3 days in Leon

Trip Start Sep 06, 2010
Trip End Sep 04, 2011

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Where I stayed
Via Via Hostel

Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Thursday, September 9, 2010

After one day of staying in Managua, I have decided to move north to historical town Leon. Originally, I planned to stay 3 nights in Managua, but the city is a bit dodgy and there is not so much to be seen or visited. The owner of the place I was staying was that kind and paid me back the 3rd night. So on Wednesday morning I took a taxi to the minibus bus station across the street of the local university. The place was chaotic with a lot of touts trying to fill seats at their minibuses. Actually a minibus does not leave until it is fully occupied (approx. 15 people). The ride took 90 minutes and it cost me 40 cordobas ($2…you just have to like those prices here!), and I definitely was not travelling with any livestock. At around 9.30am here I was in Leon, a city with a very good reputation amongst backpackers. My first steps led me to Via Via hostel with a laid back atmosphere and grate ratings at the Lonely Planet web site. At this time the place is quite empty, as I was said by the local trip guide it is because .."it is the rainy season here and only the hard-core backpackers hang out here at this part of the year". I told him that if this is a rainy season, then back in Luxembourg we have been experiencing permanent floods, as a result of the eternal rain. Just for a record, I have been here for 4 days and it rained only twice at night for 2 or 3 nights with the temperatures around 30 degree celsias for the rest of the day. I opted for a dorm accommodation to finally meet some fellow backpackers and I did a right choice. They put me together with a US guy, Trevis, and a guy from the down-under. Especially Trevis is quite cool, spent already quite a few weeks in Honduras and Nicaragua, therefore he gave me some precious tips what to see or taste. He immediately took me to the local market to check out what they offer there. As you can see from the attached picture, they have anything there, including turtle eggs ($2.5 for a dozen) and iguanas. Trevis asked them, if those turtles are not a preserved species and he got and answer that this is us (gringos) who make a big deal out of it J. So guys feel free to it them, as the locals do so. Just today, Trevis tested them and apparantly they test a bit funky. Me personally, I will rather skip on getting a bit of them. Right after that we had one of those super delicious milk shakes prepared from the tap water and milk stored in a big container. I was worried that I could spend a few days at the bathroom , but Trevis said that it is totally safe. Since then, I eat the local food prepared in those real local conditions and also drink and eat local ice and other yummy things. Afterwards, me and Trevis split and I headed to the main Leon square dominated by a huge cathedral. It felt like living a dream, the square was full of chattering pupils from the nearby schools wearing those typical school uniforms, the sun was shining at the cathedral and the entire beautiful square. It is really hard to describe how great I feel, but I must have been a feeling of freedom and happiness mixed up together. Since then I come back to the main square a few times a day to just wandere around or having one of those delicious ice creams.

On Wednesday, there was a big police parade on the main square, as tens of police officers were promoted to higher ranks. It was quite a long event which was lead by the chief of the police force in Nicaragua (believe or not but it is women). I was really admiring those policeman to stand there for a few hours as to me it felt like being in the oven operating at the full power. In the evening, we bought some cheap local schnaps to do some pre-drinking before we go out. After getting a bit tipsy we headed to the bar on the other side of the street where we hooked up with two irish female traveller. From there went to one of the local salsa place where we were about to experience a genuine shock!! Once we entered, I immediately noticed a sea of blond girls (something absolutely unexpected). As we learned from them, there are 63 Norwegian girls studying here Spanish.  I am telling you, it was so funny to see how the local guys run around them leaving the local girls totally unattended.

Today is Friday and I have not real plans for today, so letīs see what the day brings. Tomorrow morning, I am heading to Grenada to finally do some volcano hiking, which I was unfortunately unable to do here due to a lack of travellers demand. But around Grenada there are some great and active volcanos, so I hope to provide you with some great pictures from tops of them !!

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Benjamin on

Eh, Petr, I knew it. You know what your problem is? You're just a big mouth, but inside you are a good guy, accept it. Just accept it. Going into a place with 63 Norwegian girl and not telling us a word about it... slick mate, slick!

Otherwise I like that you're moving around, seeing things, like a real traveler, experiencing freedom, the world, people, life man, life itself! And go for the turtle eggs, going forward you'll be offered things that'll make you wish you had tried those eggies...

And yes, one more thing. I saw that comment added to the first post, making reference to a German-Pakistani... well, I really don't know what Frau Walter was talking about, just wanna say that German-Pakistani sounds like a really good mix, wish I could meet somebody like that a day. But then, ha, I'm probably not the only one who thinks that's interesting...

Simon on

Benjamin, I am inclined to agree with all of your above comments.
What went on with the 63 Norwegians? Please tell me something,,,,
Sounds like you are having a blast. How was sleeping on the side of a volcano? Is that code for something else? Tell all your fans the truth now...
Man I only just realised that there was more to your blog since my last comment, maybe only myself, Ian and Benjamin have worked out that you have to click on the updates at the bottom of the page. Can someone else prove me wrong...

luxguy on

Benjamin, so with those 63 Norwegian girls.....at the club there were only around 10 of them, not all 63 who study in Leon. Nevertheless, I was drinking and having fun with the Irish duo!! Then Norwegian girls slowly disappeared, but I had had a quite good conversation with one of them before. There is so much to explore, no worry!!! I will come back to the topic of partying in my next blog, as it is quite disappointing (i will explain why).

Man, you must first subscribe to receive the blog updates. I do not think you did it, as well as Faran. The last post from Leon was already released with a notification to the subscribers. Let me know, if I am wrong. And not, sleeping on the volcano is not a code, not yet :-))

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