Hottest city ever

Trip Start Jan 18, 2010
Trip End Apr 11, 2010

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Another experience was just waiting to be added to our list when we "boarded" the bus to Leon. We had a special type of passenger. Chicken are already standard, otherwise those buses wouldn't be called chicken buses, but pigs? We stopped and a guy on the side of the road made a sign for the bus to wait. He walked over to the tree where a happy pig was minding its own business and happily eating grass. He untied the pig and pulled it by its tale in direction bus. The poor pig started squeaking bloody murder and kicking like hell. We couldn’t believe our eyes and thought the pig was coming in the bus. But then they threw it in a potato sack and threw it on top of the bus. Even worse, that’s where our bags and the surf board were. I could already picture everything full of pig shit and poop. The pig went off like crazy and only stopped when the bus started rolling again. After a while we heard little pig feet walking on the roof. All the people we passed on the side of the road were laughing and pointing to the top of the bus. The pig had gotten lose and was standing on all forth on the roof. Now when locals react like that, laugh and point, you know that this is something that even they don’t see every day. So here the driver went again and tied it up until we reached the pigs destination and unloaded the poor unhappy pig. Luckily our stuff was pee and poop-free.

On the way the vegetation changed and we were surrounded by tobacco plantations. A nice sight especially with all those volcanoes in the area of Leon. The closer we approached Leon, the hotter it was getting. Once in town we didn’t feel like walking around with that dying heat and finding the best option to sleep, so we headed straight to the Bigfoot hostel. It’s a touristy hostel, a very stereotypical Lonely Planet option that is therefore more expensive than others. But we stayed for a night and got the last private room. At the market we found a little stand that served food, so we were happy we didn’t have to go with another expensive touristy option. We went to the tourist office to get a map and to get some information about stuff to do in the area. I had red that we could visit a sugar mill and learn about the process but we learned that you need to request a permit upfront which normally is granted after one week! Buhhhhh!!! For those who can plan ahead, it might be worth it. The other option was to visit Leon Viejo, but we were so hot and didn’t want to get into another bus to visit something. The next day we changed accommodation and stayed at Ivana’s which was a little cheaper. We walked around town which has some nice colonial buildings and the biggest cathedral in all of Central America but other than that it didn’t seem there was too much more to do. The problem was just the heat. Being in a city where you cannot stand to be in the streets, is awful! We went from one café or bar to the other to have cold drinks and escape from the heat. We checked out galleries which were nice and played games at the arcades where we also had a rewarding ice-cream. After two nights we decided it was enough time in the heat, we needed the beach and ocean to cool off. No problem, it’s just 20 km away.
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