Update of past couple days

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Central America Caribbean » Nicaragua
February 2nd 2012
Published: February 3rd 2012
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Very quick recap way too much to write and I am not feeling well.
Leon- amazing old city in rubble. Did tour, glad I did. Saw art school where they try to teach young kids to paint and music and I believe some English. I saw cathedrals. Won't name them all. Went to a fort out if town where the dictator government of 40 years took people to torture and murder them. The last tortures took place in 1979. They took us on top of the fort as it is kinda in a hill, we didn't go in, they took us to see the beautiful view as you can see all of Leon and the Volcanos from there. Our last stop was another place where the dictator took people to torture them. They now have it as both a museum of their folklore and historical people made out of paper mâché dummies dressed in clothes to big, etc. (At first it looks like a joke but they are really using these. The poor version of a wax museum) and also they have simple b+w outline figures of the wall of what each room was for. From what I was understanding a that point I think the red hair has something to do with an old fable about some nasty women. Perhaps why the looks. At that point I had stopped listening as I surely felt like I could still smell urine and death and was hot and thought I was gonna pass out. Can you truly get out the smell of 40 years of that? Nothing was painted over. Gringo, turtles and poachers.Back to Las Penitas and went to the turtle reserve with a girl from Washington that I met. You go at night and it was about a 15 min walk. She had a big Rodiasian Ridgeback dog so we were good. In short released baby turtles. Have the name written down of what kind. Hatched in the sand that day into the sea. There was about 90 of them. They have to go around on the sand a bit the Nica said to learn the magnetic pull. Females will come back to that beach in about 12 years to nest. However, out of every 2000 released only 3-4 survive. So chances are none of those will. Couldnt have done any of that without Christie as she translated. It isn't like the carribean here where you can find people who speak some English. I can speak more Spanish than their English. Which is not much! Then off to patrol the beach for females going to lay eggs so they can take them back and have them hatch there. Otherwise poachers will get them all. We didn't find any, however 2 poachers did. The first a boy around eden's age who does this at night to sell them in the market in the morning. They go for 40 cordoba a dozen $2 and a turtle can lay 8 to 10 dozen. He had to do this to pay to go to school. After grade seven you have to pay 300 cordoba a month and up depending on where you live) to attend school. So the Nica (that is what they call themselves) lady who does this some nights a week, doesn't have any problem with this. There is no violence or anything between them and the poachers even though they are supposedly on a nature turtle reserve. It is who ever gets to the eggs first. Like she said he wants to go to school. And the other poachers out there are trying to feed their families. So yeah. It's not like they are bad people as we perceive them like doing this for pure fun or anything. They have to survive. If a local family makes $100 a month they are doing very well. Anyhow he let us sit there and watch. She moved spots twice as it is hard for them to dig in dry sand. She got tired and left. I felt so bad for the boy. Then found another poacher who let us sit and watch. She dug her hole and as she was laying them he dug another hole in the side and reached his hand in and pulled out the eggs. We watched 80 of them drop. He let us hold them. Take pictures without a flash as it upsets her. And when she's done he leaves. We stayed and watched her cover what she thought was still her nest of eggs and walk back into the ocean. Bizarre experience!by that time it was around midnight and had enough so we left. Managua/Daniel Ortega/LostWoke with a whopping headache, bucked ip the money and paid for taxi and left for Managua. Only about three words of English but he did touch my hair and say no Blanca (white) was he trying to say blonde? Or that I was old? Kids holding up iguana two in each hand u the tail on sides of road. $3 they sell them to eat and eat them as well . Again i was told, what would you do if you and your kids had nothing to eat. Eat the iguanas all around you or starve cause other countries think it is mean. Also saw a few textile, clothing factories along the way. When got i to Managua saw motorcade if you can call it that of Presidente Daniel Ortega. They went by so fast. Police SUVs in front and back with lights on and what i thought looked like a white SUV toyota but i asked in spanish and driver said Mercedes like I was insulting him. I might add that now that there is no dictator a President can only be in power for two terms. This is Ortega's third term. Had map of Hotel and phone number as no numbered road signs in Managua. He got lost. Glad I didn't pay upfront. He was quite mad. In my Spanish I kept telling him to call on phone. Anyhow, he stopped a few times in street and asked directions, to no avail. He asked a taxi is they would show and he could follow. Before I left last place I was warned. Real taxis in Managua have red and white plates with a letter in front and 4 numbers. Taxis in Leon have same but with 3 numbers. Everyone else have Letter and 5 numbers. Count the numbers. They paint their plates, those are "pirate" taxis, not real. Anyhow, was watching plates as we drive around. Saw just as many with 5 as 4. So the dumb ass driver struck a deal with a taxi with 5 numbers. Was looking really sketch. Not that all of place doesn't. But stopped at a place that could look like a hotel. Anyhow they took his $ and drive off. He dumped my bags but I was sure as hell not paying him until I got inside. This didn't look right and wasn't. He was furious. I was sure he was gonna leave my ass there but I hadn't paid him yet and there is no way he had driven which should have been 1.5 hours and was now approaching three without his money. A kid in front of the place hoped in the car. And rode with us and to the hotel. Was the right place. He pulled outta here so fast when he got his money. I am sure that he thinks his car is cursed now that I was in it. He probably went to have it blessed or drive it into the ocean or something. Anyhow, great sign on the door. For your and other guests safety no prostitutes or visitors in the room. Nice. There goes my night. OMG. Anyhow supposed to be going to Granada tomorrow however I am getting sick. Will see in the morning if I am any better


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