Scott’s Nicaragua Timeline

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  • Oct 02, 2016

    Goodbye Granada October 1 , 2016

    At night, streets in Granada take a different character. Familiar places look different and different places become familiar. Granada is about to become past tense, about to become another disappearing city in the rear view mirror. Nicaragua is still developing, still a country where a privileged class picks the best fruit off the trees and […]

  • Oct 01, 2016

    Old Bones Statues, Palms, Crosses and Upkeep

    The Cemetario, oddly, is a stop on most tourist city tours.. This city graveyard is not far from the Granada Historical District and holds sentiments and sediments of many Granada founders and significant citizens in its history. It is quiet inside the front gates that are locked each night to protect the dead.  When people […]

  • Oct 01, 2016

    Nicaragua Primitive Art Solentiname

    There are only three countries in the world that have a primitive art movement. One is in Haiti, another is in Yugoslavia, the last is in Nicaragua. In the southern part of Nicaragua are a group of 26 islands in a province called Solentiname. A Catholic priest arriving there many years ago noticed locals painting […]

  • Sep 30, 2016

    Nicaragua History Baby Steps

    In the San Francisco Convent Museo are a series of paintings that chronicle Nicaraguan history. The paintings start with aboriginal peoples who first inhabit lands before they are claimed by anyone but God. Then paintings move, in  book style, through discovery and founding, colonization, building and commerce, fights for independence, reconstruction and modernization. These paintings […]

  • Sep 29, 2016

    Ann’s Studio In the Cafe De Arte

    Ann’s art studio is also a gallery, a meeting place, a classroom, a resource of information, a great place to pick up a brush if you have an itch. Studios, as opposed to galleries, are works in process. There are finished and unfinished compositions on the walls, stacked in corners, left on easels. There are […]

  • Sep 29, 2016

    Swindlers Calzada Street

    Calzada Street begins at the Granada Cathedral and ends at Lake Nicaragua. This street has become a main tourist draw and has everything a tourist might want, and plenty they don’t need. In the stretch down both sides of Calzada Street you have bars, restaurants, street vendors, an open seating area in the middle of […]

  • Sep 28, 2016

    Colonial Homes Granada Old and New

    The Historical District is deceptive. You walk narrow streets and narrow sidewalks. You meet massive walls and sturdy doors, wrought iron, steel gates. When you peek through cracked doors, or open windows, you see glimpses of cozy interiors, plants, fountains, bicycles on tile floors, rocking chairs, big screen televisions. Drafts of cool air, funneled through […]

  • Sep 27, 2016

    Jamaica Tea at Cafe de Arte

    I have never been to Jamaica, but sometimes you have to go to Nicaragua to experience Jamaica. This tea, served cold or hot, is made from flower pedals of the hibiscus. It is a deep magenta color and tastes a bit like grapes or wine without the alcohol. It is also called sorrel, and is […]

  • Sep 27, 2016

    Maria Elena Panaderia coffee and doughnuts

    Panaderia’s are common here and this is one that has American style doughnuts and fresh ground Nicaraguan coffee. This morning they are doing a brisk business making and selling cakes for birthdays and weddings.. At the counter, you can buy fresh bread, cookies, pastries, slices of carrot cake, and chocolate concoctions for your sweet tooth. […]

  • Sep 27, 2016

    Vegetable Barley Soup at El Garaje Restaurant

    When you ask locals where the best places to dine are, in Granada, El Garaje restaurant is one of the first to be mentioned. The first time I walked past the place, it didn’t register as important. It was closed then because of an electrical outage but the proprietor came to the door and apologized […]

  • Sep 26, 2016

    Generations out for a ride

      In Granada, streets have horses, wagons, carts and carriages.. Horses and carriages carry tourists on tours of the city and the usual place to match up is in front of the Hotel Alhambra at the Parque Central. Horses and carts are also working today, hauling sand, lumber, and produce down shaded thoroughfares. This morning, […]

  • Sep 26, 2016

    Playing with mud Historical District- Granada

    There was a time in the 1960’s when urban renewal in the United States was all the craze. Urban renewal caused structures that had been built hundreds of years ago to be razed, and, in their place, modern buildings went up with modern materials and modern ideas about what people were supposed to live in. […]

  • Sep 25, 2016

    Trombone Man – Video Saturday morning practice

    Saturday is laundry day, and trombone day. Over the blue wall, next door, someone is practicing trombone. I was up late listening to Masterclass You Tube Videos by Hal Galper on jazz improvisation, hearing, thinking, the tribal attitude, musical tradition. Learning to play jazz is like learning to walk, learning numbers and letters, reading, all […]

  • Sep 25, 2016

    Laguna de Apoyo – Video 30 second soundbyte

    Thirty seconds at shoreline of Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua, mid morning.    

