Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Nicaragua and Costa Rica

My immune system sucks. Sixth cruise and sixth time getting a cold... I'm coughing and wheezing... stuck in our room cause I don't want to make the whole ship sick :-(

But lets go back to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua which we visited two days ago (Sunday). We took a tour to the colonial city of Granada, about an hour and a half drive from the port. When we got onto the bus we settled in about half way down, a comfortable spot with a large unobstructed window... we started driving and water poured onto my lap... so I raised my hand to notify the tour guide. He had two empty seats at the very front of the bus so we moved and thought we were very lucky to score seats with such a fantastic view...

The bus carriened out of the parking lot and we started to question our good luck. The bus hurtled down the highway, terrifying both Carm and myself. Another guy sat by the door and held it shut. Oh boy. But yes, the view of the beautiful countryside was terrific. Countless horses were tethered by the side of the road, some cows too. It looked like ranching country and it seemed every house had at least one horse.

Thankfully we arrived in Granada in one piece: we were both happy to have solid ground under our feet! The guide gave us a brief tour of a convent that had been turned into a museum, and then we were set free to enjoy the giant square, dotted with tall palm trees, benches, and the inevidable souvineer spot. Oh, and vendors walking around, some not so easy to shake.

We stepped into the church in time to hear a hymn from the Sunday service, and then wandered around the square until we found a shady bench.

Back on the bus and then we hurtled back (1 1/2 hours!) to the ship.

Our evening consisted of supper in the dining room, a show (ventriloquest), and dancing to Blue Jade in the Wheelhouse bar. And then I crashed... hard.

Monday morning we were up bright and early again, this time for a tour to Puntarenas Costa Rica. Our destination was a coffee plantation, 1 1/2 hour drive away again. Oh to spend so much time on the bus! We were in the middle of the bus but had no reason to move, so we settled in for a slightly more relaxed trip.

The country is beautiful with low mountains and wide valleys. Rainforest snugged up against the road, and hairpin turns kept us awake.

The plantation was way up in the hills/mountains in a pretty little town with ramshackle dwellings. Our guide, Jose, was good and gave us a good feeling for how coffee was made and perhaps a new appreciation for our morning brew. We were inspired to bring home a few small bags of the strong brew.

(which reminds me - we are addicted to our lattes now!)

On our way back we stopped at a place that makes painted ox carts. Sarchi was another sleepy town, with sketchy architecture. The painting reminded me of Norwegian folk art painting so I was enchanted and wanted to bring one of the giant carts home with me :-0  Carm talked some good sense into me. There were a few smaller things that I wanted to bring also, but our suitcases will already be packed to the gills.

Another long ride back to the ship - but this time with a bit of internet!

Supper... no show... Wheelhouse... International Cafe... sleep... wake up coughing and never get back to sleep.

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