Friday, February 17, 2012


You don't want to mess with that gangster holding her Mombacho! Here we are in Granada. We have been lucky enough to arrive during a week of celebrations for a poetry reading festival. There have been poetry readings in the central park and other areas in the city ranging from poets that live around the corner to poets from Japan and Slovenia. Granada reminds us quite a bit of Antigua, Guatemala, however there are actually locals that live here instead of just tourists. We arrived on Wednesday and after finding an appropriate hotel we did our usual wandering tour of the city, wrapping it up at O'Shea's pub, where we had the best fish and chips in Central America. Well, at least we had some local food for lunch. Yesterday we had a light breakfast at a bookstore appropriately titled Lucha Libro, and checked out the central market where we smelled some raw cacao beans and had light refreshments. It is very hot here in Nicaragua. After that we wandered to the Mombacho cigar factory. We got to observe the process from the planting of the seeds to the rolling of the tabacco leaves. It's interesting that these cigars really only have tabacco leaves in them and nothing else, the outer wrapping (which is itself a tabacco leaf) is held together by something of a puree of a local vegetable. The cigars are then compressed, individually tested to see how much airflow they have, and then placed in the walk-in humidor to age. We smoked one in their lounge while reading Cigar Aficionado and pretending to be high rollers. Needless to say this company had put some serious money into this tour and lounge setup, the lounge had a very nice little pool and comfortable chairs, and our tour guide spoke Spanish, English, and German. After a brief siesta we ended up getting burritos at El Centralito for dinner, not the greatest burrito and it actually left us a little hungry. We headed to the central park for some more international poetry reading and snacked on some fruits we purchased there. At the moment Sarah is doing a chocolate workshop at the Cacao Musuem and tomorrow we are planning to visit the nearby isletas in Lake Nicaragua. We will keep you posted!

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