  • Sep 24, 2016

    Laguna de Apoyo between Managua and Granada

    This Lagoon was formed 23,000 years ago after an explosion on one on Mombacho’s bad hair days. It is fed by a number of surface and underground water sources and is one of the first Nature Preserves created in Nicaragua to preserve the country’s natural landscape. In tourist season there are kayaks in the water, […]

  • Sep 24, 2016

    Electrical Shutdown A day job

    Early morning, city crews are closing traffic on Calle Libertidad and an intersecting residential street. An old fashioned wood electrical pole is going to be replaced by a newer fiberglass model,and new electrical lines are being strung to provide more service to a nearby house under construction, a house directly across the street from us […]

  • Sep 24, 2016

    Tortuga Alert by the pool for Joan

    There are exotic birds in the pool area, some in cages, some free in the banana trees. Two of the caged birds are varieties of parrot and several others are parakeets. They are brought out by staff in mid morning and climb obstacles in their cages, hang upside down on swings, break sunflower seeds with […]

  • Sep 23, 2016

    Staircase Merced Church Granada

    I look for the little white sandwich sign in front of the Merced church that tells me it is open. When I see that sign, I pay thirty Cordova’s to climb a narrow circular staircase to the highest points in the Tower and snap photos of Granada from the church’s upper windows. The stairs are […]

  • Sep 22, 2016

  • Sep 22, 2016

    El Gato Negro Coffeehouse Bookstore and Roasting Company

    The only thing missing is the black cat this coffeehouse is named for. I look in a wicker chair by the front door for a curled feline with its tail wrapped around its contracted paws. I look on top of the nearest bookshelf where wind funnels through an open window. I look under one of […]

  • Sep 21, 2016

    Pigeon Party Early morning SJDS

    The last pigeon conference I crashed was in San Sebastian Park, Cuenca, Ecuador. Walking through these San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua pigeons, a few take flight as I move into their ranks, but most continue eating scraps thrown out by the restaurant’s kitchen help, undeterred by my appearance in their sidewalk dining room. Food is […]

  • Sep 21, 2016

    Maderas Beach going to the surf

    The best surf is not in San Juan Del Sur. To reach any one of the best surfing spots north and south of SJDS you have to take a shuttle. For modest dollars, you load into trucks, jeeps, vans, and are driven through back country, down winding dirt paths in four wheel drive, and eventually […]

  • Sep 21, 2016

    SJDS Sunrise/Sunset one reason people show up

    In the heat of the day, the beach in San Juan Del Sur is almost unoccupied. There are few people walking its length, even fewer walking into the surf too cool off. Waitresses and waiters stay under their canvas roofs and swat insects with menus. Dogs stretch out on doorsteps. Early morning, and evening, is […]

  • Sep 20, 2016

    Landing in San Juan Del Sur planting a flag

    It is probable that some Spanish conquistador planted a flag on this beach, had a prayer said by the priest on the expedition, and had to pull a sword and fight locals who didn’t like the intrusion. San Juan Del Sur is a most popular place, a party town, a hot spot on International bulletin […]

  • Sep 20, 2016

    Mexican Train Dominos board games on wednesday afternoon

    Scotttreks eats up lots of shoe leather. An easier day is board game afternoon on Wednesdays, This Wednesday, our game is Mexican Train dominoes. There are rules and procedures, but all domino games end the same. In domino’s, if you play all your tiles before everyone else plays their tiles, you win the set. Each […]

  • Sep 16, 2016

    Independence Day Nicaragua Parades in the Plaza

    Like most countries in Central and South America, Nicaragua’s independence was wrested from Spain. In some countries Spain held the field till the bitter end and there were fierce battles. In other countries, like Costa Rica, their power and control was more gently transferred. On the net, BBC lays out a timeline of Nicaragua’s history, […]

