Leon

Leon Travel Blog

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La catedral de Leon

So we had a first bad bus experience from Esteli to Leon.  We boarded a microbus (basically a dodge caravan that they cram 15 people in) and waited for an hour before the bus filled up. Once we hit the road we quickly found out the bus driver was a lunatic (drove as fast as the bus would go, passed cars on both sides of the road, and dodged potholes at 120 like they traffic cones in a parking lot). He also ran the bus out of gas 50 minutes into the 3 hour ride. A seat belt would have provided some comfort but they´re not in vogue in central america.

Wes

Leon is another colonial city- but less tourists here than in Granada. We really liked it. More beautiful buildings and churches.

bell ringing for mass
We seen one really amazing thunderstorm from our  hotel one night. We were staying in a decent place that looks like it was an old colonial mansion or something converted into a hotel. It had a second floor balcony looking into the courtyard and with a good view of one of the cathedrals. The lightening from that storm was incredible and lit up the whole sky and all around that cathedral! The rain looked like it was going to flood the courtyard- it came down like a waterfall!

One night ( in the middle of the night) in this room we heard some rustling of plastic bags- I said it was only the fan blowing on one of the bags and we kept lying there- but the noise kept on and Wes got up to investigate and there was a huge toad or frog or something flopping around in the wastebasket.

Iglesia de la Recoleccion
There was a big flurry of me jumping up and out of the room and Wes grabbing the garbage and sticking it in the hallway. I had left one of my many mango seeds in the garbage, it was tied in a plastic bag, but still. Whoops. Funny afterward though.

It was HOT in Leon. The hottest city yet I think. So we beat the heat one day by going to a movie- the theatre in town was really nice. We paid just over $2 each to see the Da Vinci Code- it was in english all subtitled in spanish and with some lovely air conditioning. It was great! We have both gotten pretty sick of chicken with rice and beans and so have been on a pretty steady diet of pizza and icecream. Great. We were saying we could easily write a guidebook on central american pizza joints! What will we do when we get back home and have to cook for ourselves! Actually it will be pretty nice to cook something for ourselves at this point.

It´ll be nice to eat some more vegetables- Wes is sure he´s going to get scurvy and has been missing his cheerios and blueberries for breakfast since before we left.

Our last morning in Leon we went to Cerro Negro volcano- It´s a small black sand volcano- only 600 and some metres high. We went on a tour where you climb the volcano and then ride this piece of plywood with a handle and a piece of kitchen laminette on the bottom down the side of the volcano! The volcano was great. We found out when we got there that it is actually a lot more active than we had thought. It has errupted about every 7 years for a while and we are now in its seventh year- it tends to errupt in the fall. Our crazy Australian guide said he plans on taking a vacation this fall and being nowhere near.

cerro negro
Anyway we climbed to the top (only 45 min) and went down into the crater. The sulphur smell coming out of the crater took your breath away! There were little steam vents where if you held your hand there for a few seconds you could really burn your hand!

 After exploring the volcano it was time to slide down. This we were told could take anywhere from 2-3 minutes at a safe, nonhospitalization speed- our guide had done it in 14 seconds! He also said that though it would be really stupid for any of us to do it- he was willing to give any of us a push start. There was no waiver signing on this tour- we were asking him about it and he was like- what´s anyone gonna do to me here! He kept telling us how they used to make the boards this or that way but had remodelled them cuz too many people ended up in the hospital! We wore some sweet goggles you could barely see out of and there were different tracks depending on how fast you wanted to go down.

the climb
Wes went on the fast track- but it really wasn´t that fast- I think it depended more on what kind of shape the laminate on your board was and ours were both pretty old- so it really wasn´t too fast or scary . We were coated in a thick layer of black dust when we got to the bottom. We were done climbing and sliding down a volcano by 9:30 AM and went back, showered and made our way back to Granada for a night on our way to Ometepe.


 

vances says:
The volcano slide is totally awesome ---kudos to you folks and god bless this site, lol!
Posted on: Jun 15, 2006
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La catedral de Leon
La catedral de Leon
bell ringing for mass
bell ringing for mass
Iglesia de la Recoleccion
Iglesia de la Recoleccion
cerro negro
cerro negro
the climb
the climb
at the top
at the top
lush landscape
lush landscape
nice goggles
nice goggles
down she goes
down she goes
into the crater
into the crater
volcanoes to the north
volcanoes to the north
crater
crater
out of the crater
out of the crater
into the crater
into the crater
bottom of the crater
bottom of the crater
Leon
photo by: Chokk