The city that stole my hat.
06.04.2007 27 °C
So, here I am, writing about the first place we stayed in Nicaragua, while I'm in Panama, so forgive me if some details are foggy.
We arrive in Leon at around dusk. The bus stopped way outside of town, and if a local on the bus hadn't told us that this was, in fact, Leon, we wouldn't have gotten off.
When we unloaded ourselves and our bags, we ran into Dave. Dave is an English guy who was basically in the same shoes as us. He jsut got off the bus, and had no idea where he was, and only spoke a little bit of Spanish. It was quite funny, he asked where something was to a lady in Spanish, and she said something, and we thought he understood, cause we sure didn't, and we asked him what she said, and he answered something like "Well, I'll be f*cked if I know". With Dave´s compass, and our guidebook, we slowly made our way to the hostels. On the way, I had a disaster.. I took off my hat, cause it was dark by this point, and then tucked it under my pack-strap, but a few minutes later, it had disappeared! I backtracked, but found no trace of it.
Everyone waited for me, and tehn we found the hostels around the corner. We chose the one called Bigfoot Hostel, which is where we went Volcano Boarding from.
We met a few fellow travellers that night, and deservingly went to bed after a long day of travel.
The next day, we decided we would explore this town called Leon. We went out with plans to see the Cathedral (which is the biggest in Central America) and the museum of local lore and myth. We hit the cathedral first, cause its giant, and really easy to find. We quickly figured out no doors were open, and it was closed for lunch (kinda strange, but whatever). Then we went searching for the musuem, which had proven hard to find. After going way past it, we came back and found it. It, too, was closed for lunch. We waited around till 2ish and it opened up. It was pretty cool, and it was in this old jail that was only recently shut down. We headed back to the cathedral, which was kinda open at this point. They were cleaning it now, so we were only allowed on the roof of the building for an hour or so, which, as you would imagine was pretty cool. After that, we got to wander around in the cavernous cathedral. My favourite part was the Lion statue guarding Ruben Dario (Nicaragua´s famous poet) tomb. After exploring for a few minutes, we headed back to the hostel.
That night, lets see. We (and basically the rest of the hostel) headed to a bar, to watch this local woman sing. It was real good. When we got there it was really crowded, and the power was off, but soon the power was restored and she started. She started with an english song, One, by U2. Then she play a bunch of spanish songs. Things start to get hazy here (we are at a bar, you know). But I remember she played another english song, a Cranberries cover I believe. It was good, everyone enjoyed it. Then she was done playing and we wandered back to the hostel.
Eventually we went to bed.
The next morning, we got up good and late, and started preparing to go Volcano boarding. Thats when we discovered something terrible. We were missing about 4500 cordobas. Thats about $250 US, plus we lost a $20 US bill. It wasn't cool, but it was only money, no passports or other documents.. we were lucky. Apparently the lockbox got ripped right off the wall, and they got into the back of it. The hostel let us stay a night for free, and the guy locked our stuff away in his private safe.
Volcano boarding was awesome, but you already know all about it.
That night, well we were tired, so we hit the sack.
The night morning we got up at a leisurely rate. Leigh and I played some chess. I finally won a game against him! We had breakfast at the hostel (it was cheap and good and convenient). Ryan wanted to go do something, but I wanted to chill for a day, and Leigh wasn't feeling tip top, so Ryan went to something or other with other people from the hostel, and Leigh and I chilled. It was a relaxed day, and Leigh and I sent some letters.
Eventually Ryan got back, we had lunch, then eventually dinner, then attempted to finish the rum we bought two nights previous. It was a fun night for me, I played pool with a guy from Greece, then for a while with a local kid. I played some guitar, and a Canadian traveller asked me to play "Wheat Kings" by the Tragically Hip, probably the most Canadian song I know, it was great. I then proceeded to smoke her at backgammon. Then we went and saw a band play at the bar/hostel next door. The most memorable song was their Spanish version of Elton John's Pianoman.
The next day, we got up at a relaxed time (not really early, like usual) and left Leon for Granada.
I must say, I lost my hat and some money there, but I really liked this city. It has been my favourite.
Bye for now, maybe I'll catch up some more eventually.