Published: August 6th 2012August 3rd 2012
Friday – I was up by 7:30am this morning and watched some of the Olympics again. I had breakfast in the courtyard just outside my door. It was a great bowl of fruit with a banana and two packages of Ritz crackers. The crackers were a strange addition but it was nice. I had a chat with some Kiwi girls while I ate and then finished packing up. I took a taxi to the minibus to Leon. It took forever and he drove super slow while he texted. Annoyingly, there was also a lot of God talk on the radio. I didn't have to wait long before the minibus was full and we left and we didn't stop along the way for other passengers. I guess this was the direct bus to Leon, very nice. It took about an hour and a half, and gave me time to think about all of these bus journeys I am taking (as if the 13 hour ride yesterday didn't so the same). But traveling this way can be quick – like today – or it can take 2 hours to go 30 km because as soon as the bus starts, it stops again to
let someone else on or off. Sometimes people get on and off quickly, selling food or drinks, and sometimes they come along for the ride selling things like toothbrushes. I get to see much of the landscape around, but also a lot of the way people live. Everyone in Nicaragua seems to be pregnant, and that goes for the guys too, with their big bellies. But at the women have the excuse of actually being pregnant. I see kids playing and crazy driving and people eating. I've seen people standing up in the back of a pickup, shoved in like cattle, lots of motorbikes and taxis and enough black exhaust coming from the buses to make you cry. Yeah, the road trips are definitely enlightening.
When I got to Leon I took a taxi to the hostel I had chosen. Unfortunately it was full aside from one dorm bed that I did not want, so I walked to another hostel. On my way there, I stepped in a hole in the sidewalk while looking at a map – the holes are everywhere – and just knew I was bleeding. I looked at the next hostel and had to say
no as well, even though it was nice. I didn't like the room. Ironically, the third hostel I took and I like the room even less. But it has a private bathroom and that is nice. It5's also a nonprofit that doubles as a tour agency, and the money goes to teaching kids about the environment for free. No tv though, unless I go across the street to the main building. I walked around for a while after cleaning up my cut and got some lunch at a women's cooperative that sells lots of meat. I had chicken and some rice and beans and salad with a coke for about 2 dollars. Then I walked around to see the beautiful main square, which is under construction now, so it wasn't as beautiful as it could have been. I went into the massive cathedral and then into a war museum where I had a private tour from an guy who used to be a soldier in the war. I got some of it – it was in Spanish. While he was talking. I kept thinking that this is the hottest place I have been during the entire trip. And I needed
water. He walked me up to the roof to show me the views and eventually I had to tell him I needed to buy a water. There was a place that sold them downstairs and I drank a liter of water in a very short time. I even had to sit on a bench in the shade to prevent heat stroke.
Next I went to the ATM to get bundles of cash and then on to the grocery store. I decided to have granola for dinner tonight, as it would be cold and I am hot. Back at the hostel I asked for a bigger room. It was ok but smelled worse than mine and shared a bathroom with the neighbors. No thanks. I also asked about the tours they will do tomorrow. One is an overnight trip to climb a volcano and the other is slogging around in the mangroves. Both sound good, but with this cut on my ankle, I don't think it will feel good and it might get infected, so I have passed on both. I went to the main building and watched tv for a bit, but didn't much like it so I came
back and had dinner. Shame the milk and yogurt weren't as cold as they could have been yet. No soy milk to be found so will cherish the last chocolate one I have from El Salvador tomorrow. Not sure if I will stay or go tomorrow. Nothing for me here it seems – unless I change hostels? - but so many days left that unless I love the next place, I will be bored out of my mind for the next week. Maybe I need to check into an air-conditioned paradise hotel to make the time go by faster. Thanks unlikely. I think I am ready to go home, and I really wish I could have changed my ticket to go back sooner. Tonight will be updating Iceland blog – ironic to look at pictures of myself freezing only a few weeks ago as I sweat. How I miss it.
Saturday – It was so hot yesterday and that did not end at night. I woke up quite often, and I think it was because I was hot. I never needed the sheet over me and the fan was directly on me. Terrible. I skyped with Jeroen and the
cats today. I miss them all. Then I went out in search of a new hostel. I can finally confirm that I have become a travel snob. Too good for the dorms here, at least, and needing my own bathroom, apparently. When did this happen? We never even had our own bathroom in Iceland. I checked a couple nearby, and there was one with 5 month old kittens. Amazing. They were sleeping in two balls of fur. I didn't stay there – the hostel across the street was a much better deal – but I loved petting those kittens for a few minutes. Wow, so small. The hostel I chose had a much bigger room than last night with a private bath big enough that my knees didn't hit the wall when I sat on the toilet. No tv here at all, so the Olympics may as well not exist. I made some lunch and then decided to go to a museum or two. The first was an art museum, which was good in the beginning but then became modern art. I do not respect modern art. More like resent it. Ridiculous. Then I went to another museum that houses
many mannequins that go with traditional stories. It was interesting but bizarre. Some of the stories were in English as well, which was good. From there I went to the grocery store and bought some more drinks, mostly water, as the hostels in Nicaragua apparently don't offer free drinking water as they do in El Salvador. Most have water to refill your bottle cheaply, but this place seems not to. I had to go a different route back to my new place from the grocery store, and came up the movie theater. Amazing. And they were playing a movie that was different from the other places before, and in 25 minutes or so. I came back to drop off the water and look up the movie, One for the money. It really was bad, worse than Batman, but it was dark and cool and I was ok with it. For 3 dollars, I'm not complaining. I came back here and finished my book, and then started another. Made a classic dinner – pasta with chocolate soymilk, and then had a skype call with my mom. Ironically, I think (hope) it is hotter here in the kitchen than in my room
because I am sitting outside a room with air con and it is blowing hot air as it runs. I am sweating to my chair. I'm trying to skype with my grandma, but her line is busy. Such a chatty girl. Tonight will be some skype, some reading, and a well deserved shower. I am one stinky girl. Good times.
There are more photos below