147 years of Matagalpa

Trip Start Jun 30, 2008
Trip End May 09, 2009

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Saturday, February 14, 2009

Matagalpa in the northern highlands of Nicaragua is best known for it`s coffee plantations, although most of itīs exported to rich western countries which means the local stuff is often of the nescafé variety. Hmph. The bus from Leon to here was an interesting experience. There are only 2 a day despite itīs relative proximity. Obviously the 7am bus wasnīt going to happen after a few rums the night before in the student dive bars of Leon, so it was a tight squeeze on to the 2.45. Trying to fit western bums onto "2 seater" nicaraguan spaces was a bit of a challenge, especially when a burlap sack at my feet was squirming with trussed iguanas and chickens ( a real chicken bus! hurrah!). We arrived in Matagalpa and the streets were already buzzing with revellers, dozens of people selling beer out of carts (oooh) and stages being set up. Most places in town were pretty full but along with my new australian friend we managed to find a clean-ish place and set off to explore and drink the first of many many (many) toņas. Iīm nothing if not dedicated to supporting the local economy. This party is on every 14th February, and hanging in a tree drinking plata rum (only $3 a bottle. ooh) and watching the local hip swingers doing their thang on stage is a great way to see it. The next day therefore I felt fully justified in slothing around with only a brief foray out to a local bar called picoteo (or something similar) where they do the most delicious nachos and more cheap beer. Ooh I do like this country!
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