Tuesday, February 9, 2010


The day started with Steve came to pick me up at 2AM, apparent a miscommunication on my part. I expected 3 AM, and probably told Lynn wrong. But I actually woke up at 1:55, so it turned out ok. We waited at my house until 3. Dulles airport was pretty quiet with only couple other flights (to Central America) going out at that time. I also get to ride on the new aerotrain to my terminal.

The flight down to Panama City was none eventful. With only a super loud snorer (luckily he woke up quickly), and lack any good sleep. The flight got in late and I was worry that my checked in backpack won't make the connection to Managua. Luckily it did.

After arriving at Managua, I met up with 3 Canadians: couples Gary and Janet from Victoria, and Eda from Vancouver. We all decided to share a taxi into the city and then catch a minibus to Leon. The taxi driver tempted us with offer of $70 to take us to Leon (it is $20 to going to the bus station). We thought about it and were thinking may be we will go for $60 since you do get AC. But the drive never made another offer, so we hopped on the minibus for $2.5 each in minibus. Minibus is like that of chicken bus with stop and pick up any where, but just smaller in size. We got to Leon around 3PM and decided to take the taxi to the hostal Lazybones since it was hot - 90 degree or so, and we didn't want to walk the 1km with our backpack. We had little communication problem with the taxi driver thinking that it cost $1 to take all 4 of us to the hostal. But once we got on, he started with bunch numbers, and we got confused and thinking he is asking for $20 or something ridicules. So we insist to pay the agreed price of $1 total and not to say anything until we got our backpacks from the taxi. The driver followed us into the hostal and finally the receptionist at the desk explained that it cost about $1 per person for the ride. So we finally calm down and paid the driver. Anyway, the driver seems to be shady, so he probably was try to scam us in the taxi. Gary and Janet (nurses) stayed in the private room while Eda and I opt for a dorm bed for $8 a night. There is no ac just fans in the room, so it was kind hot. Also the room is right next to the busy street, as it turn out, very noise well into the night.

I decided to check out the town a little as sun was getting low, perfect time for photos as well checkout Quetzeltrekkers to see what volcano hikes they have for tomorrow and Sunday. My Canadians friends also like to do a volcano hike, but only one day. And by the time I got to the office, it was too late to book for Saturday climb. After my photo session I went back to inform my friends what I found out, and was told Gary and Jane is leaving Sunday for Corn Island.

We had dinner together across the street at a tourist restaurant. We shared about our travel experiences, and life in general. Typical mature adult topics since we are in our 30s and early 50s.

So far I had not much free time to blog, so I might just wait until I return home before I post any photos.

My impression of Leon after few days of wondering around the downtown area is that it is not too touristy. There are couple streets with tourists bar/restaurants that is about it. Most of the city goes about its thing regardless the presence of tourists. Most of the people seems to reserve in the begining, but in general they are all approachable and friendly after the ice is broken. I have not seen many overweight people, and women in general are dark, but pleasant looking.

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