July 13 -15, 2014…Granada, Granada Department, Nicaragua

I must admit I am getting a little weary…don't get me wrong…I love the riding, adventure, education, challenges and accomplishments…but the constant packing up, unpacking and moving is tiring!  Kev and I have both experienced food poisoning several times throughout our travels, dehydration, extreme fatigue and injuries, and today Kev is battling with a nasty stomach…Maybe we need a holiday from the adventure?  But for now it will have to wait, as we have a boat to catch and it is leaving on August 5th from Panama.

Pulling into Granada…weary on a very   warm salutary day.

Pulling into Granada…weary on a very warm salutary day.

Looking back on one of the descriptive directional markers in Granada…Volcano Momotombo, which is active!

Looking back on one of the descriptive directional markers in Granada…Volcano Momotombo, which is active!

Nicaragua has a very unique address system... There are no street names or numbers!   Just  imagine the challenges involved trying to locate a property without this 'taken for granted' system.  Nicaraguans actually take pride in their directional structure and have no problems using it!  Instead of street names, township reference points are used like churches, hospitals, and town squares.  Geographical points, like lakes and volcanoes are also used.  From your starting point and closest recognized marker point your destination will be described in blocks, along with north, south, east, west...towards the volcano, towards the lake, next to the school, in front of, behind, across from, or next to!  And if that isn't that complicated for you, it is all in Spanish!….Fun stuff!!!

When in doubt…take a horse and carriage!

When in doubt…take a horse and carriage!

After circling and circling Granada we located the perfect hacienda 'Casa del Consulado'...2 blocks from the town square.   And we had secure parking! 

After circling and circling Granada we located the perfect hacienda 'Casa del Consulado'...2 blocks from the town square.   And we had secure parking! 

All safely locked away

All safely locked away

Our room even had an entryway!

Our room even had an entryway!

In fact it was huge!

In fact it was huge!

Lake Nicaragua….it is huge, huge, huge!  Basically it looks like the sea!

Lake Nicaragua….it is huge, huge, huge!  Basically it looks like the sea!

Granada is charming spanish colonial town whose confusing narrow, criss-crossing, confusing streets actually remind me of Camaguey, Cuba.  In a 'Pirates of the Caribbean' way, they share a similar history.  Founded in 1524 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Hernandez de Cordoba, Granada was the jewel of the empire.  Directly connected with the Caribbean and Atlantic Oceans via the Rio San Juan and Lake Nicaragua, Granada held strategic importance our trade routes for Central America and Mexico.  Did you know that the pirate Captain Morgan, yes I know it is a rum/ron…actually captured and held Granada for 16 hours from the Spanish?!  One hundred and forty years after Cordoba sailed up the Rio San Juan, across Lake Nicaragua and founded Granada, the Welshman Crusader Henry Morgan followed Cordoba's founding path, with a band of 40 buccaneers.  It was one of the most daring exploits of the 'golden age of Caribbean piracy".  During the middle of a June night, Morgan and his men beached silently on Granada's shores and took the Spanish by surprise.  They stole Spanish gold and ammunition, burned churches, sank Spanish boats and then disappeared as stealthily as they had arrived.  Morgan a pirate by Spanish interpretation was actually an admiral of the British Royal Navy, a privateer, commissioned by the British monarchy to capture ships, wealth and territory from rival powers.  Sir Henry Morgan was a major player in the 17th century "privileged pirate" world commanding over 35 fleets from his Jamaican headquarters.  The interesting pirate/privateer history continued with Granada well into the late 1700's…just thought I would share a little Captain Morgan with you all….Cheers!