Leon & Granada, Nicaragua

SONY DSCIn Leon, I spent Thursday wandering the city and writing my last blog update. Thursday night I went to the local Salsa night at La Olla Quemada, a very popular and very busy bar just a few blocks from my hostel. Some friends from Utila were there, and we watched the locals dance for a few hours before I called it a night and went back to the hostel.

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Friday, I continued exploring, and when it got too hot I went to the local movie theatre. I saw I, Frankenstein in 3D for $5.20. (Don’t judge me – I had never heard of the movie and picked it based solely on the image on the poster, and the fact that the box office woman said it was in English. I also didn’t know it was 3D. And yes, it was really terrible.)

SONY DSC Saturday morning I switched hostels from Bigfoot – a major party place (first picture below) – to ViaVia, a beautiful hotel with two dorm rooms and a much more tranquilo atmosphere (photo).

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Despite moving hostels, I was still signed up to take a shuttle with Bigfoot to their beach house about 30 minutes outside the city. Since I wasn’t staying there any longer, it was $2 instead of $1 for the roundtrip ticket.

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They drove about 16 of us out in a big open air truck.

SONY DSC Where we were stopped by transit police who decided to search all of our bags for drugs.

SONY DSCA guy with a large camera showed up randomly and started filming us. I took photos of him. He was not happy with that.

SONY DSC They let us go without incident, and I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at the beach house.

SONY DSC I met a few interesting folks, had a veggie burger, rode a whale, and tried not to lose my glasses or drown in the enormous and enormously fun waves on the beach.

SONY DSC Our 6pm shuttle back left at 7, so when I got back to Leon I just had time to quickly check my email before heading out to the metal show.

metal show nicaragua

Spot the gringo

The show was awesome. There was a lot more posing and posturing than you see at US metal shows – how many of the non-candid photos have people throwing devil horns in them? – but the music was actually really heavy (which for those of you not into black/death metal, is a good thing), and the energy was awesome. At least until the entire courtyard cleared out for a massive brawl and they shut down the show.

SONY DSC The next day I had breakfast and then caught two local shuttles from Leon to Granada with a German man I’d met at ViaVia. It was $2 for the first 1.5hrs to Managua, and then $1 the last 1.25 to Granada. Tourist shuttles are $12 for the same trip (though without the exceptionally easy transfer in Managua).

SONY DSC Granada is quite beautiful. Like Leon, it is very safe and reminiscent of Antigua. It’s perhaps a bit more like Antigua, in that it feels like more of a museum than a city, and there is a much higher tourist-to-local ratio here than in Leon.

SONY DSC Yesterday, when we arrived, we had lunch at a cafe suggested by our hostel. It was full of 65+ year old Western men drinking rum, and the food was awful.

SONY DSC In the evening I went out with the German guy again and we had beers along Calle La Calzada while people watching.

SONY DSC Today I switched hostels (the other one was gross) and found a soy burger for breakfast.

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The place I’m at now (Backyard Hostel) has two bunnies running around. They’re so cute I just want to squeeze them and squeeze them and squeeze them until their eyes pop out of their cute little heads.

SONY DSCAfter breakfast, I wandered down to the lake (Granada is on a HUGE lake) to explore. It’s really hot here, and even in shorts, flip flops, and a muscle shirt I can only spend a few hours walking around before I need a rest.

SONY DSC As of now, my plan is to spend tonight in Granada, and tomorrow somehow get to the volcano island in the middle of the lake.

SONY DSC I’ve only been here a few days and seen two cities, but so far Nicaragua may be my favorite country of those I’ve visited on my trip.

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7 thoughts on “Leon & Granada, Nicaragua

  1. I dunno, that seems like an appropriate ending for a metal show. And I love that random people in the crowd are wearing corpse paint.

    And I’m behind on your blog.

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