Happy Halloween!

Trip Start Oct 08, 2009
Trip End Nov 13, 2009

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Where I stayed
Lazybones Hostel

Flag of Nicaragua  , León,
Saturday, October 31, 2009

This morning, we were picked up by our taxi at 4 am and headed off to the bus station. Good thing none of the stores were open yet or I probs wouldīve gone on a shopping spree. We bought our tickets, which were $32 for the trip to Leon. Not bad, considering itīs a fancy air conditioned Greyhound-like bus, complete with ample knee room for our oversized friend. And before you knew it, we said goodbye to Honduras. We canīt really say much about it, seeing as we didnīt give it a fair shake. Looked a lot like Guatemala but a bit more modern. No typico clothing. The border crossing was pretty painless, except for this weird oldie from Texas who insisted upon being bffs with us. He has lived in Honduras for 7 years and told us all about his young girlfriend. Who is better than the last one because she is satisfied with $10, whereas the other one would insist upon way more money. Right, as soon as a dude demands more than $10 from me, I am out of there. TMI, anyone?

Nicaragua is the biggest and most populated country in Central America, but is also the least population dense. Everybody lives in the bottom part of the country. Like its neighbors, itīs got a pretty rough history with a lot of coups and civil wars, but itīs been at peace for a while now. Itīs also the poorest country, with 50% of people under the poverty line. So far what we can tell about Nicaragua is that people really love bicycles (and riding with multiple people on them) and baseball (ítīs bigger than soccer here, donīt ask me why). Also, maybe itīs just that weīre in a university town, but Nicaragua seems young. (In fact it is, 72% of the population is under 30.) Thereīs also no indigenas really here. They make up only 5% of the population, so we havenīt seen any typico clothing.

After about 11 hours, we arrived in Leon and checked into our hostel, which is really nice. Itīs got a pool, free internet, and free coffee. We then wandered around and found the town square, which was fun to hang out in. Typical, lots of shoe shiners and PDA-ers. A new feature, however, were Big Wheels rides. By that, I mean 10 year old kids pulling around smaller kids in unmotorized Big Wheels for money. Very entrepenurial. And very popular. Leon is a bit like Antigua in that thereīs lots of colorful buildings, but itīs a lot less touristy. A little more rundown, but we are kind of liking it. Itīs not so Disneylike. We found dinner after a bit more exploring and then came back to the hostel. We decided to go out for Halloween and invited two new friends from New Jersey to come with us. We walked towards where the bars were, pretty skeptical about what we would find. It was 10 pm, and we were shocked to find that shit was crunk! Thereīs one street with half a dozen bars on it, and all of them were bumping. Guess the university population really changes nightlife, as it does in the States. We had a blast exploring different bars and taking advantage of the dollar beers (Teddy was in heaven) and $10 bottles of rum (canīt say Iīve ever gotten bottle service before last night). After a futile search for late night food, we returned to our hotel. A great time was had by all, though this morning hasnīt been pretty. Happy Halloween!
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