Our next stop was the still active Volcano Masaya. Even though it is still active you can drive to the crater rim to look down into the smoke billowing up. Mind you there are notices to take some safety precautions.
As you can see we were able to park pretty close to the edge.
We camped at the visitor centre which was really nice and informative. This was a few Kms from the crater rim. On the way back down we passed a lava field from previous eruptions.
Since we have been in Central America we have found that we have been driving a lot less and the distances between sights are much smaller so our next stop was only 37kms away, the wonderful old colonial city of Granada. For many years Granada was the great rival to Leon. Because of this rivalry the capital was moved to Managua and Granada became more of a backwater but it still has a magnificent history. In its history it was also sacked by pirates a number of times who sailed in small boats across the lake.
As there are very few real campgrounds in Central America we need to be more imaginative where we stay. The best place to stay in the truck in Granada is at the fire station. It is very centrally located although it was a bit noisy as many people use it as a parking lot and the firemen have impromptu games of football at 11 at night.
The city is really beautiful with magnificent churches and colonial houses.
We also took a horse drawn carriage down to the shores of Lago Nicaragua a very large inland lake.
From there we hired a boat to explore the many small islands just off the shore. These islands were created from all the volcanic activity in the past. They used to be a very poor part of the country but now many of the islands have been bought up by the rich and are used as holiday homes. Some are still for sale.
This one looked like the perfect lair for a James Bond villain.
Granada also has lots of good restaurants which we took full advantage of. However we have to admit that after nearly 7 months on the road we finally succumbed and went to an Irish bar. As with Irish bars everywhere the food is always the same so we were torn between fish and chips, shepherds pie or sausages and mash. In the end the fish and chips won out and were pretty good. All washed down with litre bottles of beer that were less than two dollars each.
We really enjoyed Granada but as you can see walking around is pretty hot. (And no that's not me!)
From Granada we drove to San Jorge on the shore of Lago Nicaragua. This is the port from which you can catch a ferry to Isla de Ometepe. The island is really just two large volcanos but it is supposedly the largest freshwater island in the world and we want to spend a few days there.
The only question, is do we take the truck? Yes it will fit on the ferry!