Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Day Trip to Nicaragua - Part III

After spending some time in Granada, we were to meet our bus across from the Granada Hotel and the church.  We had an hour to do our sightseeing, shopping, grab a drink...  whatever.  The walk took less than 10 minutes.  Most of the group arrived on time...  two couples were about 10 minutes late...  the last bunch, the man, wife and their adult son didn't show up at all.  After a long wait, the bus driver took all who were on board to the marina where our last tour of the day was waiting.  Our tour guide went back into town to try to find the errant couple.

We are going to take a boat trip out among the islands.
 The boat was comfortable and every seat had a perfect view.

We would see beautiful homes...  lovely landscaping...  outstanding views...
 These homes are on on islands...  
 The homes in these photos are practically shacks compared to some of the homes we saw here...
One home we saw was constructed on two islands... with part of the house right over the water.
Our boat pilot took us past a couple that were for sale...  I don't think he ever did quote a price, but it was mentioned often that they were quite expensive.

In a sharp contrast to the opulence....
We saw this woman washing her laundry the same way her ancestors washed theirs...
scrubbing those clothes on the rocks... washing and rinsing them in the lake waters.  We heard that in one area the ecologists are trying to get the women to use a different kind of soap... the kind they use is contaminating the water and the fish.  Probably a losing battle...

While the homes were interesting, it was the wildlife that Bill & I were excited to see...
These pendulous nests are built by Montezuma Oropendolas.  
A big bird - 20" - they slip right into those nests with ease.

Another bird we were happy to see again...
The Northern Jacana

And we were also delighted to see...
The Ringed Kingfisher (male)
A whopping 16" bird, it makes that little green kingfisher we see at the rickety bridge look like a midget.

Birds aren't the only wildlife on these islands...
 Howler Monkey
This one has looks like a Capuchin in the face, but doesn't have all the characteristics, so I'm not sure which species it is.

Some of the islands are monkey sanctuaries...  we didn't see many, but for some folks on our tour it was their first glimpse of monkeys while here.

 This big guy was very quietly cooling himself off at the edge of the lake.

 From the lake we could look up and see the Masaya Volcano National Park.  We could even see the old cross that had been erected in the 1770's, but it doesn't show in this photo.

The boat ride took over an hour...  really nice ride...
 A Great Egret out in the bay...

Back to the dock, we met up with our guide (who had rounded up the stray couple).....  boarded the bus and headed back to Costa Rica, and our individual destinations.

Traffic was really heavy at times....
Here the bus is passing this semi with a double load...  carrying sugar cane that has been harvested.

We saw all modes of transportation during the day...  I'll have to admit my favorite is the upper middle...  the "chicken bus"...

You don't even have to have much imagination to guess why it's called the "chicken bus"....  not only is the top loaded, but you can't even begin to guess how many people (goats, chickens etc) this bus will hold.

But... we were in our comfortable tour bus...  and we headed back to the border...
 Back through the windmill farms...

Back to through the customs and immigration offices of both Nicaragua and Costa Rica...
 Bill had some left over Nicaraguan money... we bought a last minute taco each and a Coke, which we split, for our dinner.  We never did figure out what all those tacos had in them.

It was late when we got back to Coco...  it was a great tour...  yes, a long day, but worth every minute of it.
The tour company gave everyone a memento of the trip..
Maracas...  and each had our names carved by hand on them.

Bill & I had considered doing this trip on our own...  we're pretty good about finding out way about...
We are so glad we took the tour...  I'd recommend it to anyone.  It was great!

That's All For Today


  1. Now that sounds like one awesome tour, thanks for taking u along.

  2. Appreciated the effort.
    It's amazing the number of old school buses that find their way to far away places. I'm sure that one could tell a heck of a story.

  3. What an amazing tour--thanks for sharing Sharon!

  4. Next time, I think you should give the 'chicken' bus a try!

  5. Loved the tour and your pictures are fantastic, as usual. Now, I want to see a video of you dancing with those personalized maracas!!

  6. I really enjoyed your tour and I'm so glad you took us with you.

  7. We've never been in any of those countries. One day we might do it when we have no dog anymore. Can't leave Molly somewhere alone.

  8. Sharon, you're seeing such interesting sights! Just love to see all of the different birds and animals, and those nests are very cool. I especially enjoyed seeing the old billy goat...(or maybe that was just Bill?) ;))

  9. I'm loving your photos of all the different birds you see! I really enjoyed taking this tour with you.

  10. Fascinating... absolutely fascinating. from the houses on islands! the one straddling the river on two islands???! oh, wow... wonder how much that is ... wonder if they'll take a check... and then your own personalized maracas?! sigh

  11. I loved the trip. Thanks for the ride.