Off to Laguna de Apoyo

The other night we were looking for someplace to go and something to do nearby. So many of the tour companies here in Granada are offering day trips to nearby attractions (which is why we went on a night volcano visit) and a tour to Laguna de Apoyo was something we should do. At $20USD a person, I wasn’t too excited. Melanie had done a little research and found a few places to stay, but it wasn’t clear as to how we might get to any of these places without a very expensive cab ride.

There was one listing we found though that promised beautiful sunsets over the crater lake. The price was reasonable and even better, they would pick us up from town and drop off. The listing even mentioned breakfast was included, and if we wanted…lunch and dinner for a nominal fee. This was all sounding very enticing…so we booked it.

This morning we slept late, 7:30, and had our final tasty meal at our night club hotel. A dip in the pool and we were packed up. An early lunch at the French Canadian cafe next door and at 12:05 our host arrived to load us into his shiny new truck. We were wondering if our new host might be running on Nicaraguan time… or still on the punctuality he was born with. To some people we know, punctuality is relative… which means they are always late. We still love them, but maybe a little less with each late arrival. This guy was punctual, and his origins…The Okanagan.

We departed for a grocery store and found out he used to work the railway in Alberta, then the oil fields. He is now down here in Nicaragua permanently after 11 years of on and off travel. He and his girlfriend now operate a few rooms to help cover their bills in maintaining a house overlooking the Laguna. No language barrier here, since his girlfriend is from Vegas.

We made it through the meandering, washed out roads and to the crater rim. Lots of green pasture up here, which also means lots of cattle on the roadway, horses grazing everywhere, and more mosquitoes. Apparently with all the rain, this is the worst mosquito year in decades. We settled in to our new digs at a house built at the end of the road. Tonight, we are definitely eating in.

A couple house dogs guard the place. This far out of town and sometimes personal items from around the property might just go walk about. Could be people or monkeys with sticky fingers. Dogs help keep those things in place. Lady is an older more protective German Shepard. Rambo is the more personable offspring of Lady…less protective, and more mans best friend.

Rambo is always up for a dip in the Laguna, so after a quick costume change and dousing in bug repellent, we slipped on shoes for the first time in almost 2 weeks and hiked through a jungle trail down to the waters edge. Not an easy trail. Lots of sections washed out and trees downed by Nate as it rolls through. After 15 minutes of treacherous bushwhacking, we emerged. Clouds cloaked the sun, providing much needed cover for our white bodies. The crystal blue water was just what we needed, and mosquitoes that seemed set of devouring us whole seemed scared to emerge from the forest. Win, win, and win for us.

We probably spent over 2 hours on the lake. Warm. Peaceful. It seemed like we were the only ones there other than for some birds in the trees, monkeys in the distance and Rambo our guide. This was miles better than a quick 3 hour tour. It was perfect and I cant say anything more.

When too tired to swim anymore, we packed up and hiked up the hill. Instead of the daunting path, we opted for the paved driveway for the way back up. Sounds like a good plan until you see the mossy pavers that make up this road. This being the wet season, and this morning having a good dump of rain made that road slick in addition to steep. We wanted to stop for a breather now an then, but those darned mosquitos could probably sense our panting a mile away and began to swarm. We sped up our pace and got a weeks worth of cardio squeezed into those 15 minutes of uphill climb.

Drinks for the evening were supplied by our host. Nicaraguan rum, mixed with coconut water from one of the trees in the yard and some fresh lime. Enjoyed while watching the sun set over the crater rim. Dinner was roasted chicken, yams pan roasted with basil and rosemary grown out front. Dessert, we just snacked on the fresh young coconut meat. An evening of discussion and now we are spent for the night.

All in all it sounds like a fine day.