Nicaragua Day 4: Leon

Our last day in Leon. I think today was the hottest yet, or at least the day the heat got to me the most. Matt went volcano boarding, so it was just Torre and I in the morning. We hung around at the hostel then made our way to Libelula, although I got lost on the way so it was a longer walk than it needed to be!

Some little boys were at the cafe with their family and had their faces painted like lions (or just cats), and they played peek-a-roar with Torre over the booth dividing their table from our table. It was pretty cute. After brunch we came home and napped together until Matt returned from his trek looking for a shower and a nap.

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This is the board Matt rode down a volcano!

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Some of the folks from Matt’s group, suited up and ready to board down Cerro Negro!

Volcano boarding, for those who may not know, is an adventure tourism activity wherein you hike up an active volcano, put on a protective suit and goggles, then toboggan down the side of said active volcano. It’s like tobagganing down a regular mountain except that snow is replaced by volcanic ash which is a little less cushioning. No brakes, no waivers, just a one hour hike up and two minute ride down feeling alive, baby! I don’t feel like I missed out, but Matt loved it. 🙂

There was a family from Austria in Matt’s tour with three children, and apparently they quite underestimated what they were getting themselves into. The mom thought she and the kids could just hike down the mountain the way they came, but in fact they had to hike down the ash, and they didn’t really have proper hiking shoes on to start. Probably it would have been better for them to take a volcano tour focused on hiking, not the volcano boarding tour. Live and learn.

Back in the city, Matt rested for a bit from his long hike in 35 degree heat then we went to El Sesteo for our favourite: tostones con queso (deep fried slices of plantain with salty deep fried cheese om nom nom). Torre chased birds in the town square until he was all hot and sweaty, then we went back to the hostel and John and Jasmine were around, so Matt compared notes with them from their volcano boarding experience. They all agreed it had been surprising how much speed they picked up, they had all seen spectacular wipeouts by other people, and they all brought home a ton of rocks and ash in their hair. John juggled for Torre, which made his day, and Matt and I both enjoyed laying in hammocks while someone else entertained our child. Eventually we put an episode of Bubble Guppies on Matt’s phone for Torre and read books before resolving ourselves to head out and get some dinner (it was just that kind of lazy day).

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Ready to dig in! That tiny door behind the car on the road is where we bought our tickets to see the roof of the cathedral. It looks like a hobbit door.

On his volcano tour, Matt heard from some Brits that they’d had good (read: tasty and not-diarrhea-inducing) street meat from the vendors behind the cathedral, so we decided to check it out. It was already dark (night falls around 6pm), and the streets and square were full of people, restaurants and bars were blasting dance music, and although this was such a blah day for me, being out in the city made me feel good to be here and glad to have this night.We bought supper from a street vendor who called Torre little prince and me princesa. Some stray dogs watched us eat, and Torre got restless to try and pet them which stressed me out, so we traded off holding him and eating. As I finished my plate and Matt was done with his food, a woman came by and asked Matt for money. When he shook his head, she kissed her teeth and snatched up his plate of leftovers, then went to the next table and emptied their leftovers onto the same plate then went up on the sidewalk to eat. We let the vendor know, so she just made sure the woman returned the plate when she was done eating, then we started heading back to the hostel. We chatted about how much food gets wasted and thrown out in Canada, and how it sucks that this woman had to eat strangers’ leftovers.

I’m excited to move on to a new place tomorrow, hoping for smooth travels and looking forward to a part of the country that is less strapped for water – our hostel’s water tank is really low so we’ve been having the fastest showers ever and hoping the water doesn’t run out mid-shampoo!

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