Leon, Nicaragua

Reached Leon, Nicaragua yesterday night. Took a taxi into town and made it to Emma’s place. It was a bit surreal seeing her in Nicaragua, but great nonetheless to see a familiar face.

The bus ride out of San Pedro Sula down to Nicaragua took a grueling 13 hours, but did not seem as bad as I thought it would be. Got stopped by the police for a random security check. Stood in line outside our bus for about 10 minutes before the local police motioned for me and Jon to go back in the bus. It seems that the Honduran police are guilty of racial profiling their own people. They immediately asked anyone who looked like a tourist to go back on the bus. A similar thing happened when we were at the Honduran Nicaraguan border. They spent a good amount of time going through the  belongings of people who looked Central American and barely spent anytime looking through the tourists’ bags.

In fact, they asked us to just take our bags and leave. Didn’t even bother looking through our stuff.

Anyway, checked into Lazy Bones, a decent and clean hostel in the middle of downtown Leon. Explored a bit of the town today. The Cathedral, market place, and the various ins and outs of this quaint town. Grabbed lunch at Bueno Gusto, a small hole-in-the-wall kinda place that served a whopping full plate – fish, rice, salad, plantains, and fried cheese, The smoke from the grill almost blinded me but I survived. The food was worth the tears.

Leon reminds me of Cusco, Peru. The ways the streets are set up, the food, the people, the buildings, and the general vibe and atmosphere feel very familiar.

Hoping to book a hiking trip to the Volcanoes that Leon is so famously known for, we stopped by a few tour places. Quitzel Trekkers offered decent options, and had a very friendly vibe. Later in the day, we stopped in another place whose name escapes me. Offered us a better, more economic deal so I think we’ll be going with that. The package is a 2 day, 1 night hiking trip to one of the active volcanoes nearby. The company provides everything from the tour guide, entrance fees, equipment, save for food and water. Jon and I are going to bring our own water and food.

Anyway, after a long day’s wondering, I am ready for some food and a good night’s rest. Looking forward to checking out the beaches tomorrow!

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Essay Panda here to help dispel myths and answer FAQs for International Students applying to Colleges in the US.

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