Saturday, August 20, 2005

Nicaragua Trip: Bull Fight, Historic Granada, and Ometepe

Day 1 started the evening before when we had a dinner party. We invited a few friends over where Charlotte shared the home made goat cheese she brought. It was so yummy! It's hard to find good cheese in Costa Rica. Unfortunately I've been cutting out dairy products and alcohol so my stomach was not prepared for the wine and cheese. Needless to say I required a barf bag on the bus trip to Nicaraqua, luckily didn't have to use it, but scared the hippy kids in front of me.

We crossed the border with no problems. The bus service is responsible for doing a lot of the paper work, so that made it easy.

We take a cab to downtown Granada and have lunch before obtaining a room. We must of walked across the central downtown three times comparing prices before settling on the Hotel Alfambra.

Walked around the spanish colonial downtown before heading to the lakefront. We just missed the large horse parade, but we didn't miss the bull fight. This was not a traditional bull fight, no bulls died. But they did harasas the bulls enough to make them very angry. Than they set some teenager boy on the bull and let them loose in a pin just larger than a basketball court. Than inside the pin boys and men of all ages would taunt the bull trying to get it to chase them. Some would have a red blanket. If the bull charged them they would dive under the fence or climb over it. We only saw one guy get seriously gored. We only lasted for two bulls, I think somebody said they were going to go through 14 bulls.

It was really sad seeing the bulls being taunted, the horn section was blazing in the back of our heads, the crowd began to surge forward into personal space because we had front row seats, the ancient wooden stadium was swaying precariously under the load of the anxious crowd, mothers could be seen down near the pin preventing their boys from entering the pin, and with my barf bag still in my pocket unused it was time to find our bed for the night.

Some 50
+ Pictures of Trip

Day two was spent walking historic and colonial Granada. I was happy to learn at the local museum that Granada is beautiful because of a plan implemented during the 80's and 90's to protect the historical charm of city. Successful plans are cool to see after the fact. Beautiful cities don't just happen, they are grown with plans. I went to planning school.

Day 3 was spent on Ometepe. Ometepe is the largest island in a fresh water lake. It is two volcanoes connected by an isthmus.

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