Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Viva Nicaragua! Estelí Cigar Factory, Leon Volcano Sand boarding an active volcano, San Juan Surfing & La Flor Turtle Reserve nesting- best in Central America!

So after our wonderful time at the border with Honduras sneaking in….I mean doing every legal possible thing to leave but had to make our own way, we were in Nicaragua.

We went to Estelí, and David hung out with local Mormon Church people.



A consistent trend we’ve notice all through Central America is all the Mormon churches are clean and well maintained….yes I said all, can you Belize it!

Also Estelí is the location of a nice little cigar factory, in which we took a tour.

Lucky I was the official translator for our tour of 6 backpackers and David, so for 2 hours I was back and forth explaining processes to everyone, which I will admit got a bit tiring.

I personally don't smoke, but the smell of fermenting tobacco and it burning is intriguing to me.


They are cool, the let you take pictures, talk with the people.






Our cool guide who was smoking the entire time.





Managed to get David a fresh off the line hand rolled cigar




And I even convinced the guide to let David roll a cigar!

I like the guys reaction in the back ground...I bet he's thinking what a badass cigar David just rolled

Can you tell David’s cigar apart from the rest?

My last Cigar factory tour was at huge plant in Honduras where pictures weren’t allowed, so a smaller privately owned one is the way to go for pictures.



On the way out we ran into what we could only assume as the 9am local drunk



We stayed at a really neat hostel called El Tambaru, where there’s some nice parking.



Nicaragua things to do: if you’re in this beautiful country, first off you’ll get pulled over by police any chance they get to try to get bribes and money from you, the typical story of you did some stupid thing of touching the white line, or your license is expired, there a discrepancy in your papers, or you look like a tourist and I know you’ll give me something, or some other pointless excuse.

So a nice thing to do is after this headache, go buy yourself this drink, only sold in Nicaragua. It’s a cocoa, cinnamon, vanilla milk drink that you’ll get addicted to. David and I agreed it’s the best drink we’ve ever had in our lives, so check it out!

Best Drink in the World!


We then headed to Leon Nicaragua after passing some large piles of oranges.



Got some cool hostel parking way inside the Via Via hostel, next door to the Big foot hostel, which I highly recommend to anyone traveling to Leon Nicaragua.


Checked out the largest cathedral in all central america located in Leon



David and I also took in the new experience of buying second hand used clothes. It’s amazing to me this is not a common practice in the USA; it’s cost effective and helps everyone. Americans has the unfortunate mentality of buying everything new. I was happy to know my clothes were already pre shrunk and in good condition. Again our spirits were enriched with positive energy from this enlightening experience.



The following day we did one of my favorite things to do, that’s right you guessed it! Sand board down an active volcano! Same thing everyone loves to do right?




Yeah that's right, we are too cool for goggles, a funny looking green suit and padding like everyone else



Again we visited Cerro Negro…location of my last sand boarding experience, back again for another go.



Took some neat pictures



Some cool pictures





And some fun pictures



Some Kung Fu




The famous David pose


I will say the second time around is much easier. Next time the volcano explodes with flying lava, I’ll be ready to sand board down the side to save my life!0



Sadly as you’ll know we no longer have GoPro’s so no video, but check out my last sand boarding experience Click here!

The following day we headed to Managua.

The road there was sucky and mucky..... I believe the cow would agree



We stopped by the Masaya volcano near Managua. Said to be one of the 7 gates of lava in the world or something by national geographic or something like that. Feel free to correct me if anyone knows.





Nice scenery0




Mmmmm sulfur burning our lungs smells great!



In ancient times virgins and such were sacrificed when the lava flow was higher.

My favorite parking sign of face your vehicle facing the exit incase the volcano explodes!



We had some lunch at a soda aka a little diner.



We arrived in Granada.



We got our cool hostel parking picture



Following morning David got stood up by the local tennis guy when they had prearranged a match the day before; it was a sad day for everyone.



David was bumbed out he didn’t play tennis on this picture perfect court with a complementary pile of horse crap right in the middle of it.



We headed to San Juan del Sur.

We stopped by Isla de Ometepe for a quick picture and headed to San Juan



Saw some locals



Some local arts and crafts



Then headed our way to Reserve La Flor, location of the best turtle nesting in Central America in my opinion as its very secluded, small amount of people, and a large number of turtles and eggs.

On the way be sure to check out playa Coco, one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen.




Wonder how Chacon the photographer gets some of those amazing shots, here's how


What came out




And saw the turtles of course.

Some in a bag to incubate




Even played part in conservation by saving the lives of some turtles. Sometimes a mother turtle chooses a spot where there already a nest, and doesn’t know, so as she digs the hole she breaks and digs up the other eggs already there.





So we did our part along with the local turtle to re-plan these eggs as they were dug up immediately.



Fun fact, the sex of a turtle is determined by the temperature they incubate in.

In San Juan we had also involuntarily run into Kevin, a fellow rider we met in Masaya in San Juan along with another rider. So we shacked up in the same place with good parking. And heard of his cool Middle East travels on a bike. Check him out.  Travelearth.com




So now in surfers paradise…again…until next time, Hang loose my brotha’s!