First we find Tango Man now look who we found …


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M - A couple of weeks ago we found Tango Man enjoying life in exile in the Carolinas after his TV ads were banned in the UK in the early 80s. Now we can reveal the whereabouts of another mega-star.
A few days ago we arrived by bus from Costa Rica into Nicaragua and then took the San Jorge ferry to the volcanic Island of Ometepe and the town of Moyogalpa. Having checked-in at our hotel we followed the deafening noise of music to a local park to be greeted by a full on party to promote local tourism on the island. Imagine our surprise to find what looked like a slightly darker and plumper Michael Jackson belting out songs in Spanish (see photos). This guy may not have quite had Michael’s voice (plus I couldn’t understand a word he said) but he certainly loved himself and enjoyed prancing around the huge stage camping it up for the audience.

We had a fun afternoon mingling with the locals and watching a very wide assortment of acts from school dance troops (see photo) and slap-stick comedy to folk singers & rock bands. We excused ourselves around 9pm, early hike the next day, just after the full on Brazilian samba dancers! But the party was still in full swing. I’m not sure what samba has to do with Nicaragua, however the locals that we chatted with indicated that the Nicaraguans love dancing to samba and this was certainly evident. We practiced our Spanish with a few local youngsters, mainly discussing football (see Kate’s blog) and were introduced to the local cock fighting champion who it seemed was a bit of a local celebrity. This scrawny little cockerel was thrust into Kate’s arms at one point - little does he know how close he had come to becoming Coq-au-Vin!

The deafening music ended just after 1am on the Monday morning despite a raging thunder storm from about 11pm accompanied by torrential rainfall. Monday morning we set out at 5am to hike up through the cloud forest to the top of the active volcano Concepcion. A few years ago we did Machu Picchu and surprised our guide with our pace. This time the humidity got to us and we called it a day before tackling the final hour of loose rock. Having seen the state of some of those that tackled the last stages I think we made the right decision although frankly I don’t think we had a choice. Volcano 1 – Mark & Kate 0.
For our final day on Ometepe we got the local chicken bus to the other side of the island to the little farm town of Altagracia. We did this in order to get the overnight ferry to the colonial town of Granada. If Moyogalpa was pretty laid back then Altagracia is virtually asleep! We had a walk around and had a quick lunch on the main square. During the last few days we have thought nothing of seeing dogs, cows and horses grazing by the side of the road but in Altagracia we got a first for us. A couple of pigs taking a stroll round the town square. No wonder a town is as laid back as this when breakfast delivers itself! Mind you it was 2pm and even by Latin standards that’s a little late for breakfast (see photo of Crispy & Bacon as Kate named them).

Today marks our first month traveling – its gone so quickly! We are currently in Granada, Nicaragua. More to follow tomorrow which is Kate's birthday. I bet she can't wait to see what I've bought her. Neither can I ......

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