León, Nicaragua... Arriving in one piece - just about!
Dec 8, 2004
|Had originally planned to spend a few days in León, as it sounds like one of the more interesting towns in Nicaragua. It was the former capital of Nicaragua, with deep connections not only to its colonial past, but also more recently against the Somoza regime during the Revolution. Apart from the political side, it is also an academic city, as well as attracting travellers who are eager to find out more about it.
I arrived on Wednesday night, after a long and uneventual chicken bus ride(mainly because the Nicaraguan bus conductors are not as charismatic as their Guatemalan counterparts, and I was the only passenger for 45mins - joined halfway through by another man). It was dark, it was also the Día de la Purísma Concepcíon (Day of the Immaculate Conception), which was celebrated by setting off fireworks in the middle of the street at 12 noon and 6pm.
Guess when I arrived?? Five minutes to six, and my collective taxi (shared with 3 other people going to different places) had to honk to alert the firework exhibitists that we were coming through. Didn´t make mucj difference though, and I was really tempted to wind up the window, in case I get hit by fireworks.
Nonetheless, I survived, though I was dropped off at totally the wrong place, which I feel, to be totally understandable that I was very annoyed - since that defied the point of the taxi somewhat. You will be pleased to know that I made my own way to the Via Via (a couterpart of the Copan one - was lured by the prospect of cheap and large portion of vegetarian food) without getting lost, and only consulting my map three times (to make sure...)
Wasn´t quite so happy when I saw the state of the dormitory... Literally large basic dorm, with hundreds of beds (ok, a slight exergerration) of different shapes and sizes. And it seemed like I was the only female amidst naked youths in boxer shorts (remember I am still trying to reclaim my heart) cooling off in front of the fan on their beds.
So instead of picking up my bag and looking elsewhere, I said, "Ok, its fine. I´ll stay two nights", and then deciding miserably that I will move the next day, and try to get my money back. Remember that episode of Friends when Ross and Chandler tried to cancel their gym membership...??!?
Also finding nowhere to wash my clothes, decided to take a quick walk to see what there is to do in town - afterall 6:30 is a bit early for bed, especially when everyone can see you are the only one sleeping.
Was somehow lured into the cinema - air conditioning!! and watched Bourne Supremacy, my first film in a cinema in Central America. Well, there has to be first at some point!
Also met Andy, originally from Guildford, but spent all of his adult life in the USA (envy, envy!!). Like me, he decided to stay in León for only one more day, as there didn´t seem to be too much to do. So have found myself a travel mate for the next part of the journey to Granada! Horray!