Today, Manuel and I hit the road for the North Cascades to hit a day hike above Marblemount. Gorgeous country. Beautiful day. Big Peaks that still have glaciers. We had a bit of a surprise learning last three miles of road to trailhead was closed. (C'mon NPS, update your website.) But, we'll revisit more of this area another time.
Purísimas procession travels outside of the Cathedral of Granada. Floats and fireworks travel through the city several times a day during the end of November and early December tributing Granada's patron saint, the Virgen Concepión de Maria.
The streets of Granada, Nicaragua. The city was founded in 1524 by Francisco Fernández de Córdoba.
Virginia Barrera Reyes, in red, sells fruit with family members at the municipal market in Granada. Their family have been fruit vendors for around 40 years.
The Granada cemetery, used in the late 1800s and 1900s, is the resting place of six Nicaraguan presidents.
A young girl prepares to leave her spot on a float during an evening Purísimas procession in Granada.
Orlando Pena Vargas, right, talks with friends outside his home in Nicaragua. Vargas lives in both Granada and Miami.
(From right) Daniel Lerrera Cisnero, 35, Ruddy Enrique Molina Garay, 22, Christian Martines, 25, and Oscar Alberto Chavarria, 17, talk and laugh one evening in Granada’s Parque Colón. They say there is not a great amount of acceptance for open homosexuality in Nicaragua, a fiercely Catholic country. However, they said, it seems to be getting better.
Cathedral de Granada from the belltower of Iglesia de La Merced.
Iglesia de la Merced in Granada looking the opposite direction.
Juana and son Bernardo walk past the Granada marketplace.
A woman on the streets of Granada.
Light hits the eyes of Jenny Angeles Morales, 23, a meat vendor in the Granada marketplace.
Streets of Granada.
Nicaraguan flag flaps on a boat traveling through Las Isletas, a set of islands on Like Nicaragua. Volcan Mombacho is in the distance. Some of the islands are home to monkeys and birds. Some are homes to the wealthy.
Volcan Mombacho from Las Isletas.
LOS PUEBLOS BLANCOS
After a few days in Granada, Manuel and I jumped on a bus and toured Los Pueblos Blancos. Many of rural communities are located on Meseta Central and around Laguna de Apoyo— a huge crater lake encased in jungle.
The towns are said to have their own special artesians or folklore. Catarina, a small Spanish-colonial town, is known for its tropical plants and views of Apoyo.
My guidebook said the town of Diriomo hails to be the “Witch Capital of the Meseta.” So, Manuel and I decided to take a look around, and see if we could meet one of its folk healers. And, we did.
Andrea Peña Aguirre, a folk healer, is pictured inside of her home in Diriomo. Aguirre, a great-great grandmother, works out of her home. She practices natural medicine, purifies homes, reads cards and creates potions.
Laguna de Apoyo, Catarina.
Diriomo, Los Pueblos Blancos.
Jose Flores, 50, weaves baskets in Catarina, Los Pueblos Blancos.
Three-wheeled taxis (motorized and peddle-powered) ride past a memorial dedicated to fallen soldiers. I am not certain, but think the memorial tributes the dead of the Nicaraguan civil war between the Contras and the Sandinista-led government.
A bicycle taxi rides through Rivas, a rustic town and regional travel hub on the Pan-American highway in southwestern Nicaragua.
Genesis Veronica Alvarado Jimenez,10, swings for the piñata during her first communion celebration at a fire station in Rivas, Nicaragua.
Raquel Lanza Espinoza, 11, rides the bus with her brothers and mother on route to their home in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.
Man in poolhall, Rivas, Nicaragua.
First communion procession in Rivas, Nicaragua
Playa Coco at sunset.
Baby turtle headed for the ocean.
A group of Nicas our age showing off their flips. The beaches were nearly deserted, except for a few locals farmers, ecotourists and a few camps of turtle poachers. One of the boys we met, said he risks breaking the law (and risks being being shot at) to sell the eggs (for consumption) in the cities. Refugio de Vida Silvestre La Flor is nearby, and is a laying ground for turtles.
Mama turtle having a difficult time returning to the water after laying eggs.