We had a good sail overnight and today Jan 21st we are docked at the luxury resort of Puesta del Sol in Nicaragua. Beautiful property in an out of the way place and not very busy. There is a small village nearby with a few small tiendas and one small restaurant and a hostel frequented by surfers. The nearest city, Chinandega, is a hour away by cab at a cost of 25 dollars. It has a population of 150,000 people and is the capital of the province of the same name.
Our last marina at Bahia del Sol had only salt water at the dock so the boat is covered in salt. It takes a few days to get her ship shape but once completed, we head out for a three day trip to the Spanish colonial city of Leon. This is the second largest city in Nicaragua. The city has preserved its attractive historical center and colonial buildings with an imposing cathedral and facades of church buildings. The cathedral is very impressive and is the largest in Central America. Several illustrious figures are buried here like the poet Ruben Dario buried at the foot of the statue of St Paul. Also poets Salomon de Cartes and Miguel Larreynaga and composer Jose de la Cruz and several Bishops. Click below to enlarge.
After a day of churches and art displays, we have a wonderful meal at a restaurant in the downtown area. Food, wine, and beer is relatively cheap, for example a bottle of wine at the table is 11 dollars. Our hotel is not upscale by North American standards but clean with air condition and CNN. The three nights cost us 150 dollars, breakfast included.
The next day we took a tour of the storage facilities of the Flor de Cana rum company. This is an impressive site with the smallest storage building containing 10,000 barrels of rum ageing from 4 to 25 years and 80,000 acres of its own sugarcane under cultivation spread around Nicaragua. We did some tasting of the 18 year rum that everyone enjoyed with just a snifter and good conversation. The 18 year old sold for 36 and the 25 year for 161 dollars. Flor de Cana currently has over 140 international awards, having five times the recognition as the Best Rum in the World at competitions in London and elsewhere.
In the afternoon, we decided to hike up the Tilica volcano. It forms part of the volcanic chain of Nicaragua and from the top you can see several volcanos in line, some smoking and some dormant. This volcano has been dormant since 1948, but in September of last year it did have a slight eruption sending large boulders and ash high in the air killing 3 cows and 2 horses. It has a huge crater and this is what we wanted to see. Once at the top it is an awing experience to stand right at the edge of this smoking hole and peer down at the boiling lava below. In Canada there is no way anyone would be allowed within miles of this site. I had dropped my camera so I didn’t get any pictures, Mary did get a few with her ipad. We stayed until after dark to get a better view of the lava below making for an interesting trip back down in the dark. Double click the images to enlarge.
Another fine meal downtown and a good night’s rest after the hike. In the morning we are headed back to the boat. We take the bus to Chinandega to pick up some supplies and then took a taxi back to the boat. The papagayo winds are blowing so it looks as if we will have to sit tight for a few more days. It maybe Tuesday before we leave for Costa Rica.