Restaurants in Nicaragua are about three times more expensive than street food, but that still makes them pretty cheap! After dinner we popped into a club for 'ladies night', which really has nothing to do with ladies and there are no specials. However, there was good music and we had fun dancing. I could still remember my run in with rum in Leon so I stuck to coke.
The next day we set out for a kayak tour of Lake Nicaragua. The lake has hundreds of small islands scattered about and Mombacho Volcano looks over everything.
We started with the cacao tree. The yellow fruit are the ones that are ready, you can check by seeing if they sound hollow. To get them off you twist - they grow so close to the trunk that if you cut them no more will grow there and eventually the tree will be barren.
...and grinding the beans.
Of course there was a requisite song for the mixing of the hot chocolate. From what I remember the beginning goes "Bati, Bati, Chocolaty" and then slightly longer Spanish words that it is beyond my ability to remember!
Finally it was on to the main event: actual chocolate. He showed us how they combine it with sugar for 15hours until it's smooth then unleashed us to make our own.
The next morning we got up early to head to Ometepe, an island in Lake Nicaragua. We stayed for two nights (which I'll tell you about in my next, and last, Nicaragua blog) before I headed back to Granada to spend the night before returning to Costa Rica. On my last night in Granada I wandered out to grab some supper and saw this beacon of light through the trees.