Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nicaragua: León

Welcome to the city of crazies and poets! Or at least that's my best translation for 'el ciudad de locos y poetas' which is the phrase that accompanies León. This was my first stop in Nicaragua after finishing up in Costa Rica.

After an 11 hour bus ride from San Jose during which my appalling Spanish made the border crossing somewhat more complicated than necessary, I finally arrived at about 3pm. I wandered around, largely just making random turns until I found a hostel called El Albergue.

I chatted to some of the guys and we headed out to grab dinner from one of the street carts. This was delicious and the whole meal cost me about $1.20! Nicaragua is a lot cheaper than Costa Rica. On the way home I bumped into a trio of Australians I'd first met in La Fortuna. They invited me in for a Nica Libre (a new take on the Cuba Libre which is apparently 80% rum). I may have had a couple and woke up the next day feeling less than peachy. This meant I wasn't quite up for exploring the city but a trip to the beach sounded right up my alley.

Three of us hitched a ride on the back of a truck which was incredibly fun and the wind made the heat a little more bearable, which helped my hangover.

The beach was idyllic and I had a well deserved break in a hammock with some fruit salad. I took occasional dips in the ocean and generally lazed about until we decided to get some food. We found a place just down the road which had a dirt floor and a parrot guarding the door but it looked like it had tasty food. I ordered some fish which came whole - not a style I have eaten before!

We hitched a ride back and I had a gentle night. The next day I explored the city a little. I'd been planning to go up an active volcano and see the lava but there weren't enough people going. I also had the opportunity to go volcano boarding but had heard varied opinions on it and decided just to head straight to Granada.

These horse-and-carts were incredibly common! Not just as a tourist trap.

Random Street

And I saw this shop! Had to be included!

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