. He has been here a long time as his partner has been ill, although almost recovered. We had a chat with him about things to see and do around here. In the afternoon we walked around the town a bit. It is the oldest town in Nicaragua having started in 1520, although it suffered when William Walker was expelled as he tried to burn down the town. Most of the buildings are colonial in style, very plain small fronts that open up inside into large, planted patios. The Cathedral has obviously just been repainted, but the main parque is looking a bit worse for wear as none of the fountains are in running order. In general though it is a very pretty town.
13th - Apart from some shopping today is a lazy day.
14th - A trip down to the lake side to see the views and have some lunch after having been in to town to see the parades. We found out that it had been at 8.30 in the morning and we had not heard a thing.
15th - This morning we decided to go out for an early breakfast as they might again have a parade. Asking around there might be, and it could be at 10 am or 9 or maybe now. I am writing this at 2 pm and still no parade, all good fun. The one interesting thing that happened today was one of the other people having breakfast with his family. I will have to give some history to explain the interest. In 1996 the former mayor of Managua, Arnoldo Aleman was elected President, narrowly and controversially
. He remained in power until January 2002 even though there were loud cries about corruption and political cronyism. Within a year of the new president taking over, it was Alemans vice president, he took the lead in getting the National Assembly to vote to strip Aleman of his immunity to prosecution and within hours he was officially charged with defrauding the country of US$ 100 million. As a result of these charges he was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison and a US$17 million fine. Even before the trial was completed he and Daniel Ortega, the leader of the FSLN party were going to form a pact between their two parties. It so happens that Ortega is now the President and the pact still exists. The interesting part though is that Aleman and his family where the people who joined us in the restaurant for breakfast. His jail consists of having two policemen accompany him wherever he goes; he still lives in his own mansions and can travel freely. In fact as we saw he still actually employs a man to taste all the food before he eats it. This as a prime example of one rule for the rich coming into force. Any way we managed to get up to the top of the cathedral tower today and get some nice photos overlooking the square and the town.
16th - I have a bit of a problem with my back and so we are trying a Chiropractor, in the end he is more of a masseur wit a bit of knowledge of Chiropractic, but the massage has helped. Expect to leave tomorrow.
Set off initially to go to the mirador at the town of Christina. This is a small town set at the top of Lago de Apoya. We managed to get to the mirador without too much problem, there though they wanted 100 Cordoba's just to park. It is possible that they thought we wanted to stay the night though. When we queried it they reduced it to 40 Cordoba's just to park. We paid up and then had to walk through the stalls selling souvenirs to get to the viewpoint. The view certainly is spectacular, as well as the lake it is possible to see Volcano Momotombo off to one side. After a walk around the area it was back to the vehicle and a fairly short drive to the town of Granada. We already knew that it is possible to park at the Red Cross centre so it was just a case of getting a local map to find out exactly where it is. We parked just off the main square and got the map; we had to move fairly quick as there was a parade by one of the schools and we were partly blocking the street. Anyway five minutes later saw us driving into the Red Cross only to find Bruce Scott, Silk Route Club, already staying here with his campervan