Peace Corps

January 15, 2011 by staff 

Peace Corps, On a nearby island, a rooster crowed in front of the tape first light cracked the horizon on Lake Nicaragua.

Dawn awakened birds. The avian chorale gradually increased in a crescendo as the hallelujah morning sun burst into full view through the window of our cabin on the island Jicaro.

It was my alarm clock for three days on Jicaro (pronounced he-ka-roh), one of 365 “Isletas” that form an archipelago off the bustling colonial city of Granada in Nicaragua.

Jicaro is isolated and serene. The eco-lodge trip was a chance discovery in websurf ng for resorts in neighboring Costa Rica. A trip to Nicaragua was on our itinerary, if a stay Jicaro was very appealing. It was the promotional offer three nights for the price of two.

I wanted to spend a few days in Granada, a charming city I visited in 1983 during the American-led war against the Sandinista Contra. At the time, tourists were known as “sandalistas,” because most were wearing sandals and sympathized with the revolutionary left-wing government. Today Nicaragua is attracting price-conscious backpackers and gringos looking for vacation properties.

We booked a stay at Jicaro on the understanding that we reached “between Monday and Friday,” and take our chances to find an empty casita or cabin.

Imagine our joy when a smiling Caroline Gomez greeted us upon receipt of booking Jicaro on the continent and has confirmed our casita was ready. She then escorted us to the water taxi to the lodge. Our landing was surprisingly Jicaro ceremony. Four staff members greeted us at dockside, carrying tea made from an herb, the local bakery, and hot towels.

The rocky island out of the Dark Lake Nicaragua is barely large enough for a dozen buildings. Our casita has a simple structure with two floors. The board took the entire second floor, polished wood and gave our haven a Japanese feel. Here we were in harmony with nature – inside and out. Our daily meals could be taken on the terrace of the restaurant, our private balcony, deck, yoga or poolside. A romantic dinner on the floating platform was an option tonight.

The chef Americantrained Prezano Calley prepared meals. Her freshly prepared food out daily specials using local ingredients, whether fish, meat, vegetables, jams and candies.

Karen Emanuel, who was intrigued by an “island for sale,” developed Jicaro she saw in a restaurant in Nicaragua in 2007. A few months after his return to England, the businesswoman from London made an offer for its fantastic island.

It took more than a year to build the casitas, made of reclaimed wood toppled by Hurricane Felix in 2007, said Matt Prezano, brother of the leader and team member Cayuga Sustainable Hospitality, which has occupied the transition of the hotel managers of Nicaragua. He came to Nicaragua in 1998 as a “Corps Paix”bénévoles. “I surfed here for about six months after my” Corps Paix”travail was done. Love the place and decided to return, “said the California native and former banker.

Prezano me isleta visit, detailing how the station was built with minimal impact to natural environment of the island. The water for the guests and the kitchen is heated by solar panels, fans cross ventilation and ceiling replace air conditioning, wastewater is treated greywater is used for watering plants; effective energy efficiency lights are everywhere, son and all the electrical ground, “he said.

Small fishing boats puttering past the idyllic Jicaro, named after the generous tree, whose seeds are used for medicinal remedies and beverages, only hear the engines.

For the ecolodge succeed, “said Prezano, it is important to hire local staff, train them and let them run. “They know the place better than anyone. It’s their country, and tourism livelihood.”

We were curious about the local birds, and Fabian Espinoza took us a tour of two hours on the nearby island where we saw blue herons and a cluster of nests oropendula hang like a slingshot from a huge tree.

Generally, however, we spent our time lounging by the pool without Jicaro chlorine and cooled, as the day grew warmer.

We also curled in the hammock outside our casita and watched the locals go in their fishing boats. The scenes were pleasant reveries of my summers growing up on the Adriatic coast of Istria.

The isleta is not big enough for a walkabout, but you can ride on the watchtower and a complete view of treetops on nearby islands.

Ecolodge visitors can enjoy a massage, walking on a plantation, nature reserve and hot springs, kayaking at sunrise or sunset, even paddle along the coast of the island at night – full moon tours are particularly popular.

There are bird watching, nature walks along the peninsula Asese; adventures half day and full day Mombacho, the volcano is clearly visible Jicaro and fishing for tilapia, pike or sea bass rainbow a wooden boat with one of the local fishermen.

History buffs can visit the colonial city of Granada colored or take a boat ride from one hour to the island to see Zapatera local archaeological finds.

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