Our little group took a trip to Granada.
I was not overly impressed with the huge church we visited.
Which was odd. Normally, even if milling with tourists, I find a spot where there is calm.
It was cold. Impersonal. Empty. And I don’t mean empty of people.
Sad looking burnt out candles. I’m pretty sure people just light it for fun. And don’t leave a contribution. In a country that could use all the help it could get.
But our trip to LAS ISLETAS was lovely.
There are about 360 islands scattered in the lake. Created about 20,000 years ago when a volcano erupted and boulders, ash and molten lava tumbled into the lake.
The isletas come in all shapes and sizes.
And the gap between abject poverty and incredible riches is highlighted.
There is a small community of local fishermen, living in shacks. We passed some standing near the edge in waist high water, cleaning up. And another that had a couple of fish in his boat.
But more and more the isletas are being bought up by the wealthy.
Our guide pointed out the house, or mansion, belonging to the wealthiest man in Nicaragua. Or the one built by the owner of the local newspaper. One house even had its own helicopter landing pad.
Oh yes, for a cool $160, 00.00 you could buy your own island.
I really recommend reading a little more about it. The mere thought that this paradise could be destroyed by the construction of something similar to the Panama Canal, makes my blood run cold.
Even if Nicaragua could do with much needed foreign investment. In this case from China.
Here is a good link: Lonelyplanet.com
Our day ended with a trip to a chocolate factory.
First the cocoa bean tree. The different beans. Grinding them by hand. Tasting and more. We lost out on the chocolate liqueurs as John, my eleven year old grandson was with us.
I told him I would hold it against him for life.
But we did buy their version of Nutella which is liquid chocolate. Expensive but yummy on toast.
And home again on that dusty road to our own little bit of paradise.
I thought about Las Isletas. The contrasts I saw.
I wondered who was happier.
Who had more inner peace.
I decided, as long as he could provide the basics for his family, I’d declare that fisherman we met, hands down the winner.
Cyber hugs and blessings friends.