hello friends, i’ve just returned to the courtyard sanctuary of my casita after an early morning romp through the streets of granada.
mornings are beautiful and fresh here. the air feels so good. people are out sweeping and scrubbing their stoops and sidewalks in front of the doors to their homes. this affords me many opportunities to peek inside.
i think i mentioned in my last post that there are many MANY fewer norte americanos here than other colonial cities i have visited. most people on the streets are nicaraguan. as christmas day draws closer this may change. i will keep you informed!
anyway i love looking inside the houses of the nicaraguans. nearly all have beautiful wooden rockers in open air courtyards and living rooms that open to the streets. in the evenings they pull their rockers out onto the sidewalks and enjoy the balmy breezes. many have christmas trees of all sizes and they are decorated for the most part just as we decorate ours. lights, ornaments, twinkling, glittering, festive. mostly i’m fascinated by the gleaming wooden rockers. some with wicker, some carved wood. perhaps it is their chair of choice for lounging because the wood is cooler than a fabric sofa…
trash is tied neatly waiting for pickup. palm fronds, branches, and leaves are swept into tidy piles. gentle dogs are curled on sidewalks. most look hungry, but some are clearly pets. there is the constant sound of horse drawn carriages and horse carts being pulled through the streets. i hate to see the horses with ribs showing pulling people here and there. i want to rescue all of them and bring them with me to a pastoral farm somewhere where they can live out their days being fed apples, drinking from clear streams, wearing blankets at night, and eating lots and lots of hay and oats and whatever horses eat. they will never pull another cart or person again. they will never stand under the blazing sun waiting to be trotted through the streets. ever ever ever. EVER.
there is so much to show. so much to tell. as usual when i travel i don’t see how i will possibly be able to do it all. but i will try.
this morning i was meant to go on a boat with julio to tour the archipelago of islands that number in the hundreds just off the shores of lake nicaragua, but i walked too much, too early and was too hot and fussy to do anything but plunge my hot body into the refreshingly cool water of my small pool. we will go tomorrow instead and i will not go on a solo walking excursion ahead of time!
my favorite thing is leaving the house to explore, getting nice and hot, and coming home to the swirling blue water lagoon here in my courtyard where i lead my own daily water rumba class. swim costumes optional.
i’m enjoying my daily nicalibres (as they call them here) made with the best nicaraguan rum and fresh limes from the market.
yesterday i discovered a new drink that had me swooning. the nica version of mint lemonade. blended to perfection. tart, sugary, minty bliss.
i had it here at kathy’s waffles pictured above. there is a sad story behind the local katty anielka traña solorzano de perkoff’s waffle house. she was a beloved resident of granada, but was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot would to the chest in 2010 in her home. according to her husband she had gone upstairs to watch her telenovelas when he heard the gunshots. foul play was ruled out. the restaurant is now owned by canadians, but it remains popular with nicaraguans and norte americanos. the sidewalk terrace is almost always packed and there are great views of the convento san francisco. yesterday i saw a brief fist fight in the streets when a small van clipped a horse cart (but missed the horse). the driver of the horse cart, who was carrying his wife and child on the front seat leaped off the wooden bench and ran to the van with his whip in hand. i looked away, more concerned about the horse than the 2 macho street fighters. but all’s well that ends well i suppose and after a few pushes and blows were exchanged, everyone went on their way. i’m quite sure the driver of the van will be much more careful in the future as he was not the victor in said brawl.
at the garden cafe i had a delicious breakfast of a nacatamal. i plan to have at least half a dozen more between now and the time i leave. so good!
i also bought 3 very high-priced embroidered dishtowels in the gift shop. since the proceeds go to the women of miraluz nicaragua to support their village, children, and community i didn’t mind forking over $45 US dollars. i also got a tiny ceramic bird.
without mary & syd around to inspire more shopping ventures it’s doubtful i will take it upon myself to seek out more nicaraguan handicrafts. i’d rather sip a cold limonada de mente and plot out my next great walkabout.