Friday, March 11, 2011

Nicaragua, its strange how things seem better the first time around

 hotel with parking in Leon for $25 seems expensive after finding places for $15 or less
Its been 15 years since i last visited and what i remember of Nicaragua it was safer place the people friendlier and a lot less tourist. I really thought a country with so much to offer would improve on its natural treasures but what we saw was polluted lakes, garbage and locals telling us its dangerous at night. People seem less happy don't know if its the social conditions because it was just as poor back then. I was really looking forward to returning to Nicaragua spending more time and showing Jieun, what I have always been saying "Nicaragua is a beautiful place" she was disappointed.

camped at this restaurant for $5 a night
my first surfing lesson and a little boy followed along
standing after a lot of tries still need more practice
On a the brighter side Nicaragua roads have improved immensely, no more craters that would blow out a tire or worst a strut. Masaya was a high light stop from the well run volcano to the small town square that served up great fresh juices and teasty ceviche at $5 a plate. Our timming in Masaya couldn't have been better they had their 5th annual international jazz festival running, plus was free that day and the main group was from New York. Another great place was Las Penitas just 25km west of Leon was a quite beach town where you can take lessons for only $15 an hour that included the surf board where else in the world can you do that. 
didn't have to climb this volcano
road up to masaya volcano
you get this view from the visitor centre
replica cross of original put there because the locals believed it to be the mouth to hell
Masaya was pleasant surprise, very nice town and quite central park
this interesting place had juices and good snacks

Now we didn't stay in Nicaragua as long as planned because of the sad impression we got and plus the cost of hotels seem more than in Guatemala and Honduras. I feel bad we didn't give Nicaragua a longer test but is that time to head south, Costa Rica hope the nature is cleaner.