the journal


Day 16 – Winding Up At The End

Filed Under international travel

Leon, Nicaragua – December 12th, 2008

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It seems that the nearer to the end of my trip, the more I´m doing every day. Yesterday I had breakfast with friends at the market, where I had a large pancake and a plate of fresh fruit for $3. Went swimming in the Pacific and then laid in the sun (such hard work!), then lunch with a friend at a restaurant overlooking the San Juan del Sur bay. After lunch, a three hour fishing trip where we caught tons of cold beers from a cooler. We celebrated our catch by having dinner on the town, capping the day with some rum and Fanta at a bar with live music.

I left San Juan del Sur at 7am with two American girls from Colorado that I met the night before. I didn´t meet them until the evening, but recalled overhearing one at the hostel in the morning asking the other, ¨So, do we go to the beach or do we watch the sunset?¨ If only all decisions in life were that difficult.

We had a brief stop in Managua for the girls to purchase their bus tickets to Guatemala. Managua wasn´t as decrepid as I had thought. Even though we took a taxi through the city and saw a lot out the window, I still have no regrets for never wanting to stay in that city. Overcrowded, heavy crime directed at tourists, and if Nicaragua was to ever have another revolution, it would most likely start here. Sandanistas still sit in the 14 major round-abouts, as they have since the elections, but it is more like those protesters you see in the States sitting next to a SHAME ON YOU banner. It has been said that some aren’t even Sandanistas but rather paid protesters. They have banners celebrating the ¨success¨of the elections and sit under white tents. Some have their feet up and taking naps, not at all like the news photos of the hundreds of tough-looking teens brandishing homemade mortar guns and wearing black and red handkerchiefs around their mouths like Wild West bank robbers.

We arrived into Leon in the early afternoon. It´s strange being back here in the colonial city – a place I spent a good portion of my last trip exploring. It didn´t take long to get back my bearings and lead our group of three to Bigfoot Hostel without the use of a map. The receptionist and the owners of the hostel are new, but some of the other staff recognized me from two years ago. Incredible. And this is the second time on my trip that this has happened. At the biological reserve station at Laguna de Apoyo, the director not only recognized me, but remembered my name and the other people who were at the station during my 3 day visit two years ago. Nicaragua has made an impression on me and it seems that I have made an impression on her.

I´ll be hanging out at the beach tomorrow to slow down my pace before jumping on a bunch of busses and planes to get home on Sunday. I look forward to seeing all of you when I get home.