We told 2 different people yesterday, a woman working at the pharmacy and the french husband of the nicaraguan woman who washed our clothes where we were staying and they both said, oh no, you´re not staying there, are you? It confirmed our suspicions…
We left Granada and went to Catarina, a small village with a great view over a lake and of granada and of lake nicaragua. However, the village didn´t have enough to hold our interest more than an hour or so so we waited for a bus for Masaya, a place we hadn´t planned on going to but, wanting to think that our trip is fluid and not rigid, we decided to check it out. We immediately got a good feeling of it, found an okay hotel for about 9 bucks a night with a bathroom and shower about 15 feet away and then went out to explore the town. It turned out that one afternoon was plenty there and, like many nights on this trip, we were chilling on the bed and reading at 9pm. This trip hasn´t quite aged us but we´re acting like old people! haha
So we took a microbus with 15 people in it (think soccer mom minibus and you get an idea how packed it was) 45 minutes to Managua and thank god left right away. It had the feeling of despair and dirt and shantytowns. We saw a little girl´s birthday party happening in a dirt parking lot. Luckily, this new microbus was nicer than the first for the 90 minute journey here to Leon. We got here yesterday, took a taxi with another guy from the bus, checked into our drab and old school and barely passable Hotel America and then went to explore the town.
Our first choice for lunch was closed so we chose a vegetarian restaurant that had interminably slow service and we made the mistake of ordering a falafel and a curry lunch in a nicaraguan restaurant. You do the math…
We walked around more, checked out a free museum of old school religious paintings and more modern Latin art and then called the folks for the first time on the trip, I took many pictures of faded doors, got some cream for the rashes on my arms (thanks ,Hotel Esfinge in Granada!) and then went back to the room, showered in cold water and then went and dropped off our clothes to be washed which, along with the movie we saw after that was the highlight of the day somehow.
This trip hasn´t quite been what I expected it would be and there is a certain, vaguely miserable feeling to sweating nonstop, questioning the cleanliness of everything you eat or sit on or drink from, and not sure if this street is safe or not but we are having a good time together and just getting through the trip seems to be enough of an accomplishment.
We decided to leave Leon today and we´re planning on going to Esteli for a night or two, we´re moving faster on this trip than I´d planned but I think we want to spend more time in Guatemala.