I Didn’t Want to Leave: Laguna de Apoyo

Take me back.

Oh my goodness. Laguna de Apoyo. The highlight of our trip to Nicaragua. If only we booked more time there! The laguna is a crater lake that is located between Granada and Masaya in a designated Nature Reserve area. The warm and clean water makes the lake a popular spot for swimming, kayaking, and scuba diving. We were told it’s the cleanest water in Nicaragua.

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

We stayed at San Simian, a gorgeous and secluded eco-lodge right on the lake. I highly recommend it!* Our little bungalow (Papaya) was beautiful and the bathroom (including outdoor shower) was gorgeous. Seriously, we are still talking about this bathroom. Sorry future accommodation’s bathrooms. You will always be judged against San Simian.

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

The property was quiet and encouraged relaxation. We spent our time reading in hammocks, sitting on the dock, floating on the lake, or out in a kayak. It was amazing. I want to go back. Right now.

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua Current favorite Jill + Mike photo!

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

Laguna de Apoyo, Nicaragua

This is one of the few places I’ve felt sad to leave. Usually, I’m ready to move on to the next adventure but not this time. After a delicious breakfast and one more swim, we reluctantly took a taxi back to Granada and headed on our way to the beach.

xo, jill

*Just a little more helpful info on San Simian. It was the nicest place we stayed during our trip. We loved it and I truly wish we had stayed longer. Our clean, comfortable, and beautiful bungalow with private bath was only $50USD (+tax) and included breakfast. Private transport to San Simian from Granada was $10USD. We were happy to pay it.

Mombacho Volcano

Going up.

Our second day in Nicaragua we hired a guide to visit Mombacho Volcano. To be honest, the guide wasn’t really necessary. However, it was nice to spend the morning chatting with him and learning more about his life in Nicaragua. As a young father, he recommended we wait until our mid-30s to get married and have kids but warned that we will be more like grandparents to our children. I had to chuckle a bit at his advice. He also provided detailed information about the volcano and cloud forest that enhanced our experience.

Mombacho Volcano, Nicaragua

Mombacho Volcano, Nicaragua

Mombacho Volcano, Nicaragua

There are two hiking trails at the top of the volcano. We hiked the shorter of the two that circles the main crater. The longer hike may have been more interesting, but it required more time and hiring an additional guide. I’m pretty happy with the route we took, although the hike was fairly easy.

Mombacho Volcano, Nicaragua Looking down into the crater.

Mombacho Volcano, Nicaragua

The view of Lake Nicaragua was a definite highlight of the excursion. Driving up and down the incredibly steep side of a volcano  in the back of a truck was pretty fun too.

xo, jill

The other Granada

Getting started.

Yesterday marked one month of being in Korea. Mike and I celebrated at the waffle shop near our house with this delicious ice cream waffle. However, before I dive into Korea, I thought I should post a bit about our trip to Nicaragua in February.

We flew into Managua and arranged for our hotel to pick us up and drive us to Granada. The older I get, and the more I travel, the more inclined I am to let someone else do the work for me. Sure, we could have paid much less to hop on a bus and figure it all out ourselves, but I wasn’t in the mood. It was $20 well spent.

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

After arriving in Granada we headed out for a very groggy walk around town and an even sleepier snack. We needed a nap. When we woke up from our four hour snooze, we were ready to do a bit more exploring. We ate dinner in the main square and stopped in for drinks at a few of the many tourist bars and restaurants. Then it was time for more sleep!

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

The next morning we headed out on a tour of the cloud forest on Mombacho. More on that later. Back in Granada, we walked down to the Centro Turistico along the lake and strolled up and down the colorful streets. In the evening we ate at a different restaurant on the main square and enjoyed a few more drinks on the tourist strip.

Granada, Nicaragua

Granada, Nicaragua

We didn’t get up to too much while in Granada, but I certainly enjoyed our time in such a colorful place.

Granada, Nicaragua

The next morning we were off to Laguna de Apoyo, a definite highlight of the trip.

xo, jill

Anyang Haseo!

At last.

KoreanFlags

If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that Mike and I recently moved to Korea. We’ve been here for three weeks as of today. I’m now at the point where enough things have fallen into place that I’m feeling like I can relax a little. Our health checks were approved and on Monday we waited for four hours at the immigration office to complete the rest of the paperwork. Unfortunately, two of those hours were waiting outside in a long line in the cold. The immigration office is so backed up right now that people are arriving at 5am to get in line before the office starts handing out numbers at 9am. (We arrived at 7am). The previous week we arrived at 10am and all the numbers for the day had already been distributed. I’m very thankful that we’ve checked that set of paperwork off the list. Now we wait for our Alien Registration Cards before the next steps are taken.

I always forget about the set up process required when you move to a new place. It’s pretty much a hassle wherever you go.

Next up on my to-do list is to install a filter for our shower head. My hair has been…well, basically a helmet since I arrived. I think it’s the hard water.

xo, jill

Instant Nicaragua

Tubin’.

Yesterday Mike and I got back from a 10 day trip to Nicaragua. Despite a little food poisoning, it was fantastic! I brought my Fuji Instax camera with me but only remembered to pull it out a few times. These photos from Laguna de Apoyo were my favorite. It’s always fun to see how the photos will turn out considering that the film is about 4 years old.

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

More Nicaragua to come.

xo, jill

PS Old Instax posts here!

Maison de la Photographie

A sweet spot.

Before leaving Marrakech, Mike and I figured we better hit some of the tourist spots we hadn’t reached yet. One such spot was the Maison de la Photographie. It can be a bit tricky to find, but it’s definitely worth the search. The gallery features black and white photographs from Morocco’s rich history. Looking through the photographs you can see just how much (and how little) Morocco has changed. There’s also a little film that plays upstairs.

Maison de la Photographie, Marrakech

Maison de la Photographie, Marrakech

While you’re on the upper level, make sure you climb the stairs to the roof terrace and enjoy a mint tea. It’s a very relaxing and peaceful spot to enjoy a nice view over the medina. The prices are pretty reasonable too.

Maison de la Photograpie, Marrakech

On the way out, browse the postcards and prints in the boutique. Mike and I picked some out to decorate our future house… for you know, whenever we settle down.

xo, jill

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