After a somewhat eventful final night in El Salvador that involved a beachside club pumping Reggaeton beats for rain-soaked backpackers, surfers, and San Salvadoran weekenders and drinking beet and chile-infused rum shots, I dragged myself out of my sandy bed Saturday morning and onto a bus to begin the 10-hour journey to Nicaragua. I also had a new travel companion: Georgina, a spunky Argentinian girl I met at my hostel in El Tunco.
After a long day of border crossings and bad movies, we arrived in Léon, Nicaragua around 7pm in the midst of a monsoon. Unfortunately, the town was heaving with travelers (I definitely wasn’t in sleepy El Salvador anymore!), and we lugged our backpacks in the torrential downpour to five different hostels before we finally found a vacancy. Drenched to the bone, we went for dinner and had a much-needed beer before calling it a night.
The next morning, Georgina and I checked out of our hostel and moved to a more central and lively location, Via Via Guesthouse. I spent the better half of the day sitting in an internet cafe, writing my last blog post. The rest of the day was passed in a hammock. One of the top traveler draws to Leon is “Volcano-Boarding,” which involves hiking to the top of a volcano and then sliding down its gravel slope on a sled. I really, really, really wanted to do it, but everytime I asked a stranger if it would be possible for me to climb, I would get different answers. It’s pretty much impossible to get “accessibility advice” from people who don’t know me, so I finally just decided to not bother with it. I do love traveling alone, but this is definitely one fine example of a time that I really wish I had a good friend (Read: boyfriend) traveling with me who could help me and push me to do these things I would love to do (Read: boyfriend toting me piggy-back style up a volcano). Sigh.
Where was I? Oh yes, Sunday. Anyway, that night Georgina and I satisfied our pizza cravings and prepared for a big day of sightseeing Monday. Unfortunately, rain put a literal damper on our day the next morning, but as soon as it cleared up, we ran out for a picture-taking, sight-seeing, shopping outing. That night we splurged on wine and cheese (this is why it’s great to travel with another girl) before coming back to our guesthouse for a night of…wait for it…trivia! I’m seriously addicted. Anyway, our team won second place (bottle of rum!), but I will use this platform to confess that we cheated.
The next morning, we bussed it to the next colonial town, via Managua, to Granada. We joined our previous night’s trivia team (an Australian couple) at a guesthouse that afternoon, went out for dinner, and relaxed that evening at the hostel’s pool (I never knew those two words existed together until this trip). The next day we relaxed by the pool, went for a romantic carriage ride around town, and found ourselves at yet ANOTHER trivia. We joined two Nicaraguan guys, didn’t cheat, and lost miserably.
Yesterday morning, we made our way to the nearby volcanic-island-in-the-middle-of-a-lake, Ometepe, where we are now. Georgina and I will be traveling together south through Nicaragua for another week, when we break apart and head in different directions.