October 10, 2015: Insects

I woke up, completely on my own, at five forty this morning!  It is nice when you can get up early because that is the coolest part of the day.  So I came right down to the dining room with the laptop to enjoy having some time with the nice weather.  Today is Saturday making this our second weekend in Granada.  We had talked about maybe going somewhere this weekend, perhaps Matagalpa in the highlands in coffee country, but we were not really feeling it so decided on a quiet weekend at home.

Dominica was up around seven and Luciana right after her.  Liesl slept in until well after nine.

Finally this morning I managed to get all caught up on SGL.  That makes me very happy.

Before noon we went out to Chepapo, the hamburger place that I had discovered yesterday but we had not made it to for lunch.  We all went today but apparently on the weekends they turn into a breakfast only place.  This worked out well for the girls who were interested in pancakes, one of their main sources of calories in general, but Dominica and I really wanted to try their veggie hamburgers.

Thankfully we made sad faces and they explained that they could make burgers but only veggie burgers.  We explained that we were vegetarians and everyone was happy.  Two veggie burgers with fries and a pancake for the kids to split.

We were the only people eating at the restaurant the entire time that we were there.  The food was quite good and came to just 330 Cordoba after tax and generous tip, almost exactly $12.  So cheap here.  We even had two coffees.

After lunch we stopped at El Burrito Loco for some pineapple and banana smoothies and then hit the ATM to pick up the rest of the cash that we needed to pay our rent here in Granada.  Then we walked home.  It was a very hot walk.  While out we ran into a guy that I know from a previous walk that I had taken.  I am already starting to know people around Granada!

We made it home just in time.  It was hot and sunny all day.  Five minutes after we were home it turned into a major storm.  We would have been very unhappy had we been out in the storm when it hit.

Liesl wanted to spend the afternoon swimming so we just relaxed and let them do that.  I did some SGL writing, did a little work on setting up my laptop and did just a little posting.

We got several little bouts of rain and a major lightning storm this afternoon.  I had been planning on going for a walk as soon as we had gotten back from lunch but thankfully I did not.

In the late afternoon, while the girls were still swimming, it looked like it was safe to head out on foot so I got ready and went for a walk to the south.  I went south on the main road through town, the Calle Atravesada, which we use every day but never take it past the mid point of town.  Immediately on the south side of town but is a pretty typical, nothing odd street in the north, turns into a completely insane street market that would remind you in many ways of the market in the medina in Fes!  Not as crazy and certainly not as big but full of cars too, which they do not contend with in Fes.  This was not something that we had any idea existed here in Granada.

I walked all of the way south out of the city and into the countryside keeping to rather a direct southern path as much as I could ascertain that I was doing.  I ended up going through lots of little barios and into other villages.  I managed to leave Granada and get to see a rather different part of life in Nicaragua.  It was an interesting walk, for sure.

I made it far out into the country.  One of the intriguing things that I found was that even ridiculously far out into rural and very poor countryside the road was not just paved, but brick paved and recently.  In fact the road was quite a bit nicer than it was in the city and way nicer than any road in the US.  Very strange.

About six kilometers out from the house I stumbled upon the end of the road, where it turned to all mud, and there was a bizarre, otherworldly housing development going in!  All little, tiny, identical four hundred square foot boxes in all different, bright colours which all, except for one, appears to be empty.  It had all of the look of a major housing development anywhere with a giant, welcoming entry gate and even a guard sitting out front.  But instead of giant McMansions there were among the smallest homes I have ever seen.  But they seemed to be brand new, still under construction, well built little concrete homes that I am sure are quite nice, just very small.  In the whole place I saw only one car and just one family sitting out in front of their home enjoying the evening air.  It was all quite surreal.  This place was so far removed from Granada that I cannot imagine who would be interested in living in this development, even though it seems very nice and I am sure it is incredibly high end for the region.

The sun was getting low and I was as close to Mombacho Volcano as I was going to be able to get going via this route so I turned back after exchanging pleasantries with the security guard (what he was guarding I have no idea, the place was empty, no one was there and there was no fence around the place so he would never notice someone actually going into the complex.)

Even as far south as I went, a few times I ran into the road full of cattle being led from one place to another.  And many people riding horses passed by.  And at one point there was a group of girls playing soccer, or something like kickball maybe, in the middle of the road.  No car traffic down here.

On the walk back I made it maybe one kilometer back towards Granada when suddenly something flew up between my glasses and the brim of my cap and stung me, hard, just above my right eye.  It hurt, a lot.  This is, from my memory, the worst sting or bug bite of my life.  The pain was intense and lasted for more than an hour!  It was so bad that I got a headache and my right eye socket began to hurt.

It was getting pretty dark when I made it back home.  I had made a little loop so that I was not doing entirely the same path the entire direction.  I definitely know Granada far better than I did before.

I ran into a guy that I know once back in town and he told me that my sting wasn’t visible so I was probably fine.

Before getting all of the way back home I stopped at the corner store and picked up a cold drink for the walk back and a beer for the house.

Got home and we decided that we were going to call it an early night.  We needed to look at my sting and figure out if it was okay and it was pretty warm and Dominica really wanted a video game night.  But we wanted some food too.

So we walked directly across the street (all ten steps) and checked out the lady there that sells asado from her from sidewalk.  We asked but she had nothing vegetarian except for papas, which we bought two of.  They came packaged in a banana leaf.

The local papas (literally just is the word potato) is a little bit of cheese encased in a big ball of mashed potatoes and then fried!  Yummy.   It comes with a big of on the dry side coleslaw as a topping.  We got two, went home and Dominica and I ate them at the dining room table.  They were pretty good.  And at only ten Cordoba each they are around thirty five cents!!

After eating we went upstairs and spent nearly two hours trying to figure out how to get either her laptop or my laptop to hook to and work with the television in our bedroom so that we could use it for Dominica to play her video game.  We eventually gave up as there was always one problem or another, the big ones being that the television was so small that we could not read the words on the screen and the other being that nothing we did would let the sound go through so that was pointless as we could not hear anything and hearing the dialogue was pretty much a requirement for the game to work at all.

Eventually we gave up and just set up the desk at the end of the bed, put my laptop with the 17″ screen and the Beats Audio on it (it is an HP Envy) which we could both see and hear pretty well.  The Logitech gamepad worked just fine and Dominica was able to play her game from bed.

She played about two hours of Telltale Games’ “The Walking Dead: Season One” which turned out to be amazing.  It is from 2012  and I cannot believe how great that game is.  We are only partway into Episode One from Season One but the storytelling is phenomenal as are the graphics and acting.    This is totally not a subject matter that I am into but it is exactly the kind of game that I love.  Watching her play it for a few hours was just like watching an intense movie.  I am so impressed with the work that Telltale did on this title and I am very excited to play many of their other titles since we bought their collection the other day.  They seem to be doing some really great work.

We were off to bed around eleven.  The girls spent most of the evening in their rooms.  At first they were just playing as they have been two days without iPads but around seven or so Dominica decided that since they were in bed so early that they could have their iPads in there.  They were so excited to get their iPads back.