Nagarote is a town halfway in between León and Managua. It is on the far side of Lake Managua (with Managua being on the near side). I went there today with my soon to depart site-mate, Chelsea, who used to live there.
Nagarote, despite being small, has a lot of draws. It is home to the first place team in the León departmental entrepreneurship competition. It is known as the cleanest municipality in Nicaragua (and it lives up to its reputation). It also allegedly has the best quesillos in Nicaragua (La Paz Centro, its next-door neighbor would beg to differ, but again, Nagarote lives up to its reputation). The park in Nagarote is excellent, they have a overlook of Lake Managua and the Maribios volcano chain, and they also have a street lined with 50 quotes from the Bible.
Let’s start where we started the morning, at the park. Nagarote, like León, is hot. And unlike the dreary central park in León, which more resembles a central square, there is plenty of shade at the park in Nagarote. And there is a fountain made to resemble jicaro cups, which is a popular handicraft made in our area.
Unfortunately, the church, which is contiguous with the park, is closed due to damages sustained in the April earthquake. The epicenter of the earthquake was Nagarote. There was a lot of damage, but luckily no one died.
Nagarote is known for having money, and it definitely shows. The park is one year old now and very well maintained. From the park we went to the Bible street. This is a street lined with sculptures of scrolls inscribed with quotes from the Bible.
Last year, for the 50th anniversary of Nagarote, that had 50 couples from around Nicaragua simultaneously married on the street. I’m no fan of religion, but again, I am impressed with the civic order and design that Nagarote has maintained.
From the Bible street Chelsea and I headed for the main event, quesillo.
I think I’ve mentioned quesillo before, but it bears mentioning again. Quesillo is mozzarella cheese and pickled onions, wrapped in a flour tortilla, and doused in cream. Chelsea brought me to the place claiming to have the best, and I was not disappointed. No pictures, sorry, but my face and hands were covered in cream. And they only cost C$10. The crappy quesillos they sell at one of the schools I work at cost at minimum C$12.
With a full stomach we trudged up to the mirador of the lake and volcanoes. Of course, we could clearly see Momotombo dominating the terrain.
After the mirador we rushed to catch a bus back to León. I had a class at 3:30 and I had to head home first to change. The bus was late, but I still managed to make it by 3:30. And of course, class was CANCELLED.
With Nagarote, I knock another bad boy off the bucket list. Here is how we stand now:
- Isla Juan Venado
Salinas Grandes Beach
- Volcan Cosigüina
- Volcan San Cristobal
- Volcan Telica
- León Viejo
- Jiquilillo Beach
- Wetlands of Chinandega
Climb the Cathedral Ruben Darío Museum (which is a block from my house)
- Myths and Legends Museum
- Botanical Gardens
If all goes well I should be hiking Telica on Sunday, and next week I saw there are some free events at the Botanical Gardens, so I may get to see them too. That’ll put me roughly halfway through the list.