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MLNA: Day 5

I have been creating a lot of content since I’ve been here, particularly in Granada.
I have a lot of time to myself to think and a lot of time meeting new people who are inspiring new thoughts.
It’s nice to be somewhere that I can experience and think without running them through the filter of another’s approval.

I should really make time for that more often.
For now, here’s what I’ve been up to since I told you last…

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When we left off last I was still on Isle de Ometepe.
Early yesterday morning Kevin came and picked me up to take me to the ferry.
He was such a gift to me while I was on the island and didn’t even charge me for most of the rides that he gave me. Only the first actually.
He ended up taking my bags all the way onto the ferry and we said our goodbyes.
He told me that he’d arranged for his brother to pick me up at the port in San Jorge to make sure that I’d be safe and get a fair rate.

On the ferry I knew I wanted to be outside, but, it looked like it might rain so I grabbed a seat in the cabin so I could leave my things in there.
I sat alone until an older lady from Nicaragua came from the other side of the boat leaving her family to take the seat next to mine.
She sat next to me and just looked at me and smiled a big toothless grin.

(Side note: the day before, at Ojo de Agua, a line of local people had lined up to get photos with me. I assume because of my coloring and I assume the same for the reason she came to sit with me as well.)

After the boat started moving I went outside to find a comfortable place to spend the hour ride.
I saw a line of Nica men sitting on one of the banisters and resting their feet on the railings on the side of the boat.
It looked comfortable and it was shaded (for my delicate ginger skin) so I put my water bottle in my mouth, my bag on my back and climbed up.
A pair of older men from across the ferry yelled at me and told me that I was going to fall into the water.
In very poor spanish I yelled back, “no tengo miedo” or “I’m not scared.”
They laughed and later when I got down from the railing one of them told me I was “preciosa y hermosa”
I didn’t know what he was saying but from the way he was panta miming I thought he meant precious and strong.
Later I looked it up and they just both mean pretty, which I liked significantly less.

Kevin’s brother Danny picked me up from the ferry port and gave me a ride back to Granada.
It was fun to get to know Danny and to see a more well rounded view of their family.
He really did give me a good deal on the ride too!

My hotel is one of the nicest ones in Granada.
I booked it right after I bought my plane ticket because I knew I wanted to spend the second half of my trip really relaxed and hopefully creative.
What I didn’t foresee were the added expenses of travel and the pricier hotel on Isla de Ometepe.
So, I’d planned to cancel my hotel for the last two nights to save money and I would book a hostel.
However, the reservation wasn’t cancellable and I’m obligated to stay here or pay either way.

At first, I had some guilt and a little frustration with myself for being greedy and booking such a nice hotel.
But, I did realize that I’m learning about my priorities.
That I’d rather stay somewhere comfortable and peaceful than spend a ton of money on food or activities.
I’m much happier eating for $2 and spending my time writing, reading, swimming, and talking to strangers than eating expensive meals and going on big tours.
It’s easy to think about all of the people who are going to say, “I can’t believe you went to Granada and didn’t [insert random activity here]”
But, I honestly don’t care.
I came to Granada and had the exact experience that I was meant to have, the end.
Can we stop saying that sentence to one another?

With that said, my hotel is amazing and it really is an absolute pleasure to be here.
The people are nice, the space is refreshing and tranquil, and everything is set up to be so comfortable and easy.
On top of that, there are only five rooms. So, I’m able to get to know the other people staying here a little bit.

Today I woke up and had breakfast at the hotel, made my way to central park and went to climb the bell tower at the cathedral. However, the bell tower wasn’t open today, so I just sat in the park for a bit.
People would come and sit with me and we’d talk and then more people would come. Sometimes, I would be surrounded by up to 10 Nica people asking me the same questions over and over again.

When it became unbearably hot in the middle of the day I made my way back to the hotel and went swimming before sitting down to read and do some writing.

I ventured back out later for dinner and to watch the street performers on Calle la Calzado.
They don’t have a way for you to tip on credit cards here, and I didn’t have enough cash to tip my waiter, so I had to run to an ATM.
I asked a taxi driver for directions and when I was walking a car stopped beside me and I became defensive.
But, it was just the same taxi driver stopping to show me exactly where it was.
This is a pattern for me here, over and over again, people are showing me so much consideration in a way that I couldn’t be more grateful for.
I know it’s a little thing, but, it’s little things like that all day long that have added up to me feeling significantly less alone and vulnerable here.

It’s a fun contrast moving from Ometepe to Granada.
At first I was really wishing I’d just stayed on Ometepe.
Granada feels less safe and less relaxing.
But, as I got used to my routines, started getting know people, and oriented myself around the streets, I’m happy to be here.
This has allowed me to think more clearly and a little time in a sweet hotel with nothing but a pool and my thoughts isn’t such a bad deal either.


(My fancy pants hotel)

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(The next three images are ALL the breakfast that comes with the hotel stay. All of those beverages are for me. Just me…)

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(The cathedral)


(This was approximately 2 cents and it was delicious.)



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