One morning, we decided that it was time to leave Granada. We love it there, but we had grown very domestic and were in danger of turning into hammock-bound creatures if we didn’t tear ourselves away. In a fit of motivation, we packed up some small bags, put everything else in storage, then headed to the bus bound for San Juan del Sur. We waited on the bus for nearly an hour in outrageous heat before one of us pulled out a map, just to pass the time. As the driver finally climbed into his seat and started the engine, we realized that what we had thought was a long trip out and back in the wrong direction was actually just a short spur off of our planned route. We jumped up and scurried off the bus as the confused driver yelled that this was the last bus of the day. It was the result of some half-assed planning, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Had we gone on a side trip to the beach, then had to return to collect our stuff, we ran a risk of getting stuck in Granada again, a la Antigua. Instead, we spent the rest of the afternoon organizing our bags, mailing our new purchases home, and getting ready to be cycling tourists again.
Cut to the next morning: we successfully rode out of Granada and made great time to Rivas, 74km away. We had planned to stash our bikes in Rivas, then bus the last 35km to the beach the next day, since we’d have to pass back through Rivas to our next destination, Ometepe. Upon arriving in town, we asked a local pedi-cab driver for directions and he took it upon himself to lead us all around town in search of an affordable room for the night. I’m sure he was well-intentioned, but he took us to shithole after shithole, sometimes going out of his way, knocking on doors and making phone calls to do so. We tried to brush him off a handful of times, but he wouldn’t take no for an answer. After about an hour of looking at what appeared to be horror film sets, we decided to just make it all the way to San Juan del Sur. It was too late to ride by this time and we had nowhere to stash our bikes, so we threw them on top of a bus and a half an hour later we were here:
The bus dropped us off right in front of a row of hostels and we looked into two before realizing that they were all more or less the same and choosing one run by a mother and daughter team. It felt like we were the only guests in the place and it was only a few hours later that I checked out my guidebook and read that it had a reputation as a party hostel. That was clearly old news because the place in its current incarnation was quiet, clean and overrun by the grandchildren and pets of the owners. We could not have been happier with where we found ourselves after our grubby tour of Rivas. It felt like somewhere we could stay for a while.