This trip was unlike any other trip I have ever taken. Jake had planned this trip as a solo trip, and once we started dating, he invited me to join. I booked our Airbnbs, and off we went. P.S. Everyone always asks how I find such cool airbnbs...I don't know? I just type where I'm going and when, and I browse.
We started in Granada which is more of the city vibe. Our first airbnb host provided a local guide, Julio. He took us on a tour on our first full day to Masaya (an active volcano), Isletas/Nicaragua Lake to see monkeys, Apoyo Lagoon which is GORGEOUS and to a pottery demonstration. We learned that it is a bit corrupt there with police, so it's best to be taken around with a local. The people are very kind though. It's SUCH a different way of life. It's a poor country, and you see it everywhere. People are sitting on porches of homes that you can't believe are actually homes. Most people ride on dirt bikes to get around, and it was so crazy to see how different their way of life is. It really gave meaning to "first world problems". These are hard working people. It is sad, and it is beautiful.
We found an amazing restaurant, The Garden Cafe in Granada, and Julio set up a ride for us to Popoyo. It's a surfer town, and it's about 2 hours away. At a certain point, roads are no longer paved. Stray dogs are everywhere. They do not have relationships with animals there like we do...at ALL! We kept sneaking food from restaurants and feeding them. People were riding on wagons being pulled by cattle. Pigs were in the roads and cows just tied to the side of the road eating grass. Families would ride on these tiny dirt bikes...like a mom, dad and 3 little kids.
Once we got to Popoyo, we realized we should have gotten groceries because it was in the middle of nowhere. BUT our cabana was picturesque. It was directly on the ocean. There were surfers all around, and about a 3/4 mile walk down the beach was Magnificent Rock where we would walk back and forth to eat. The food was amazing, and the restaurant was super awesome with a gorgeous view. This was definitely a place to be if you are looking to do nothing or surf. We allowed a stray dog to stay in our room night one and a stray cat to stay with us night 2.
This trip provided perspective. It reminded me how lucky I am...how lucky we all are. I have warm water...none of the places we visited had warm water. I have wifi, I can easily drive to get food...they don't have Target!!! haha...they are kind, and they seem happy despite what they don't have. I am thankful Jake picked the trip, and he impressed me with his Spanish! He was able to help with communication with those that didn't speak English even though many did.