BL17 FINAL - Page 41



SLUG HERE
placed all over the city.
After exploring Granada on the
first day, we will have a kaleidoscopic
choice of excursions and day trips. I’d
strongly recommend a guided tour of
the architectural delights of the City of
León and, after a superb lunch, a VIP
reception at the award-winning and
legendary Flor de Cana Rum Factory
(run on 100 per cent renewable energy),
where we will taste some of the world’s
rarest and finest rums.
The Grand Chocolate tour is also not
to be missed. It begins with a boat ride
across Lake Nicaragua (also known as
Lake Cocibolca) in the private nature
reserve La Calera, which is located
at the base of Mombacho volcano. At
La Calera, horses will be provided for
a guided tour of the tropical cocoa
plantations to learn all the different
stages of cocoa bean production,
after which lunch includes an artisan
chocolate tasting, which is not for the
faint hearted!
For cigar lovers we will enjoy the
fabulous drive to Estelli in the forested
and mountainous north, to visit the
tobacco plantations and cigar factories.
My friend Juan Martin will welcome
us at the Joyo de Nicaragua Cigar
factory, the oldest in Nicaragua, where
we will smoke the new Boisdale Cigar
he has created for us, which is based
upon the recipe used for the official
White House cigar, as supplied by Joyo
de Nicaragua to President Nixon in the
1970s. Lunch close by at Finca a Su
Mesa, where Juan took me this April,
will be a culinary pleasure as the uberrelaxed proprietor Darren, who hails
surprisingly from Texas, serves some of
the most delicious and sublime steak I
have ever tasted. He magically seasons
and then lightly cold smokes the beef
for 24 hours in an impressive homemade contraption, before grilling on
white hot charcoal. The locally made
craft beers are equally wonderful.
Clockwise from above:
kayaking around the
island of Ometepe;
the bell of the
Cathedral-Basilica of
the Assumption of Mary
in León; El Cavario
Church in León, in the
shadow of Cerro Negro
volcano; the cigar
makers of Joya de
Nicaragua in Estelli
O
IM AG E C R ED IT
n Wednesday we all travel by
boat to Ometepe, the magical
twin volcano island in Lake
Nicaragua that the Aztecs believed to
be the promised land and Mark Twain
thought was paradise. The island is
home to native Indian settlements,
where they live pretty much as they
did before the Spanish conquest. There
are abundant archaeological remains,
41
BOISDALELIFE .COM
AUTUMN 2019
ISSUE 17







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