28.07.2009 - 31.07.2009
After the Monkey Hut we took a bus back into Granada with a few of the people we met the night before. We went straight to the Bearded Monkey the most famous backpacker hostel in Granada a slightly cheaper sleep at only $6 a night in the dorm rooms.
In the afternoon I went out to the lake at Granada (didnt hold a candle to Laguna de Apoyo) and also got to see a bit of town, first impressions when i got off the Tica bus were completely wrong the town was actually relaxed and colourful.
- Church just up from the waterfront
- A pig we saw taking a bath between the road (why the hell not!)
The first night in Granada was a bit of a crazy one, we kicked it off by playing Pimp's and Ho's, a card game explained by Julie and Shelly a Canadian and an Australian we met at the Monkey Hut. After happy hour at the Bearded Monkey we moved onto Hostal Libertad for 15 Cordoba Mojito's (that's less than 50p a drink!). There we introduced them to Ring of Fire, which at less than 50p a drink is pretty lethal.
- Ring of Fire
At Hostal Libertad we met what was possibly the most interesting guy of the night (unfortunately not pictured above) 'Crazy Gold Guy' who it turned out was certain he had found gold in the nearby hills and was just waiting until he could get it all. There was no rush though due to a certain type of bug native to only the area surrounding the gold which could kill a man by burrowing into his lip.. this may have been more funny if he wasn't so aggressive about anyone challenging his daring or ability to find this hidden treasure. Needless to say we managed to escape with our lives and made it back to the hostel.
Our next day in Granada was only slightly marred by a killer hangover (which is only amplified when trying to sleep with no AC in 30 degree heat) but a perk of the Bearded Monkey is a cupboard stockpiled with DVD's so a lazy DVD fest helped the day go by. That night we went to a local bar and managed to get involved in a lock in, this resulted in another hangover but by now we were pro's so didn't take any notice!
The morning of the 30th me Joe Yvonne and Anya went and hired a car to drive to Leon, we also invested in a map, apparently the only road map for the area (not very detailed and most roads didn't have signs anyway).
- Road map to Leon
It should have been a straight forward journey from Granada to Leon via Managua (the capital), the only issue came when leaving Managua when we turned right onto the 'old road' instead of left onto the new. This mistake turned a 1 hour smooth highway drive into a 3-4 hour off road journey, we did think it was strange that the capital and second largest city were not joined by a tarmacked road, but every road leads somewhere right?
Leon was quite similar to Granada however the streets seemed smaller and less colourful, there were a lot of churches and the town was a lot busier with lots of hustle and bustle. We took a while trying to find the Lazy Bones hostel http://www.lazybonesleon.com/ (a brilliant hostel that had come highly recommended by a few people we spoke to about Leon) this was mainly due to the criss-cross network of one way streets. The bonus of staying at Lazy Bones was the pool at the hostel!
That night Joe and Yvonne drove back to Managua to pick Phoebe (Joe's girlfriend) up from the airport, me and Anya just hung around the hostel and played some pool (i let her win..).
The next day was our first and last full day in Leon and we all went to the beach. I don't think Leon is famed for is beautiful beaches and the one we went to didn't exactly take our breath away (maybe we had high standards after the San Blas Islands) but the surf was good and we all managed to avoid getting dragged out to sea by the current.
We also had a killer lunch at a local restaurant, some would call it a shack, but it did amazing chicken and fish. We has some entertainment for lunch too watching 3 little piglets running around the beach trying to catch crabs that kept diving into holes. Although we had a brilliant day if you find yourself in Leon (Nicaragua) i have heard you should check out the Volcano Boarding (http://www.vivatravelguides.com/central-america/nicaragua/the-interior-and-leon/leon/leon-activities/volcanoes/volcan-cerro-negro/volcano-boarding)