Church and Chocolate Day
Not a national holiday, but rather it sums up perfectly my first day in Granada. When I had checked into my hostel I was given a map and told about the five churches I had to visit. Then I was told about the chocolate cafe/museum at the end of the street and the $6 all you can eat buffet breakfast. While that was expensive by Nica standards, the staff there made me get my monies worth. I asked for eggs then they proceeded to tell me I also needed french toast and chocolate and banana crepes. This was before I went to the buffet table, which had traditional NIca food and fruit and granola. Heaven. Later I rolled out the door to find the churches, not before signing up for the chocolate making course in the afternoon where we would make Mayan, Aztec and European hot chocolate drinks and our own chocolate bar. All from scratch from cacao beans.
There is a lot to do around Granada and one day I chose to take a tour up to the top of Mombacho, one of the volcanos you can see from the city. Unfortunately, although it was a hot sunny day down in the city, up top in the clouds it was cold and rainy and we couldn't see a thing. I thought my enjoyment of the tour could be redeemed by a sighting of a sloth but alas, there was too much wind for the little dudes to be up in the trees and we didn't see any.
My disappointment in Mombacho was completely forgotten the next day when I went to Masaya Volcano. A friend had told me that I could talk a taxi driver into being my tour guide for the day, taking me from the famous Masaya markets up to the volcano, then to Catarina for an amazing view over Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua's cleanest body of water, before driving me back to Granada. This was the best $35 spent and because Erick the taxi driver didn't speak English my tour came with free Spanish practice.