First days in Nicaragua – Leon
Shacks made of plastic sacks
Children in frazzled hammocks
Nothing to buy, no street stalls, no tiendas…
On our first 50 km in Nicaragua this country seemed to be even poorer than Honduras. People had just nothing, a sad welcome to be honest. It was hot and dry… and then suddenly turned into a lush green when we came to the delta of Estero Real, rich in colors and agriculture. It was like a release! A little wind came up and we enjoyed it so much to cycle towards the volcanoes!
When we asked for camping at a cotton factory site that night we directly learned about the hospitality of the so called Nicas. „Si claro“, he answered before we even could explain about what we are doing etc. He told us very proudly „we are very solidly in Nicaragua, you won’t have any problems here in my country!“ The international soldarity movement against the Somoza dictatorship especially in the 1980’s left its positive marks… Of course, we were happy to hear that!
The next day on the road to Leon we experienced the wind from the other side – what a horrible headwind! This was really tough cycling on a packed road with loads of junk flying around everywhere. We will always associate Nicaragua with strong winds. In the relaxed and cultural rich colonial town of León we recovered and stayed a couple of days to meet our friend Niko. So good to see him on this side of earth – but far too short! He came with a filming team to work in Nicaragua for a couple of weeks and unfortunately was quite busy… Again we got some supplies from Germany – thanks, Niko!
Nicaragua is full of Cathedrals, it was not always that poor as it is today, in the 1960’s even the Costa Ricans came over to work here. For decades the country controlled the only warm-water-route between the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea and had lots of money to spend for churches. León has the biggest Cathedral in whole Central America: Basilica de la Asunción. We spent one fun morning on top with Aaron…