We didn’t really have any plans other than going to the central market and picking up some food as this market was supposed to be amazing. So after a little lie in we made our way towards the market.
Unfortunately as it was Sunday not a lot was open though we did manage to find a little stall on the outskirts of the market selling Vaho (pronounced Bao). It is a big steaming pot layered with yucca on the bottom, then whole plantains with meat, onions and peppers on top all covered in banana leaves and left to simmer for 3 hours. It really was delicious.
For the next few hours we just walked around and let Leon seep into our pores. On arrival our first impression was that Leon was not a patch on Granada. (Which the Leonians wouldn’t have liked one bit because in the 1800’s the two towns were vying for top spot and eventually descended into civil war. This culminated in the Leonians hiring American William Walker into Nicaragua and getting him and his soldiers to take Granada. Which he did but then subsequently named himself ruler of Nicaragua. He was eventually driven out but not before he torched the entire city and left a sign saying “here once was Granada”. But this is why Managua is the capital instead of either two as it was named to stop the fighting.
But slowly we have warmed to it. Much more gritty than Granada but still beautiful in its own way and tourism although here, is more an afterthought. Street food is on most corners, my favorite being mango sometimes ripe most times not, cut into strips and you add salt and chili sauce. Sounds crazy but tastes delicious. My mum and dad are going to think I am crazy when I start picking their mangoes green.
We walked out towards the bus station to see when our bus would leave tomorrow and we got a look at everyday life in Leon. The streets were lined with stalls, selling everything you would need in everyday life and the smells! Not really any of them good but in their defense it was about 32 degrees and with rubbish lining the streets and the drains not really working you can understand the underlying problem. It was a bit of an eye opener. Although we were in the poorer part of town never did we feel unsafe and we soon made it to the bus station and it was crazier than the one in Rivas. But we soon found out our bus times and off we went.
By this time I was hot and bothered and so convinced Tim to go eat in Tip Top which is Central Americas answer to KFC, the reason being it was air conditioned! Food was pretty average but not worse than KFC.
After that we pretty much just chilled in the hammocks in the hostel. A very chilled out day, pity the weather wasn’t the same. S
The giant Vahoe pot.
They are slowly restoring the Cathedral and as you can see a work in progress. I am still undecided which I like better.
One of the many civil war murals scattered around the street.
Still can’t get enough of the colours.
The street view of the market stalls leading up to the bus station.
Another street view thrown in for good measure.
Another shot of the Cathedral.