Success is to be measured, not so much by the position that one has reached in life, but by the obstacles which he has overcome.
— Author Unknown
6am 6am and I am once again ready to feel the rigorous of travel. This time I will be headed to Nicaragua’s oldest colonial city of Granada. Founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, and whose name bears the currency of the country, it is known as the most popular tourist destination in the country and rests on the northwestern shoreline of Lake Nicaragua. While this affords an opportunity to visit a new destination, it is not all leisure as The Surfing Donkey is sending me to promote the hostel as part of my volunteer duties and is a welcomed trip to explore more of this beautiful country. Thankfully they have both setup free accommodations at the Bearded Monkey hostel as well as covered the costs for my transportation, which is less than $5 USD for the roundtrip journey, I have been anxious to see this well preserved architectural city. After a quick shower and a double check of my rucksack, I head down to the familiar bus depot next to the mercado and climb aboard the colorful bus. After more than an hour of waiting stationary in my seat, the driver takes his seat and fires up the engine and we are on our way to Rivas. It’s funny how I’ve become accustomed to the inconsistency or lack thereof in scheduled timing, but have taken it with stride as part of the experience of the culture that is Central America. The chicken bus from SJDS to Rivas costs only C$15 ($0.65 USD) and due to the frequency of the stops the trips lasts about an hour. Pulling in to the chaotic bus terminal of Rivas there is the typical groups of women selling everything from fruits and nuts to plates of food and cold drinks. Few minutes pass before I locate the bus with the words GRANADA written on the front among the six other buses that are parked with destinations for Managua and Peñas Blancas. Once again there is an hour wait before we back out of the crowded terminal, but thankfully I have brought a book to pass the time. Winding and dodging other buses, taxis, pedestrians, even single-driven horse buggies we make it to the outskirts of town and are soon on a paved road-heading north. The two-hour ride is another minimal cost of C$30 ($1.30 USD) in the effective mass transportation system used by locals and backpackers alike, and the lush countryside and rolling hills allow my thoughts to wander in this excessive freedom that has become a new chapter in my life, and I can’t help but smile at the places I am fortunate enough to visit.