The best discovery I made in Granada was Mombacho Cigars, a brand new elite cigar company founded by three Canadian guys. They are hand picking and rolling tobacco from nearby Mombacho mountain, employing only locals and paying them well, and have established themselves on the main street in Granada in the most beautiful colonial house, complete with a cafe, restaurant and rooftop view. We almost walked right past it, but got enticed to come in when one of the founders Fraser asked us ‘Would you like to see how cigars are made?’ and of course, I did. I love cigars. And Mombacho cigars are really, really good, proven by the fact that I probably smoked 5 in 2 days.
We made a good friend out of Fraser, and he was happy for the English-speaking company, so the next day we spontaneously decided to take a road trip to Leon, another tourist, colonial town similar to Granada. The best part was probably the road trip itself, since we took in in a topless 70’s toyota truck through some marvelously scenic landscapes.
While I was in Granada I started thinking about how most forms of transport used to involve horses, either on horse back or with horse-drawn carraiges. What a romantic and wonderful reality it would be, especially in a place like Granada, to have no cars, buses, trucks, tuck tucks, or dirtbikes.
I thought about this while traveling around town with a carriage, but later decided I wanted to actually travel like that. Guy was up for it too, so it only took stopping a couple carriage drivers before one offered to take us to our next destination, a town called Chinandega reachable by bus in 1 hr. Instead, we took a 7 hr horse and cart into the night and quickly realized why vehicles are so much more efficient as hundreds zipped past us. However, it was still more enjoyable, we appreciated the scenery passing by so much more, interacted with all sorts of locals on horse back or pedal bikes pasing by, and made great friends out of our 2 chauffers. And, it did only cost $10, expensive compared to the $1 bus but still incredibly underpriced.