Leon and onwards to Masaya and Granada

Trip Start Jul 22, 2013
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Trip End Aug 10, 2013


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Flag of Nicaragua  , Leon,
Thursday, July 25, 2013

A simple breakfast to start the day of exotic fruits and a small plate of scrambled eggs, fried plantains and gaillo pinto before Edgar reappeared at half eight eager to take us to two museums which we missed yesterday afternoon due to early closing.

Again, I held out few hopes of real involvement in the contents of the museum dedicated to the poet, Ruben Dario located in his childhood home. But once more Edgar knew his details about the life and work of Ruben Dario, a child prodigy who went on to live a Bohemian lifestyle at the end of the 19th / beginning of the 20th century. A womaniser who wrote in an unconventional manner with regards to style and content. Amongst his work, there were compositions which criticized the deveoping influence and control of Roosevelt and Uncle Sam on the countries to the south of the United States. Similarities in his lifestyle and subsequent early death due to alcoholism to many "rock-star" type poets of the 20th century who crashed and burned. Parallels to Dylan Thomas.

And then a small art museum a block or two away. Initially, a collection of familar European religious art previously owned by a wealthy Nicaraguan businessman but subsequent rooms had Southern American versions. Most still had the received European and white versions of the Bible stories passed on to them by the Spanish colonists. But not every one. A Peruvian Madonna was less European and more native..and as a result stood out. Also there were examples of native pottery from cultures which existed prior to the mass slaughter by the Spanish invaders.

With these two short museum visits over, our new driver Maximo who I'm tempted to rename Minimo drove us out of the impressive city of Leon southwards via the environs of Managua.

The first stop off on the way was to the Masaya National Volcano Park. Edgar as an afficionado of museums rightly took us the information centre first where he educated us once again about volcanoes and life in general. Then towards the top of the volcano crater with an opportunity to gaze precariously hundreds of feet down through the clouds of sulphur gasses. Smelt like the Chemistry lab from my school days.

Other stops on route to Granada included a short visit to a craft and flower / garden centre village where there was a seating area with a stunning view down to a volcanic lake and onwards to Granada and lake Nicaragua. However, sitting there you were accosted every few minutes by guitar wielding men eager to sing something traditional in hope of a cost coin or two in their direction.

We also stopped at another small village where pottery was the focus for most homes and almost every house seemed to have workshops in the back and their produce for sale in the front. We went into the house of a friend of Edgar expecting the normal trinkety stuff. But no! Very skilled artisans at work creating high quality stuff. Didn't intend to buy anything but for 15 dollars we left with six different items. Nothing too big as we have to get them back via aeroplanes.

Maximo gave us a quick ride around Granada for us to get our bearings and for Edgar to point out restaurants where the quality is good and the price not too alarming. There is cinema in the street behind us so we may well end up there maybe tomorrow evening. The new Brad Pitt adventure film seems to be on....with subtitles.

Wonderful hotel once again. A magnificent colonial style building full of character and class at a price we can afford.

At fiveish we headed out for dinner to avoid Caitlin losing the will to live. We're not eating much during the day though drinks are essential at regular intervals. Alyson shared two different fish meals - a corvina fish was one but can't remember the name of the other. Nice though the unamed fish needed beheading a la Cordoba to Caitlin's considerable disapproval What a wus!

Caitlin was sulking major style as she was expecting to have a swim in the hotel pool before closing time at 7. Not a problem! The Nicaraguans are not officious and from six thirty to seven thirtyish we -Caitlin and me- were splashing about in a beautiful pool where we met a delightful family of Bangladeshi / Indonesian extraction who live in Boston...with a daughter the same age as Caitlin She was happy!
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