Today we leave this beautiful hotel and head to Granada for the next two nights. During breakfast we chat with a lovely young couple from Holland who have just come from Costa Rica. They are full of wonderful stories and suggestions we are very grateful as most people we talk to have a negative spin on Costa Rica; it's too touristy, it's expensive etc. etc. From our conversation we have decided to break up our journey from the Pacific beaches to San Jose by stopping in the Arenal / La Fortuna area. We were able to book the Arenal Observatory Lodge which is the only hotel in the park and on a hillside looking directly at Volcan Arenal. Looking forward to it!
Our transfer to Granada is right on time and we clamour into the 15 passenger van with 4 others. The next half an hour is spent rounding up the other passenger from various hostels. We have two empty seats which means two people missed the bus! Oh well, es la vida. The journey seems to go on forever although it took exactly the 3 1/2 hours they promised. We are delighted to arrive at the Hotel Casa San Francisco with its cool open air lobby and exceptionally friendly staff. Our room is not ready so we head to the restaurant next door, Bocadillos, for a snack and a cool refresco.
The food is very tasty although not as plentiful as in Leon (and that is a good thing!). Before long we are chatting with a couple from Regina who will be celebrating their second year of residency in Nicaragua. They purchased a beach property about an hour and a half from here and are loving every minute of it. After an hour or so of pleasant conversation we head our separate ways and head for our hotel pool.
Within minutes Fero strikes up a conversation with Mark who has just arrived from Bolinas, California. The majority of people we have met are either from Canada or the US, or Holland. We share a Flor de Cana rum and have a nice conversation before taking a siesta - it's just too hot to wander the city streets as this time of day!
My curiosity gets the better of me so I wander to the Plaza Central and have a look around. Such a lovely colonial city, and much more organized and cleaner than Leon. Upon my return we eat a local Nicaraguan meal next door (shared - we are getting smarter ) and walk up the the Plaza once more.
We retire early and plan the Costa Rican portion of our journey with a nice Flor de Cana. Buena Vida!