Accomidations: $18 US / night
Food: $40 US/day
Exchange rate : 20 colon / US dollar
We've traveled 9,500km thus far on our ride. Today was a "no travel day" spent merely strolling around the streets in Granada, Nicaragua. Granada is a pretty little city situated on a fresh water lake which is home to a unique species of fresh water albino shark with pink eyes.
We hopscotched from one garden cafe to another to escape the extremely humid and hot afternoon. We decided to take it easy. Greg's rib has been bugging him since surfing in El Salvador thus we did not hike Volcan Mombacho as planned.
When we returned back to el casa de Amadice after dinner, Greg sat down with his english/spanish dictionary to have a converstation which lasted an hour to discuss a five minute topic. Amadice's english was on par with Greg's spanish. It was entertaining to watch them try to talk to one another. Amadice told us about the Hipicas. We had no idea what we were going to experience although we had an hunch it had something to do with horses. We all walked back down to the main square into a massive gathering of local townspeople. Everyone was awaiting the parade of horses. There were several breeds. Black ones, brown ones, grey ones, big ones, small ones, bouroughs, donkeys, ponies, fat guys on big ones, little children on small ones.
We found a table along the street outside a bar/restaurant and stayed there to observe this event which supposedly is huge in the month of August. The horsemen train the animals to trot proudly, hoofs high and thundering, sometimes dancelike as they paraded themselfs passed the onlookers.
The parade was a chaotic collage of bicycles, kids running around with baskets of crap to sell to tourists (Greg) and drunk people slapping the asses of the horses. In amungst the parade of horses there was occasionally a 5 piece band consisting of a tuba, drum, trombone, trumpet, and cymbals. They were so loud that the horses at one point began getting spooked and what looked like out of control. A party of 4 sitting at the table in front of us got pretty spooked themselfs and had to move out of the vicinity. Last but not least among the parade was the pick up trucks that blasted advertisements from a stack of speakers that would put Aerosmith to shame. I think they were actually trying to advertize in the neighboring town .... but didn't want to miss the Hippicas.
The Hippicas kept us out later than usual and we didn't get to bed until well after 11:30pm. It was very nice that Amadice took us out to see such an event that we'd otherwise might have missed. Tomorrow we'll head back to the coast to enjoy some Oceanwater and beaches once again.