Esteli, Nicaragua take 2
Trip Start Aug 30, 2007
14Trip End Jun 30, 2008
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We did head up into the highlands of Miraflor reserve and spend two wonderful days on a remote farm, sleeping in a cabin without electricity or running water, and spending our time walking, lazing, reading, breathing the clean air, and enjoying being sometimes just a little bit chilly. Dear me, it IS hot in Nicaragua in April.
We had wandered into this cool cafe in Esteli on Saturday that turned out to be owned by a woman from Leicestershire. She told us all about this agricultural cooperative that had been set up in a nearby protected area. The project is helping farm owners diversify to supplement their income by opening their homes to tourists. Sounded tranquil, insightful and amazing so off we went on Sunday, back along roads of rock and rubble, past striking landscapes of rolling hills, pasture farms. and dry, dry land. Everywhere parched as it is only just now beginning to rain again.
The farm itself, La Posada del Sonador, was a perfect retreat. An escape from the melting heat of the lowlands and silent except for the insects. (Including thousands of amazing flashing insects that light up the trees like stars.) There were just a couple of other guests, including a gentle young chap from Ohio who was about to return home to run his own organic farm. We went on a great long hike through farmland, cloud forest and villages to an icy cold waterfall. And the most amazing and unique thing about the place... wonderful vegetarian food! Peppers stuffed with nuts and mushrooms, curried omelets, wholemeal bread, fried tortillas stuffed with cheese. You may not appreciate my enthusiasm, but I´m so used to a diet that largely varies between rice and beans, beans and rice, or gallo pinto (rice and beans mixed together), so such food is, really, a revelation. After dinner last night we witnessed how Nicas party. It was Dona Corina´s birthday so family and friends turned up, bringing cake and the ubiquitous Flor de Cana rum, and immediately burst into a bawdy singsong that went on into the night.
So, why are we back in Esteli? Pepita of course. She´s getting her leaky bits fixed and lumpy bits welded. We´re taking advantage of the delay to take more Spanish lessons, and to publicize my website (intercambiocentralamerica.com) which is, finally, functioning... more or less, even if it doesn´t yet look as it should.
More soon. Honduras next...