Lomas del Encanto - billibilli

"The Enchanted Hills"

Moving on to our next job from Casa la Ceiba meant waking up at sunrise and hiking all of our gear down the beach to catch a ride from surfers at Maderas. A hitchhike, a bus, some fried chicken, another bus ("Big Papa"), and we were in Granada where we decided to try out another hostel. We walked a few blocks from the park and settled for "De Boca En Boca" a very snooty, very french establishment. The room was slightly over priced, the restaurant was very over priced, you're welcome to refill your drinking water (if you pay by the liter), and their special breakfast deal isn't going on right now. Anyway.

In the morning we attended church again before heading to the market to buy groceries. We met Orlando the caretaker, and then rode to Lomas del Encanto, the aforementioned home of Don Jose in Las Isletas.

Joe bought the property about 15 years ago, and at the time it was almost completely cleared for cattle ranching. Since then he's planted more than 15,000 plants and almost all of the trees including cacao, fruit and hardwoods. Their howler monkey population has more than tripled, and they have a growing community of iguanas, snakes, and all kinds of zorros*.

He built a beautiful and unique house on top of a tall hill overlooking the islands and Lake Nicaragua, with a winding path to the water where he keeps a small boat and kayaks. Now he lives in Denmark with his wife and kids, so he would like to rent the house as a vacation rental. 

We stayed for 5 nights, waking up early to get the best photos of the house and make a video tour, then we rode into town to use the internet to make his website and get the house listed online. When we were done, he told us that we were welcome to stay as long as we'd like, so we stayed another week!

You can see our work here!

We enjoyed the pool, and had fun cooking for ourselves using everything we could find in the local market like yuca, plantains, chiltomas, and all kinds of fruit. I cooked a variety of stir-fries and got creative with the myriad of fresh herbs and chilies in the garden. There was a particular tiny little chili that was unbelievably spicy and I'm going to try to grow some at home.

One of my favorite things that I've found in Nicaragua is a small bottle of hot sauce called Lizano that is fantastic. I used it to make some incredible hot wings by frying chicken wings, then tossing them in half butter, half hot sauce with some salt. For dressing to dip them in, I blended the strong local queso fresco with sour cream and some herbs for a blue cheese substitute and it worked out great.

We spent several evenings in a kayak exploring the area, and tried our hand at bird photography among the lily pads and floating vegetation. We also ate fresh fish at one of the restaurants out on the water. On Valentine's Day we took the truck into town to get a hair cut, ice cream, and work on the internet.

*Here all medium-sized rodents are called a 'zorro' including: opossums (zorro-cola-pelado), skunks (zorro-mofeta), porcupines (zorro-espinas), mexican porcupines (zorro-espinas), foxes (zorro), raccoons (zorro), etc.

*Here all medium-sized rodents are called a 'zorro' including: opossums (zorro-cola-pelado), skunks (zorro-mofeta), porcupines (zorro-espinas), mexican porcupines (zorro-espinas), foxes (zorro), raccoons (zorro), etc.

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