Culture by stark contrast.

Trip Start Sep 28, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Saturday, November 12, 2011

I stumble onto the Tica bus at 5am after a night in the petrol station.  This after the biggest scare of the evening was a shot gun toting security guard stepping out from behind a tree to say hello.  Shot gun beats pepper spray.  Note to guard; don't step out from behind trees.

The bus is mostly a long sleep, with interjections of passport stamping and bag checking.  After twelve hours looking at the inside of my eyelids, I make it, with friends and belongings, to Leon, Nicaragua.

My mood is instantly enhanced.  This place is amazing.  It feels like a slightly more run down version of Antigua, but the people are welcoming, the atmosphere vibrant and the city alive.  It teems with people, dancing in the streets, music everywhere.  There appears to be some kind of festival, perhaps as a result of the recent successful elections here.  Locals seem upbeat and friendly.  Everyone say's hello.  I think back to my recent experience on Utila, and I realise what a marked difference this place is.  To really appreciate the good times on the road, you have to go through the bad ones. 

We fall into a taxi, and fall into our new home.  Hostel Tortuga Booloda is a colourful place, and feels safe and comfortable in an instant.  After meeting with some fine people from around the world, we take to the streets.  There is a buzz in the air.  Perhaps something to do with how the whole town has come out for the big televised boxing match tonight, perhaps simply because these are fine people.  We meet with welcomes at every turn, sing Bon Jovi badly in a Spanish only Karaoke, and dance the night away to a salsa beat.  Depression a distant memory, as recently as it was yesterday.
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