Saturday November 21, 2015, 39 miles (63 km) – Total so far: 13,125 miles (21,123 km)
The day we arrived in Managua I had my first puncture of this trip and my first since Serbia last year May. That’s pretty good for all the miles since Serbia so I can’t complain. My hat is off to Schwalbe Mondial 26×2 foldable tires. We have been on some very rough tiring cutting roads and they hold up day after day. Jocelyn had a puncture in northern California and before that I believe it was last March in Spain.
After a great night in Managua we peddled 39 miles to Granada. Granada is a Nicaraguan city on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Founded in 1524 it is home to multiple Spanish colonial landmarks that have survived repeated pirate invasions. The city’s main plaza, Central Park, is dominated by the colorful, neoclassical facade of the Cathedral of Granada, originally dating to 1583. The Centro Cultural Convent San Francisco nearby is famed for its displays of pre-Columbian statues. We cycled to the Oasis Hostel then found out about the many Spanish Immersion Programs in this old colonial town. We ran into a Canadian friend, Gilles that we met in Leon and spent the evening discussing Spanish. Gilles arrived right after us. We didn’t know he was headed our way so it is a small world.
That night and the next morning we researched the different Spanish lessons available here and chose Nicaragua Mia Spanish School (http://spanishschoolnicaraguamia.com/). We also took advantage of their home stay accommodations and picked a Nicaraguan family to live with for a week during our lessons. The instruction is for 20 hours/5 days. Yesterday we moved from the hostel to this wonderful house and friendly family who speaks very little English because that is the whole point. When not in class we converse with them in Spanish. We figured we had enough time to spend a week here and we really do want to get much better in Spanish. The cost is great too. We each have our own teacher at $100 each for the week and the home stay is another $100 each. This includes three meals a day too. This can’t be beat. We had our first lesson today and after four hours I was conversing with my teacher in Spanish! She was asking me questions and I was answering fairly well. We both have homework too! Our last class in next Wednesday and we will be back on the road Thursday.