Thursday, November 21, 2013

Travels: Bikes and Beaches

Hey strangers! I never finished telling you about Nicaragua - and there's so much to tell! But I also have stories from my trip to Hong Kong spilling out of my ears! To avoid geographical whiplash, I'm staying in Nicaragua for now. I have a few more stories to tell you before we head east to work groups and hostels and new friendships in China.

So come back with me to Granada.

Have you ever been somewhere altogether foreign, but also incredibly familiar? As we biked our way back to Granada from Laguna de Apoyo (about 16km) with Bicimaximo, we saw farm land and dirt roads blocked by stubborn cows. The smells, the flat green fields, the shouts in Spanish, and the cattle standing behind fences a small gust of wind could destroy gave me a flashback to home - where I grew up in small-town California. It was a strange moment. I was nearly 4,800km from that little border town in the armpit of the West Coast, but straddling my bike on a dirt road in another small town in Nicaragua, it felt the same. It was the tropical version of what I think of when I hear the word "home." It was comforting. And a little bit smelly.

Not so comforting were the bruises on my hind quarters after the long bike ride into town...

But let me back up. Bicimaximo was recommended to us by our host at the Garden Cafe. We stayed in their back room, and it was absolutely lovely.

The owners are a young gentleman from California and his Nicaraguan wife. They run an amazing restaurant and store, and they know basically every expat in the city. There were a surprising amount of restaurant and business owners who were not Nicas, but found the beauty in the country and decided to stay. Or maybe they also found a little piece of home. Damien gave us a list of things to do in the city, and taking a bike tour with Bicimaximo was on the list.

Clicking on the link in his e-mail changed our trip.