Road to Leon

Trip Start Apr 19, 2014
Trip End May 19, 2014

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Flag of Nicaragua  , Leon,
Saturday, April 26, 2014

We slept in again today since we didn't have much planned before our departure from the hotel at noon. After packing most of our stuff, we made one last trip to the beach near our hotel for a swim. The skies were clear today so the sun was hot like on our first day on the island. We stayed in the water for about an hour before making our way back to the room to check out. Two vans came to pick our group up and with all of our bags it was pretty tight. The drive across the island to the airport took about 15 minutes. Once there, we checked in for our flight with Avianca to Tegucigalpa and paid our departure tax. We then sat down at the cafe in the airport and had a sandwich and beer for lunch. Our flight was delayed so there was plenty of time to kill. After clearing security, we sat and waited some more for our flight. Gina managed to find a chocolate peanut butter brownie in the departure lounge which was pretty good and satisfied her chocolate fix.

Our flight was on an ATR-42 turbo prop plane. It was similar to the Dash-8 planes at home but slightly smaller. The flight was only 45 minutes and they still gave us a small sandwich and cookie. Landing was a bit of an adventure due to the hilly terrain. The plane only finally straightened out when you are about 200' above the ground with valley walls on both sides. After making our way through the maze that was the airport, we met our driver out front and loaded the luggage in the van. We stopped at a strip mall near the airport to get some food though the choices were not ideal. There was a Little Caesars, Churches Chicken, Burger King and a coffee shop that was out of sandwiches. It was out last chance to buy real food so we ended up at Burger King. My Spanish must be getting better as I was able to order and get what I wanted with very little signing or pointing. Language hasn't been much if an issue so far this trip, each day we keep building on what we have learned on previous trips. I wasn't too thrilled that there wasn't a local option for food but we still had a long way to go and we needed something quick. The road through southern Honduras was very hilly which made passing a little exciting. I read most of the way to the border while Gina slept.

The Nicaraguan boarder was an experience and we didn't even have to deal with the immigration officers. Our tour leader took care of all of the formalities while we sat outside and waited. It took a while. While waiting this lady showed up in the middle if the parking lot with a bag of garbage and proceeded to light it on fire. Nothing says welcome like a pile of burning hot garbage. The dogs that were hanging around then proceeded to pull some of the garbage out for a free meal. It didn't look like this was an unusual occurrence. The bulk of the garbage was styrofoam plates so the smell and the smoke was pretty gross. Finally our tour leader returned with our passports and we were back on the road. It was already late and we still had 1.5 more hours to go before getting to Leon. We got in shortly after 1am so it was straight to bed. Volcano boarding in the morning!!
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