Yesterday I chose to come out of seclusion. The day prior was completely spent on buses traveling from the tourist beach town of San Juan del Sur to an island next to the fishing town of Poneloya. I went to look into a work exchange opportunity at a Canadian owned surf lodge. I had emailed the owner who posted an ad for help in exchange for food and accommodations. The situation didn’t workout so I turned around and headed back towards Leon. I never thought I’d say this, but I got somewhat tired of spending time alone on secluded beaches. I’ve missed out on the whole community aspect of traveling.
Something that happened the day before reminded me I can be capable of liking people. While waiting for one of the morning chicken buses to Rivas I look over and see a scruffy haired man whom appears familiar. I stare for a couple minutes when I realize it’s none other than one half of the wheelhouse dynamic duo, Evan Minogue! After the all the what the fucks and the holy shits we realize that we are both going towards Leon. It really goes to show how infinitely tiny the world is. scary. The next few hours are agonizingly spent on chicken buses and taxis. I was so grateful to have ran into Evan. Honestly my introverted side has been dominant. I was beginning to forget how to talk to people. We ate mystery street pastries, talked bikes, how awesome Santa Barbara is, how shitty Managua is, and what we’ve gleaned from our respective journeys. When we got to Leon we walked about 2 miles to the center of town with our giant backpacks. We were beat. Poor Evan had a particularly grueling journey. The Nicaraguan public transportation system is not constructed for 6+ foot frames. I made the choice to move forward since I really need to find work exchanges. When it didn’t work I decided to go back and look for Evan.
Apparently I had just missed Evan, but decided to be social. I end up hanging out with a fellow traveler who was one the coolest girls/people I’ve met on my trip and possessed an impressive knowledge of Leon’s streets. We go over to a hostel called Bigfoot and start drinking. Since my new friend is a pretty girl, a lot of dudes wanted to hang out with us. We go to some bar named La Olla Quemada and talk to a group of obviously wealthy older men. One grabs my hand and makes me rub his balding head.
Fucking gross!!!!!!! Anyways a bunch of Europeans usher my friend and I into the back of a truck. Some drunkard drives a mob of us to an afterhours club near the university. At first the bar was playing shitty top 40 hits. i was having a hard time getting into it so i kept ordering dollar flor de cana extra lite shots. Fucking gross!!!!!!! I guess I can’t be picky considering I am poor. My feet are dirty. The club then switched to a selection of salsa music. I just couldn’t handle it. We end the night hanging out at the apartment of a university student and a hostel worker. about 15 of us sat in a circle drinking rum plata and ice occasionally getting up and dancing. we were playing the music really loud. no cops ever told us to turn it down.
the alcohol unites us.
the food unites us.
i’ve actually enjoyed leon thus far and may stay a couple more days. sleeping inside does suck though.
the city’s architecture is impressive. It’s refreshing to be somewhere with such a strong sense of place. Leon is the city of the sandinista revolution. there are murals and graffiti everywhere. the parks are well used and are prime spots for public life to occur. good public life makes me as happy as a school girl.
i’ve written a bunch of farms, hostels, and businesses if they need help. i’ll work for faaaahhhrrreeee! just give me a place to hang my hammock and
side notes: even though i’ve been trying to cook more i still occasionally succumb to street food. i can’t lie, i think mexican food is way better than nicaraguan food. i’ve tried a lot of quesillos and tostones. it just doesn’t do it for me. i’m tired of pinto gallo. i don’t like eggs.
being of mixed ethnic heritage, i have always been confused about where i fit in. it is even more confusing while i travel. people are surprised when they see me traveling. some think i’m nicaragua. some think i’m mexican. there are virutually no travelers of color. one dude straight up told me “you are different from the rest.” they want to know how i know spanish so well. most americans don’t know spanish. it’s true. kudos to my gringo friends who have taken the effort to learn!