  • Sep 14, 2016

    Drumbeats Neighborhood parade

    I hear and follow the rhythms. This gathering, at a Calzada street intersection, is a neighborhood parade of girls in traditional dress, a brigade of drummers, a crowd following the action. This little group is practicing for a much larger extravaganza celebrating the Independence Day of Nicaragua on September 15. Drummers work themselves into a […]

  • Sep 13, 2016

    Bromelias in Mombacho Hiking the rain forest trail

    Mombacho Volcano is only two thousand feet above sea level but it has a commanding presence. From the Vista Mombacho Apartments, as well as most places in Granada, you can see its summit with its halo of clouds, a reminder that we live on an active planet spinning through an unimaginably large solar system in […]

  • Sep 13, 2016

    Fumeroles – Video Mombacho Volcano

    Nearing the end of our trail, Jose takes a side trek to show us fumeroles. At this spot, the Earth’s breath is moist and hot. There is a steady updraft of steam in columns as if it was squeezing up between clenched teeth. If you believe in dragon’s, you would call this dragon’s breath. When […]

  • Sep 13, 2016

    Don’t eat the berry- Video In the rain forest

    It is always good to hear about red berries. Whether you are on Mombacho in Nicaragua or in rain forests in Costa Rica, the advice is the same. Don’t eat it if you don’t know what it is. Red is nature’s stop sign.      

  • Sep 13, 2016

    Mombacho Volcano a mile and a half hike

    The last time Mombacho erupted was in the 1500’s. It is a strato volcano and deposited lava in its last explosion for miles around its base. The rich volcanic soil around the volcano is a bonanza for coffee, rice, and bean plantations that cover the agricultural lands stretching below us for miles. From our observation […]

  • Sep 12, 2016

    Mario’s History of Granada- Video From the 1500's

    Abdallah Tours is on Calle Calzada. They offer tours at the same price most other tour companies do but having an English speaking guide is always desirable. Mario, our guide for the Granada Islands tour, knows his subjects and studies while we sight see. Enroute, he tells us about an old Spanish Fort that protected […]

  • Sep 12, 2016

    Monkey Business Don't Feed the Monkey's

    ” We aren’t to feed the monkey’s, ” Mario says, much to the dismay of my fellow tour boat passengers. ” Monkey’s are loco…..If you knew what I know you wouldn’t want to get close to them. ” Our boat stops at Monkey Island and several of the mammals come to the water’s edge to […]

  • Sep 12, 2016

    Islands of Granada Boat Tour Two in the afternoon till Six

    Lake Nicaragua is in the top five largest lakes in the world and has enough water to keep Central America hydrated for hundreds of years if the tap turns off. Mario, our tour guide, brings out his map and shows us where the new Panama Canal is going to be built. Looking at the map, […]

  • Sep 11, 2016

    Nino Baseball – Video Lion's Club baseball park in Granada, Nicaragua

    Baseball is played the same everywhere. The rules are the same. The size of the ball field and equipment is the same. The length of the game can extend in close games or be called off because of weather. Some games are played in massive stadiums with thousands of spectators, night lights, press boxes and […]

  • Sep 11, 2016

    Baseball at the Lion’s Park Saturday morning in Granada

    When growing up, baseball was the national sport of the United States. We had the New York Yankees, a multi World Series winning team with a barn full of horses like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra, Coach Casey Stengel and many others. One of the best players on the Pittsburg pirates was […]

  • Sep 10, 2016

    Parade Practice – Video Following the drumbeat

    My Mombacho apartment is a few blocks from a neighborhood school attended by kids in uniform, carrying backpacks. They learn reading and math in the morning. In the afternoon, they assemble in the street in front of their school and little drummer boys begin a military cadence.  The parade practice goes well and considering children’s […]

  • Sep 10, 2016

    Painting on a Cathedral Ceiling Work in Progress

    Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral is also called the Granada Cathedral. The church dominates the main plaza of Granada, Nicaragua and was begun in the 1500’s when the city was being colonized by Spanish conquerors. The church still serves the community and at a recent evening Mass was filled with locals as well as tourists […]

  • Sep 09, 2016

    A Bar in Granada, Nicaragua serving drinks but no music tonight

    Azucena,tending bar, is the only person in the Bar Imagine when I walk in. She is polishing  glasses, checking inventory, brings me a menu, works on the books while I decide on fish tacos and a Tona beer, a local favorite. ” Que tiempo, la musica, ” I ask? The board outside the building says […]

