Guido and Steph before they caught a shuttle to Leon and we continued in opposite directions. So random but so good to catch up with them. 
We had lunch and looked in a couple of shops, and decided to kill some more time and get dessert in Granada, before catching a shuttle in the afternoon to Laguna Apoyo. Id never heard of it but Guido and Steph did a day trip there and said it was really nice and we should stay a night there. I'm so glad we did. Granada felt ridiculously humid and to me was just another colonial town with a church in it. The hostel was pretty average too. 
As we drove down to the lagoon I could see the deep turquoise blue water through the trees. We checked in to our hostel which was beautiful and situated right on the lagoon. It had a restaurant/bar and a small private beach where you could sunbake on the deck chairs or make use of the kayaks and tubes. We went for a swim and it was so nice, the water was perfectly clear and calm, you could see your toes touching the sand. We swam out to the pontoon and chilled there for a bit and chatted to a lovely couple (she was from England and him New Zealand) about each other's travels. We ordered cocktails - Matt had a mojito and I tried a strawberry mojito, which was yum and had dinner watching the light fade over the lagoon and fireflies started dancing amongst the trees (love these fireflies, feels like you are in a fairyland). This was the first time in the trip so far where I definitely felt like I was on holidays. Could just sit back, relax and enjoy. We liked it here so we decided to book another night. This has definitely been my favourite hostel so far for only $25US for a private room! 
We had breakfast then went for a kayak to the other side of the lagoon. The wind was up so it ended up being quite hard and taking a lot longer than we thought. We got off on an isolated beach and it felt like we were the only ones on a deserted island. Castaway style! Haha The water was so blue in a certain section and was protected from the wind. We laid on the beach and yes even did a bit of skinny dipping to get in to the deserted island spirit ;) Before we got back on the kayaks we thought we saw a black kelpie sized dog coming around the headland and were waiting for its owner to follow behind. When it got closer we actually didn't know if it was a cat or a dog. It had a square face and whiskers like a cat but was the size of a dog. It scavenged off in to the bushes. We looked up native animals to Laguna Apoyo on Wikipedia when we got back to our room and it fit the description of a Jaguarundi- a type of Puma! That was pretty cool to witness in the wild and lucky they are not predators! 
After our 4 hour kayak we were really sunburnt and hungry so both had burgers at the hostel and just relaxed for the rest of the afternoon until dinner where we ate again and chatted to the couple who were also getting the shuttle to San Juan Del Sur in the morning. We said we'd get a drink together when we got there.
The next morning we went down for a morning swim. The lagoon was so calm, it was soo beautiful and floated around a bit on the tubes watching squirrels scattering about in the trees, birds bathing in the shores of the lagoon and the roar of howler monkeys in the distant trees. We had breakfast and found out that Sam's (the English girl) mum passed away during the night and they were returning home. That was a bit of a shock and sad to hear (especially considering a friend from schools dad, who my mum worked with passed away the day before and I find out two days later my best friends Aunty also died - I can't believe in three days I hear all this sad news - as they say bad things come in threes, let's hope it's the last of it) The thing you hope would never happen while travelling (well at all really). They were going to meet her mum and dad in Cuba at the end of their trip :( My thoughts are with these three friends at such a sad time for them all x
 
Lunch dinner and breakfast at the hostel restaurant /bar
Sitting on the pontoon looking back at our hostel
Lagoon was so calm one morning it looked like glass
Cute Resident cat playing in our bedsheets (the day we were leaving)
Island boat ride with Steph and Guido
 
 

Tags: friends, granada, kayak, lagoon, laguna apoyo, pontoon, relax, wildlife

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