The Americas travel blog

Tasty iguana

Leon is the city of Lions. Lions adorn many buildings and many of the 16 Churches. It has narrow cobblestone streets too and quaint colonial buildings but I think Granada is nicer. This morning we have a walking tour of Leon with Franklin who, apart from being a guide is also a salsa dancer and he has the right looks and physique to match! First we visit the mural a across the road from our Hotel. It gives a chronological insight to the turbulent history of Leon. We walk to see the petrol station where petrol was set alight to attack the Sandinista headquarters. A bit further on is the remains of the Church that was bombed in the revolution in 1979. Over 22,000 people were killed. There is a memorial on the site where four students were killed in 1959 during a peaceful demonstration. We pass by the house where Jose de la Cruz Mena, a famous Nicaraguan classical composer was born and the theatre where he he had to sit outside when his composition won an award, because he had contracted leprosy. Finally we pass by the park where busts and statues of the famous poets of Nicaragua, including Ruben Dario, are displayed.

After the tour we have free time. Unless we want to climb the very steep Cerro Negro volcano and slide down the side on a board, like you do on sand, there is not much to do. We go back to Pan and Pan bakery for a quiche and drink and enjoy the shade of the veranda. On the way back to the Hotel we have a look around the market and see iguanas for sale (locals eat them) which is apparently illegal and then outside the market the trucks that are used to transport people from place to place instead of a car. It's a basic life in Nicaragua!

The next few hours we spend in our Hotel researching what we are going to do in the time we were supposed to be in Venezuela. We still haven't decided on anything yet. Around 4.30 we go the a bar in the square and have a drink. Chrissie and Brian join us. Then we head off for a meal in a restaurant that has a lovely setting, a courtyard with a fountain and beautiful gardens, but the food is ordinary. Not a late night tonight as it's an early start tomorrow.

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