  • Sep 09, 2016

    Iglesia La Merced from the tower you can see the city

    Taking a different way to the Plaza, there appears another Catholic church, one of fifteen in Granada. This place of worship is unique for its grizzled exterior that looks older than history, and people are standing way up in a church bell tower taking photos of the city at dusk. It is evening and Mass […]

  • Sep 09, 2016

    It’s a dogs life for Charlie

    Dogs hold a special place in human history. In old days they slept outside the cave and warned of intruders, were tossed Mastodon bones, chased sticks thrown by cave kids. Then, they came inside and became companions and trusted friends. On the streets of Granada, dogs are on call twenty four seven. Some have collars […]

  • Sep 08, 2016

    Grocery shopping in Nicaragua Cheap for who?

    A trip to the grocery in a foreign country can be setting yourself up for shock treatment. There are items in the grocery here that are less than what I pay at home, but many items are far more expensive. In a country where the minimum wage for a working guy or girl is less […]

  • Sep 08, 2016

    Joy Ride – Granada, Nicaragua Lake Nicaragua Park in Granada, Nicaragua

    Early in the morning no one is about except tourists with cameras, construction workers getting a jump on the sun, security guards walking to work talking on their cell phones, taxi drivers washing their vehicles, vendors loading little carts with bananas, potatoes and pineapples for a day of selling. On the boulevard in Lake Nicaragua […]

  • Sep 08, 2016

    Cattle Drive – Video Heading for greener pastures

    Granada is built on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. In olden days, the rich or famous of Managua came to the lake to relax with their families and built huge homes that go unused by heirs who have moved to the United States or other foreign lands for more opportunity, better weather, or because they […]

  • Sep 08, 2016

    Masaya Volcano – Video You can see all the way to the bottom

      The three hundred foot rock walls of the crater go straight down as if a giant using a post hole digger, dug a hole for a fence post and then walked away without filling it. Light on the sides of the walls is the color of the fire in the bottom, and, at that […]

  • Sep 07, 2016

    Masaya Volcano Peering into the Abyss

    Nicaragua is home to 27 volcanoes. Some shoot ash and gas into the air while others are a seething cauldron of molten lava. Masaya is a thirty minute drive from Granada and much closer to Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua.  It erupted most recently in 2008 and was one of the first authorized National […]

  • Sep 07, 2016

    The world at your fingertips Books at the Cafe de Art, Granada, Nicaragua

    A small bookcase in the Cafe de Arte, in Granada, has books for visitors who like to read. It is unknown whether these books come from the owner’s library, were donated by friends and patrons, or are part of a take one, bring one system. Readers these days are becoming scarce with humans preferring to […]

  • Sep 06, 2016

    Monday Morning-Granada work day

    On Sunday, I hear church bells. Citizens stay close to home and tourists are carried through empty streets in horse drawn carriages with flowers braided in the horse’s manes .A few retail stores are open around the plaza and taxi’s lollygag in front of hotels.Waiters stand in their dining rooms watching soccer on television. Moms […]

  • Sep 05, 2016

    Street signs- Granada looking around for answers

      Calle la Libertidad is a main street in Granada, two blocks from the Vista Mombacho apartments, that I follow all the way to the Historical District, the main city plaza, and, at its end, Lake Nicaragua. Soon, these streets will be teaming with life, as little fish in the city coral reef come out of […]

  • Sep 04, 2016

    Granada Cafe in the historical district

    ” We are open seven days a week, from 6 am to 9pm, ” the waiter, Jonathan, reminds me in perfect English. I order an omelet, toast, and black coffee. The Cafe de Arte is on a side street in the Historical District and traffic is thin this Sunday morning around seven. There is a […]

  • Sep 04, 2016

    Granada Swimming Hole Looking for a vine

    The Vista Mombacho Apartments are in a residential neighborhood in Granada. From the outside, their appearance is unspectacular, but, inside, the architecture, furnishings and decorations are nicely done. This pool courtyard is shaded and protected on one side by a tall blue wall covered by green ivy and, on the other side, massive walls of […]

  • Sep 04, 2016

    Houston to Managua on the road again

    Airport security is what it always is; intrusive, obnoxious, unproductive, insulting. From standing in front of the x ray scanner with your hands above your head, to a quick pat down by a uniformed government servant, it is hard to feel this is for my own good. Once I clear scrutiny, I  eventually end at […]

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