February 19th, 2010
Day 32.  Early start again for a five hour coach journey to the Nicaraguan border.  We assumed that the coach belonged to a national company however you could be forgiven for thinking it actually belonged to the driver, the conductor and the conductor’s friend.  Every time the bus picked up passengers (which felt like every few hundred yards) the following sequence of events occurred:
  1. The conductor collected money from passengers and handed it all to the driver.
  2. The driver then removed a huge wod of cash from the back pocket of his jeans and meticulously organised and counted it along with the newly received stack of money, never taking his eyes of the road.
  3. Once the driver had counted the money, he handed a few notes to the conductor who in turn handed even less to his friend.

As we approached the border with Nicaragua, the coach turned into an impromptu school bus as herds of polite and smartly dressed kids jumped on and off.  Eventually the kids disappeared as we approached the border.  After the customary dance with our passports and a random dollar fee, we marched across a river bridge in the blazing sun and entered into Nicaragua.

A worn welcome to Nicaragua

A private bus took as to our final destination, the colonial university town of Leon.  Our hotel is called Hotel Balcones, but as you can see in the picture of the hotel plans, it’s former name was more amusing:

Hotels aren't what they used to be

The evening’s meal was a (now customary) barbeque feast served by a couple of enterprising Nicaraguan Mamas in the square behind the cathedral.  We were interested in the rice and red beans on offer and asked for “arroz”.  One of the ladies corrected us with a stern look and told us it was “Gallo Pinto” which is the name of the bean itself.

Factoid: (written several days later) – several kilograms of Gallo Pinto will be ingested by us (and especially by Jodie) over the coming days, particularly at breakfast.

By the way, a very Happy Birthday to Aunty Betty, 91 today!!! Annie & Safe.

2 Responses to “Leon”

  1. BODAD says:

    ,,,,,,and it’s still snowing back home! Lucky people!

  2. RPatti says:

    Hi Rannie & Rsafe

    New front door is being installed on Friday. Will text you the magic number to prevent a huge amount of noise on your entry!!!


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