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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 12.43, -86.89
We left our room (2059) earlier than planned.........0535hrs......piled into an elevator which delivered us right to the platform and boarded the little "Bubble Works" train to Terminal E. We boarded in the wrong direction and were treated to a complete circuit of the system passing our boarding station twice........... Various UA Stewardess types joined us.....they were "groomed" to kill! The last one one would have not looked out of place hanging around a Buneos Aires Casino......
UPDATE: 0703: Just demolished a fab American Breakfast in a "Happy Dayseque" Diner Called Ruby's. The United Club Lounge was celebrating Ramadan with enthusiasm and only had apples and muesli on offer. Obviously, UA have no competition out of Houston.....unlike Heathrow where.... if they had put on a show like here.....punters would have "hot footed" off down the corridor to Mr Bransons outfit!
I have to admit, I was suspicious at Check In where we had to do our own thing and the bags were taken off without comment by an undernourished little chap who seem vague about the whole situation....he also sported a natty earring and had chilli sauce down his shirt!!
MISSION: Gate E22 Terminal E: Boarding 0810hrs.........Boeing 737-900. 2a and 2b.
rose about 1 hour ago and is cutting through the morning mist to reveal lush vegetation across the airport campus. Interesting destinations are listed on all the screens.....Monterray and Guatemala.....Salvador....to name but a few.
"The Flight".......OMG....surrounded by squawking babies and irritating migrant workers from The Orient who are working on the new Panama Canal project which will enable them to ship plastic buckets and cheap trainers more efficiently to the locals.......however, the not inconsiderable irritation was made up by flying over fantastic mountainous terrain and crystal blue oceans interspersed with turquoise lagoons and coral reefs. We track over Mexico then onto Guatemala and finally El Salvador before descending over the spectacular lakes and active Volcanoes of Nicruagua
We breeze through customs in about 5 minutes just having time to pick up a bottle of 7 year old local rum (45% proof) from duty free before being greeted by our superb guide "Elvis"......he was born the day before "The King".....died in August 1977...and against his fathers wishes (who wanted a more local name....Jose) his mother (who was a mahoosive fan) got in first at the registry office!!!!
He looks like a drug dealer who has spent too much time in the gym.....however he
is both cultured and highly knowledgeable. At once, we are given a potted history of his country.....right from the times of The Spanish Conquestedors who set dogs on the indigenous population in the 1500's through to the bloody civil war between The Sandinistas and Contras civil in the late 1970's. Initially, the uprising was intended to overthrow a corrup dictator of some 42 years but then developed into a bloody battle funded by the CIA (Contras) and the Soviet backed Sandinistas. Elvis is from a Sandinista background.....his brother was killed in the war and as a result, he and his younger brother were smuggled to safety in The USA by spending several days in the back of a tomato truck......hard times.....
In the space of 3 hours we have seen the lost city of Leon (to be frank a rather boring pile of bricks) , a smoking Volcano, fab scenary and the bustling old town of Leon.
TIME CHECK: 0600 Sunday 17th Jan: I am sitting on a balcony of The Hotel Balcones - Leon overlooking an ornate Spanish Colonial courtyard. The magnificient white Cathedral (the second largest in South America) has just started to ring it's bells.......bird song gathers pace and
crickets start to chirrup........The sun is rising slowly in the East and reveals a peaceful scene of tiled roofs interspersed with tropical tress......the locals are beginning another day in this wonderfully colourful and historic town.
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