It's a small world -Day 540
I love synchronicity. Who would have thought it would happen in a small cafe in Granada, Nicaragua; a country where tourism has declined severely in the past year. And why?
Breakfast time. Eve directed us to a delightful cafe Rapido Y Furioso with a gorgeous garden filled with quirky objects. They also sold hats and bags from Madagascar. Tim certainly had fun trying a few hats on, while the three of us ladies were in hysterics. Which one do you think he should wear for our son's wedding next year?
Our breakfast of Yoghurt, Granola and an array of fruit was delicious, and it included a few slices of deep red Sapote fruit. None of us had ever seen, let alone tasted this. A combination of "sweet potato and pumpkin with undertones of almond, chocolate, honey and vanilla" according to Slow Food USA. Mmm...a pretty good description.
Two beautiful young ladies came into the cafe, and we got chatting. One of them, Jessica, came from Birmingham. I mentioned that our son, John, went to the University of Birmingham and slowly we discovered that Jessica knew him. At that point, I jumped out of my chair, whooped and hugged her. She knew John's girlfriend Georgia well as they studied the same subject and both worked in the Uni bar! It's a small world. The two young women are also travelling around the world, going south, so, who knows, perhaps we'll see them again in Costa Rica. I hope so.
Next entering the cafe was Gilles, the owner. What a character. He is from France but has been in Costa Rica and Nicaragua for the last 25 years; owning this cafe and a French bakery in León.
We talked about the decline of tourism in Nicaragua due to the unrest here after the government announced they were going to stop giving out pensions. Since then the USA has warned people not to come here due to "civil unrest, crime, limited healthcare availability and arbitrary enforcement of laws". Sadly, they have not updated the advice since peace has been restored.
Gilles mentioned that one of his friend in France went to a travel agency recently and was advised not to visit Nicaragua, saying that there is loads of violence and no shops are open. This is NOT true. Eve and Nathalie have lived here for three months now and not experienced any issues. Yes, there was dreadful trouble last year, many people were killed or disappeared, trucks were stopped along the main roads making it look like a glorified carpark. There still is political unrest. However, travellers and tourists can be sensible and avoid the typical areas of disturbance. It is so sad that countries like this are affected due to media and governments carrying on catastrophising situations.
After putting the world to rights, it was time we got on the road again.
We arrived in León, a bustling city known for its hot weather and politics. And it was scorchio! After a refreshing drink, we needed to search for a night stay. After rejecting a couple of places due to the cost, we found a cafe which also had rooms in the back. A price was agreed, so Tim went to get the car. By the time he was back, the price had suddenly doubled. The young lady had got confused and was giving us the price for one room for two people. Tim's response was a resounding "No". I was concerned as there are four of us in this equation, but Eve and Nathalie were fine. Searching for a bargain accommodation was all part of their adventure. Isn't it funny how changing our perspective on a situation can change how we feel? I was up for an adventure too.
Long story short we eventually finished our search and found a room with air conditioning with breakfast thrown in for four plus dog. That will do.
Dinner time, we found a great restaurant with a limited, one priced menu. What a find with great Cuban food, service and ambience. Then the heavens opened. Flashes of lighting and rain teeming down, there was only one thing to do...another cocktail anyone?