I admit that I was a little burned out after the heat of Granada, so I decided to spend a few days in Laguna de Apoyo (no, not Laguna de a Pollo, or Lagoon of a Chicken, as some people have joked. Wocka wocka wocka), which is a volcanic crater lake about 30 minutes from Granada. I took a shuttle from a nearby hostel on Sunday morning and on the way met a couple from… Cleveland! I look forward to hanging out with Billy and Angela when I return to the Cleve later this year.
The shuttle dropped us off at a partner hostel where some of us would be staying, Paradiso Hostel. Now, any given town and city, especially in a warm climate, will have a place to stay called Paradiso or Paraiso. I have stayed at several, with varying results. But these guys aren’t kidding around. My jaw dropped as I walked down the steps to reception. Because this place is within a crater, it was necessary to walk down past several terraces to get to the water. Built into each terrace was a section of rooms and an eating or lounging area. It was beautiful: lush with flowers and green plants. Although I didn’t stay in the dorm, I cannot think of any other dorm where the entire front wall facing the lake is a screen and you can watch the sunrise over the lake from your bunk. Wow.
Along the lake itself was a restaurant/bar area with hammocks and hanging chairs; there were free kayaks for use on the shore, plus a ping pong table and another area that I didn’t notice until later with a television (although I can’t imagine wanting to watch TV when you are in paradise. But that’s just me).
The next few days were filled with swimming, kayaking, napping, writing in my journal, learning how to play Jamaican croquet, and hanging out with some fun new friends, culminating in a celebration of both St. Patrick’s Day and the full moon. I never thought that St. Patrick’s Day in Boston could be topped, but then again, I had never jumped off a party boat in the middle of the night to swim in a volcanic crater lake under a full moon, either :).
Laguna de Apoyo left me with some wonderful memories of Nicaragua. I would return in a heartbeat.