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More Semana Santa Adventure

April 12, 2012

We hired a driver to take us to Volcano Masaya, the Pueblos Blancos, and the market at Masaya.  Volcan Masaya is the second most active volcano in the world and is the one where you can drive to the rim of the crater, but must park facing outward in case you have to leave quickly. There was a great deal of smoke the day we visited, but we climbed to the lookout spot to see the other extinct craters and look into the active crater.

Next we visited San Juan de Oriente which is known as the ceramics town.  I was amazed as we watched a lump of clay turn into a beautiful vase. The artists use two wheels, one they spin with their foot and the top one spins as they shape the clay with just their fingers. After the piece is shaped another person carves (by hand) the design, it is painted, and finally fired. I never realized how much work goes into making a single piece.

We ended the day by having lunch at Café du Park in Masaya and visiting the Mercado Viejo where there are numerous stands with handicrafts ranging from woven items to palm leaf baskets to leather among other things.  Rebecca later bought two chair hammocks from a vendor at his home.  Our final stop was the grocery store for some of the famous Flor de Cana Rum and Las Flores coffee.

Later in the week we visited Las Flores coffee farm which is on Volcano Mombacho right outside of Granada. So much of the work of shade grown coffee is done by hand that I wonder why it is not more expensive. This company is now recycling all the byproducts so they are considered a “green” company.

While we were there we did a canopy tour which is also known as zip-lining. This was my third time doing this activity and I love it. I thought this was the best one yet with eight runs. Regrettably I hurt my right shoulder (hopefully not permanently) as I could not get the hang of “braking” myself.  If you pull too hard on the line your speed and weight jerk your shoulder, arm, hand off the line and you don’t stop. It is still killing me but I am hopeful it will heal soon.

A boat tour of Las Isletas in Lake Nicaragua(real name is Lago Cocibola) which I have written about previously, and some pool time and lots of great food at the restaurants here rounded out the visit.  Monday morning came too soon.  Madison, who is fourteen, loved Granada and would visit again.  I knew Rebecca would as she has traveled all over Europe on her own and is comfortable with differences, but I am so thrilled that Maddie enjoyed it.  Another world traveler!

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