Day 9 – Tegucigalpa & Drive to Leon, Nicaragua

24 Mar

Valle de Angeles, long drives, petrol station sandwiches, border crossings, money changers, falling asleep, bus driver dying, painting,  Leon.

Went for a wander for breakfast and ended up buying plantain instead of banana. Also bought a fruit jelly and some orange juice. Took the lot to the town square to eat al fresco. Met the local english teacher. Locals very friendly, as were the pigeons.

Departed on the bus at 8am with Eric driving and coughing. First destination was the capital city of Tegucigalpa. We parked up and were allowed to wander off to the various churches dotted about. I received a warning from a car driver in english to “watch my camera”. Obviously not a completely foreigner friendly city. Made good use of the Pollo Campero toilets before reboarding the bus. Also got a photo of “Gallo mas Gallo”, the electrical store.

Driving in to Leon, we stopped off for some local delicacies – Rosaquillos. Only two words for them “cardboard ming”. Even I had a hard time smiling at them.

We drove down the same road we had driven up the previous day , and past the landslide that had washed away ther main road to the capital.and hadn’t been repaired since last Dougherty.

By two, we had stooped off briefly for lunch and I had what passed for a cheese and ham sandwich in the now ubiquitous petrol station.

Also saw a horse being filled up with petrol. Weird.

At about half three we made it to the Honduran border and watched lots of men raise their tshirts to rub their bellies. We fended off the money changers and eventually professed to the Nicaraguan side of the border, where we were once again fumigated, in a far more professional way.

We found a money changer to get rid of our Lempiras, and changed dollars into Cordobas. David managed to pay me for some more phone calls home. Eric the driver had the nasty habit of coughing up mucus and spitting it out the window, all to the alarm of our tour leader.

We drove on and stopped at a scenic point to take some photos of our first real volcano. The first in a line of seven. Sun was setting, which caused some very artistic shots.

Eventually arrived at our hotel in Leon and after unloading the painting and settling in, we headed to the main square for some food. Avoided the noisy restaurant, and instead had an evangelical stage, shared by Scouts, right outside the catholic cathedral and, more importantly, our restaurant. They only gave up the “praise the lord”, as we finished. Booming speakers were not popular to say the least. I did have a local meal served in banana leaves and containing more starch them you’ve every seen. I’m not losing weight on this holiday.

Back at the hotel, we found that they were open until all hours, so we made good use with some cuba libres going down well.

A long day traveling.

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