Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chat with the locals at Las Peñitas Beach

Day 2 in Leon, after morning photo shoot and breakfast at the local market. I met the Canadians at the hostal and we debated what to do: the beach near by, Rum distillery, or Volcano day hike. After we visited a near by tour company, the Canadians decided to go for a day hike to Cerro Negro volcano after we were told that the distillery no longer allow visits. I was not in mood for volcano hike since I decided to go with Quetzaltrekkers' two day one night volcanoes hike. After showing Gary and Janet where the market, I went back to Quetzaltrekkers' to book the volcano tour (got lost earlier in the morning after made 90 degree mental error, street here don't have signs, need to count blocks and by land marks). Anyway the trek meets 4AM the following morning, more little sleep again!

I decided to goto the Las Peñitas beach on the Pacific coast. I figure this will be my only ocean beach part of the trip, I better go for it. I walk to the bus station which was 15 minutes away and waited for 30 minutes or so for the bus to leave for the 1 hour ride to the beach.

After arriving at the beach, it was too hot to be out, so I decided to get a lunch first at a restaurant near the beach. I was expecting a great seafood dish like that of Honduras or El Salvador, but they served western styled blend fillet.

Refueled, I head toward the beach to catch some local life. It was apparent low tide and the tributary near by was dry, so some kids started to play baseball on the compacted sand. They were also dogs, pig, and tourists walking around. I then headed toward the Pacific ocean to see if there were any surfers, there were none because the tide was low, so I just stroll along the beach and wonder how lucky that I am here and family and friends back home are buried up to 3 feet of snow at the same time!

I did not go into the water as I don't have someone to watch my stuff. So I just took a little water break at beach side hostal/restaurant before my final walk and head back to Leon. By the time I finished my soda, the surfers started to head into the water, but the sun was in front of me and wave is getting bigger, so no shots. All I got was couple surf boards leaning against a pole and some little girl with surf board.

As I was walking to "bus stop" (bus stop is any where on the road where the bus pass through), I saw a tiny fishing boat unload its catch. I walk right up and motioned that I wish to take some photos, the fishermen all glad showing off their catch of large snappers and small baby lobsters. I asked how much does he get for a large red snapper, I think he said $10, how cheap!!! He also told me he used spear gun to catch the snappers with an air tube from the boat to help him breath under water. After they were done unloading, I head back toward road again, but a guy motioned from his beach side house saying something sounded like photos. So I thought may be he saw me taking fishermen's photos and he want some photos as well. It turn out, he invited me to sit down with his family and friends in his court yard. We chitchatted about an hour. Between my broken Spanish and his daughter and his wife's cousin (or sister) limited English, we manage to get most of idea across! He offered me something to drink, and I opted for just water. I believe he is a bit drunk as he was making mocking Chinese gesture and sounds. I believe he means no offense, just culture misunderstand and ignored it. I did take some photos of the family and friends and we exchanged emails so I can send it when I get back home. One interesting thing I learned about the cousin, is that she does not work or study, and had iphone and a big SUV, but when she mentioned that her husband works in the US for Continental Airlines, it all make sense, he send the money back to her! He comes back about twice a month.

When the bus came, I said good bye to the family and got back to Leon to meetup with the Canadians for dinner and trading stories about our adventure today.

I needed to reshuffle everything in my bags as I needed the big bag for the El Hoyo hike, always hate to do major reshuffling in the dorm. Anyway I say goodbye to my Canadians friends and headed to bed (might see Janet and Gary near Granada since they are heading that way after the Corn Islands).

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