“Hot Dog” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Hi, Ziggy here.

I know, I know, it’s been an absolute age since I last managed to get my paws on John’s iPad. 

Since he stupidly shattered his wrist he’s been spending hours with it in his hands (the iPad, not his now repairing wrist) because he’s ((as he repeatedly (some may say whiningly) points out)) unable do a lot of the chores that he did before the accident. My Mum Rose has been marvellous though, she’s not only done the stuff she normally does but most of the stuff that he (or so he said) used to do. 

I’m pleased to report though that he’s slowly but surely getting the use of it back although I know I’ve still got to be careful and not jump on his arm or run into it.

A short while ago I celebrated my 5th birthday which roughly coincided with my 3rd anniversary of being adopted by Rose and John. I know, I know, doesn’t time fly by. 

I’ve still got my job as Head of Security for Highbury House which, to be honest, is now a bit of a doddle. The occasional patrol of the grounds (sounds a lot grander than run around the garden, doesn’t it), bark at any bikes that go by, jump at the gate and bark before I verify their credentials and go to the gate and greet Rose and John whenever they return home. As I said, it’s a doddle.

On sentry duty at the front gate.

The payment package is good too. Endless places to sleep:

I am partial to the western, lagoon facing, veranda ( as is John, by the way ). A great place to catch the breeze.

My bed obviously.

I quite like the cooling effect of the floor tiles too.

And there’s so much of it to sleep on.

I can sleep in the toilet (restroom for non UK readers) if I want to.

Or sleep near John when he takes one of his (many) naps.

Or snuggle down next to Rose when she takes one of her very infrequent (she works so hard) 30 winks (told you she works hard, he has 40!).

Or get Rose to take my bed outside so I can be really comfortable.

It’s a big bed

so there’s always room for Rose. Have I mentioned that I really, really like her.

What’s not to like (love) !

Remuneration also includes all meals and as many treats as I can coerce out of Rose (you know the drill, wag my tail, smile at her, put my head in her lap. They all work. I’ve just got to remember to mix them up a bit)and a dental stick every day to keep the old pearly whites in tip-top condition. I’ve also got a medical  package that provides preventative care to make sure I don’t get fleas or ticks or heartworm ( sounds ghastly, doesn’t it).

Then there’s the grooming element of my ‘salary’ package , the deluxe shampoo (no haircut because Rose prefers me to keep it long) at the Pampered Paws spa.

Oh, and a lifetime membership of a huge gymnasium (otherwise referred to as ‘the garden) where I can chase iguanas all day long . I’ve just got to remember not to catch them. They taste horrible and make me sick.

And if that wasn’t enough I also get free holidays when I get to stay at the fantastic 5 Paws Hotel Pampered Paws where I get to meet up with my old friends and, if I’m lucky – and I usually am -make new ones. 

At a recent stay at my favourite resort taking an early morning stroll. I’m the exceptionally good looking ‘boy’ on the right .One hot dog !

I have a great time on holiday and I normally get to take 2 or 3 a year. Spoilt ? Maybe. But like L’Oréal, I’m worth it . And Rose always brings me back a present or two.

Rose bought these for me when she and John were recently in Nicaragua. I much prefer the real thing but these are great fun too. 

Anyway, got to dash. John’s moaning about not being able to find his iPad . Maybe when they next go away they’ll get one just for me. 

The headline for today’s (much awaited) edition is based on track 4 of side 1 of In Through the Out Door, the album released by Led Zepplin in 1979 which reached number 1 on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard Hot 200.

“Don’t Get Me Wrong ” when away from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Now where was I ? Oh, that’s right, in a taxi in Nicaragua heading from Léon to Granada.

We’d been told that the taxi ride would take around 90 minutes but this proved to be far from accurate. It actually took around 130 minutes, but there’s no doubt that the heavy rain that we experienced for a good part of the journey did slow things somewhat.

The time passed quickly though (what an inane comment that is ie time is time ) because there was lots to see as we passed through village after village, most of them serving farming communities.

We knew that we were nearly there when in front of us we saw the Horse Carriage Monument . I’d love to be able to include a photo but we were moving too fast. Or did I move too slow ? Now I know that I’m a little ( massive understatement here) biased but I think it was the former.

By the time I’d put the camera away ( and I was quick, honest ) we were there, in front of our hotel,  Hotel Plaza Colon . 

A quick sign in at Reception  

but our room wasn’t ready so they gave us a welcome drink ( I had a mojito if you’ve really got to know ) but before I’d had a chance to finish mine (I drink slowly too) we were told that the room preparation had been completed. And in a couple of slugs and maybe a slurp or two we were in it. And very nice it was too.

And close at hand was the pool and the terrace where breakfast is taken .

Quickly unpacking we then freshened-up and it was time to hit the streets ( or calles for the linguistically minded) and there was one street in particular that we just had to visit.

A bit of class in Granada. And the street name is classy too !

Apologies for lowering the standard but it just HAD to be done.

Now what follows covers our 5 days in the charming city of Granada ( I’m really far to lazy to stretch this out over a couple of editions. I could but … ).

A visit to the local market.(Mercado Municipal ) where a throng of people vied with each – to the extent that there was a deal of pushing and shoving – other to pick up the day’s bargains. 

Walking the streets and being enchanted ( a bit over the top ? ) by the brightly coloured and sometimes very ornate buildings.

Sitting in the plaza and just people watching (we all do it !) .

Preparing for a day of selling. Hopefully !

If you’ve got a drum you’ve got to use it .

The brightly coloured carriages .

We always though found time for a 

Yes, it’s a mojito. I’d got the taste by now !

On another day we took a day trip to Managua, the capital of Nicaragua.

A fun ride on the better class of bus. Twenty-six miles and all for US$ 1 .

At every bus stop the conductor got out to try to drum up trade. I assume he was on commission.

“There’s got to be a customer somewhere”.

And he’s snagged another one !

A walk around the artisan market.

We just had to go into the only 

in Nicaragua. But we passed on

and on this one too .And instead settled for 

Plantain with grilled cheese with a couple of beers. How much , you ask. US$ 4.50!

And then it was time to head back to Granada via the bus station.

A very busy bus station where vendors were jumping on every departing bus

to ply their wares.

It was a bus station like I’d never seen or experienced before with its own market and loads of eateries as well.

Amongst the 100s of buses (OK a bit of an exaggeration but there were a lot ) we found our one – not too difficult really with it having Granada emblazoned across the front – found 2 seats and paid the equivalent of US$ 0.50 each and settled down for the journey ‘home’.

Now don’t get me wrong , I enjoyed the bus journeys but give me a taxi anytime .

Most evenings we took the short stroll to Calle La Libertad, a street that’s lined either side with restaurants and bars, and some that are both.

Rose in the distance sitting at our table waiting patiently for me to stop playing around with my camera.

After 5 fun filled days and nights it was time to leave Nicaragua. Or so we thought. We got to Augusto C. Sandino International Airport , went straight to the Avianca check in desk , presented our documents only to be told our flight to San Salvador had been cancelled. So they put us up in a hotel nearby (arranging transport for us), fed us and we caught the 06.30 hours flight the next morning and we’re back home on Ambergris Caye by 17.00 hours . 

The headline for today’s edition is based on the single released by The Pretenders in 1986 which reached number 10 on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and the U.K. Singles Chart .