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Posted by in Tips & Tricks

Emails to a Buddy

Emails to a Buddy

A friend of mine just booked a trip to Granada and he emailed with a few questions about the place. It struck me after a few responses I sent that the information therein might actually be useful to other people, so I’m pasting my email responses below. I’ve cut out some conversational nonsense that’s not really relevant. WARNING: NSFW language that I’m too lazy to edit out, and because…well…they’re just words. Stick n’ stones and all that. Make sure you ride a chicken bus while you’re there. You can get a private driver to shuttle between towns for pretty damn cheap but a chicken bus is a cool experience for sure. Just make sure you’re not on a tight schedule because they stop for anyone on the highway waving their arms around. Here are some links to places: Art Hotel in Managua, should you need to stay in Managua. Amazing people and service: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g294478-d1019240-Reviews-Art_Hotel_Managua-Managua_Managua_Department.html Our friends Shane and Carina’s restaurant Bocadillos: http://www.bocadillosgranada.com/ Nectar, the other restaurant they own: https://www.facebook.com/NectarNicaragua...

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Posted by in Food, Life, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized

Is The Water Safe?

Is The Water Safe?

My answer to this question is: I think so. From all I read before coming to Granada the tap water is perfectly safe to drink. I’ve never chugged a glass of water straight from the faucet here, but I’ve brushed my teeth with it and gotten some in my mouth from washing my face with it and I’m sure I’ve probably been served it a few times in a restaurant either as water or ice, and nothing weird has ever happened to me unless you count the time I burped up a fistful of flatworms. Haha! I’m kidding, of course. Our housekeeper at our first house would routinely drink a glass of water from an outdoor water hose tap and she would always show up the next day completely alive, so I’m pretty sure the water is safe to drink. Even so, it is typical to keep bottled water in the house and most restaurants serve it, either in bottles or from dispensers, and I’ve seen many restaurants have...

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Posted by in Life, Tips & Tricks

La Colonia Supermarket

La Colonia Supermarket

As different as things can be here, sometimes they aren’t that different at all…and that can be a good thing. La Colonia is one of two major supermarkets in Nicaragua, the other being La Union. La Union is actually owned by Walmart, sad but true. There is a 3rd supermarket here called Pali, although I’m not sure the word “super” really applies to it. It is quite bare bones. Pali does have almost everything you need, but it is a no frills shopping experience…basically a concrete warehouse full of stuff. La Colonia and La Union are comparable to shopping at major supermarkets in the States. In fact, aside from being smaller, they are both exactly like HEB, the major grocery store chain in Texas. One major difference here than in the states is that carry out service is not an exception, but a rule. When you bring your cart into the checkout area you leave it there. Your items are then checked and bagged and put on another cart...

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Posted by in Food, Life, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized

We Made a Grill

We Made a Grill

Actually, Roberta made a grill. She’d been wanting to grill for a long time. I think because there is a place around the corner with a huge grill that cooks about 40 chickens every night on the sidewalk and it smells fantastic from our house. The problem is that we couldn’t find any affordable grills anywhere. The only one we found was a very small Weber grill in the big hardware store, Lugo, but they wanted about $125 USD for it. Too much for something we’d probably use every night for a week out of excitement and then not touch for months and would just end up a rusted heap on the back patio. I speak from experience, here. Walking around Granada we always see people grilling; either small restaurants with outdoor grills or individuals, but the grills are always hand made out of barrels or some other container. Except in Lugo, we’ve never seen a commercially made consumer grill in use. Of course, in larger restaurants like El...

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Posted by in Life, Tips & Tricks

How to Receive Mail and Packages

How to Receive Mail and Packages

There are a few ways you can go about receiving mail and packages in Granada, Nicaragua. We’ve tried one thoroughly, and just recently a second. Nicabox / TransExpress The first method we tried was through Nicabox. You’ve no doubt already heard of this if you’ve done any research on the subject at all, but if this is your first stop, let me enlighten you. Nicabox is a service provided by TransExpress.com. What this service does is give you a P.O. Box in Florida that you can have all of your mail and packages (Amazon, Ebay, gifts, etc.) sent to. They will then gather them up and bring them to your doorstep in Nicaragua. Packages they bring in have to go through customs. So any time I had a package come in I would get an email from them indicating the customs fee. I would then have to physically go to a local bank here and deposit that amount into their account. After emailing them confirmation of this, they would...

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Posted by in Life, Tips & Tricks

We Got Caught in the Rain

We Got Caught in the Rain

We decided to take the dog and the kid to the big park by Lake Nicaragua today. It’s not too far so we walked. It’s about 15 minutes on foot if you’re on a mission from god, or 25 if you’re taking it easy and stop and take pictures, which we did, so it took us about 25 minutes to get to the lake. Once you get to the lake, it’s another short jaunt along the shore to the park entrance, but we didn’t make it that far. It had been very cool all day. A nice surprise, to say the least. I never checked the actual temperature, but I would guess it was in the low 70s (F) and breezy. When we got to the lake we saw why: a huge storm heading our way that was already draping the horizon with a gray sheet of downpour. We decided not to make the rest of the trek to the park, but turn and head for home. We didn’t...

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