You can´t whack colonial cities

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Dec 23, 2010

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Well, in true Monkey Team spawniness we made it to Leon a day early. We originally planned to catch the 6am bus from Tegucigalpa and reach Leon via another bus later in the day. However, the bus was sold out so we were forced to take the 9am bus with a different company. But as we are rapidly finding out, Latin American times are much like Indian times in that 9.00 really means 'whenever we can be arsed at some point after 9.00', in this case 10.30. This now meant spending a night in Managua, which by all accounts is like spending a night in Croydon. However, by pure luck it turned out the bus was going via Leon, so with a cheeky smile we got the driver to let us off there and save us a bit hassle.

Upon pulling up into Leon, we dropped our bags off in the hostel. This consisted of a families house that had a few bedrooms going spare, although they were really lovely people. The town itself is beautiful, it reminded me of Copan in Honduras in that its a laid back, uni town with well kept colonial buildings. We enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere from the central park, whilst drinking from coke bags (thats what we do in Central America, drink from bags of coke).

The first morning there, we were woken by an air raid siren that freaked the hell out of me. It turns out that this happens every day though as a throw back to the mining days, fun times. I also quickly noticed the lack of Baleada´s in Nicaragua (I have become slowly addicted to them), so I have been forced to consume large stack of pancakes each morning instead.

Around the town, there isn't a great deal to do other than look at things. We went to an old civil war museum (the bulk of the recent civil war was fought here) and had a guide tell us the interesting history of Nicaraguan politics. Unfortunately he only spoke Spanish so we just stood there smiling, then went round the corner to the internet cafe to read about it on Wikipedia. At night there seems to be a lot of bands playing local spanish guitar type stuff which I'm getting quite into, but finding people willing to have a proper English style carve up is a mission.

Seeking new grounds, we went to Leon Viejo for a day trip which involved taking numerous chicken buses and riding in the back of a lorry. Leon Viejo is the old site of Leon near volcano Momotombo, so we assumed it would be like Pompeii. It is not. Its literally just a few old ruined rocks where buildings used to be. Still, there is a great view of the volcano and we had chance to practice some Spanish with a local kid who liked football and was 22 (we've learnt two phrases now).

The day after, we took another day trip to Las Peņitas - a beach town on the Pacific. The beach was really nice and we were the only people there soaking up the 30+ degrees of heat. Unfortunately the ocean is too rough to swim in but its definately worth the bus ride just to take in the views.

So following four days in Leon we decided to move on having seen pretty much all there is to see. I was also starting to get a bit annoyed with the place for various reasons - waiting 40 mins for a snack at bar ViaVia, constantly being hassled by beggars and getting into an argument with an illiterate quim of a taxi driver over the price. Adios.
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Rajeesh on

You have one visitor.....

btw what's wrong with Indian time, 9:00 mean 9:00 it could be AM or PM. ha...ha

danielle on

btw... whats wrong with croydon?! some of the UK's finest garage came from that area.

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