We caught an early morning taxi from the hotel in Liberia to the terminal.There was no boot in the tiny,red cab so our bags had to be packed into the front passenger seat. The driver, a lovely man, even turned on his meter before being asked and charged us the correct fare. Initially, most taxi drivers refused to use the meter until we threatened to walk away. This guy was a gent.
‘The border is only two hours away by bus, but be careful! There are many thieves. You need to watch out’ He warned, placing his index finger under his eye to emphasise the point.
I promised him I would and handed over the four dollar fare.
His concern was endearing but unnerving. How bad could the border be.
We were immediately surrounded by unofficial ‘helpers’, who told us the bus would leave in twenty minutes. They told us the fare and offered to change our last few Cost Rican Colones to Nicaraguan Cordobas.
The rate offered was derisory, so I preferred to hold onto the cash and gift it to some southbound travellers in Granada, than hand it over to these sharks.
We searched for shade, even at this early hour the sun was scorching. We sat, shuffling from seat to seat avoiding the sun and spoke about Granada.
It was hard to believe we were so close. Reaching Granada meant so much to us. Firstly,we had achieved our target of travelling from Ushuaia ,the very tip of South America,to Granada in Central America. There were a few hairy, scary moments but we had arrived safe and sound.
Sometimes along the way,our options were a bit dodgy but at those times Nan made sure to remind me ‘this is your family Billy’. Just in case I didn’t know!
But I got the message loud and clear. No risks, get us safely to Granada or else!!
I was relieved to be nearly there and we were all happy that today would be our last journey, we were sick to the teeth of buses and now on Central America’s chicken buses,travel was becoming a lot more complicated.
But, of course we were living our dream. We had always wanted to return to Granada, to live for a while in its antique timelessness and hopefully find La Doña’s house again.
La Doña was an eighty year old widow by the time we had the good fortune to meet her so she would ,no doubt, no longer be living there.But perhaps, we could find and visit the house and meet her family or whoever lived in her home now.
In any case, our dreams of returning to Granada were becoming a reality and we were excited to think that we would soon see those magnificent old colonial buildings with red-tiled roofs and brightly painted facades. Tonight we would stroll the wonderful Parque Central, through trees alive with thousands of birds. All these years later we still remembered the park and the glorious evening birdsong.Hopefully, we would love it as much this time as before.
We couldn’t wait to see the house which would be home for the next month. We had rented an old colonial casona in the heart of Granada, across from Iglesia Guadeloupe. Old World style for a while.
My reveries were interrupted by a high-pitched singing voice ‘ frontera, frontera, frontera, frontera’
“2 bags each, front and back
Nothing left behind.