Today our plan was to leave Granada early and head to Belén, a farming community. Unfortunately, our bus needed a simple repair but the mechanic they took the bus to made a mistake that made the problem worse and so we lost a bit of time. This gave some of us the opportunity to walk around Granada and get a better feel for the city while others rested at the hotel.
When we arrived at our first stop, a dairy farm owned by a welcoming woman named Doña Rosa (who also happens to be a veterinarian), we were so excited to see many howler monkeys in the front yard. They were munching fruit and having a siesta in the trees above our heads! Once we made some new monkey friends, we got a chance to see how a Nicaraguan cheese (called quajada), similar to mozzarella, is made from cow to plate, and we helped make a batch that we would later eat with the tortillas we also got to make by hand.
We had a lunch (some kids said the best meal yet) of grilled chicken, rice, and various vegetables. Doña Rosa was celebrating her birthday today so we sang to her in Spanish, English, and French and then….surprise…she had made her own delicious birthday cake (complete with a cow on top and the words Bienvenidos a la finca on top) to share with us! It was such a unique experience to be invited into the home of a family and get to experience real life and share a meal. Everyone realized this was a special activity.
We were also planning to visit an iguana farm and do a few other farm activities in the community, but it had started to rain heavily and we made the decision to head to the paved road before we would have to paddle the bus! Also, iguanas go back into their “houses” if it rains, so we wouldn’t have seen many or any of them.
When we arrived in San Juan del Sur, we went up to the look out to have a peek at the statue of Jesus at the top and of course the incredible view of the beach and town. What a contrast between the “fancy” homes here and those we had seen in the countryside!
Finally, we checked into our hotel and David took the kids for gelato and then a bit later we had dinner on the beach. Most of the kids had the pasta as there as been a whole lot of carne on this trip!
Everyone is really looking forward to surfing lessons tomorrow morning although we are so sad to say goodbye to our excellent Nicaraguan guide, David (AKA Daaaah-viiiiid).