We slept in a dorm room at a place called Big Foot Hostel in Leon. It was a great hostel with a bar and a pool and a pretty social scene. We were excited to stay there and meet other travelers but once we weren’t feeling well we sort of regretted that decision. We had pre booked a night there and pre paid so we pushed through the night. It wouldn’t have been so bad but our room had something like 20 beds in it. They only advertise as a 12 or 14 bed dorm (which is a lot to begin with) but they also have a loft above with 6 or more beds.
The next night we moved to a private room we had found on airbnb and in the end it was actually cheaper than two beds in a dorm at the hostel from the night before. We are going to be smarter about how we book things now. It is all part of the learning curve of traveling and of traveling together.
We woke up Sunday morning and hung around the hostel until we could check in to the airbnb. From the airbnb we headed out on a journey to the beach outside of Leon. It is about twenty minutes outside of the city and with temperatures nearing 100 degrees and no AC we knew we needed to get to the ocean.
Getting there was a small trek. We took a local bus which stops so frequently that it takes about one hour to get to the beach which should only be a twenty minute drive. Zev and I werent sure where the bus was going and when we drove past the area of the beach we had heard about we got concerned. We continued going out of the way for another ten minutes and our concern heightened. We surveyed the bus to see if anyone else looked like they were headed to the beach and it didn’t really seem like it. The entire time we were driving parallel to the ocean so Zev and I jumped off figuring that this beach was as good as any. In the end I think the bus eventually turns around and goes back to the beach we had planned to go to but we didn’t realize that until after we were already off the bus.
We start walking on the sand along the ocean and realize that we are at a very secluded yet gorgeous part of the beach. No tourists! We were thrilled. We walked over to where we thought we saw some more people just to be safe and to get some food. We stumbled upon a cafe and we are the only tourists in the entire place which we were also happy about. We ordered some water and ceviche before going for a swim in the ocean. The water was the perfect temperature and the beach had no rocks – a first for us in Nicaragua. We hung around for as long as possible but because it was Sunday the last bus leaves the beach at 6:30pm. If we wanted to catch a ride back we needed to journey back to Leon.
An hour later after a crowded crowded bus ride with passengers riding on the roof we were back in Leon. The bus ride was a joke and most likely very dangerous. The men riding on the roof refused to pay (understandably because they were sitting on the roof of a school bus) and they kept shouting obscenities down to the passengers and bus driver. We walked back to our airbnb and then found a pizza place called Hollywood pizza which had AC and average tasting pizza. It was a sign of our exhaustion and I think general readiness to make our way to Guatemala. We have loved Leon and Nicaragua but are most excited for Guatemala just based on what we have heard from friends.
Right now we are sitting in a coffee shop waiting to catch our minibus to Antigua, Guatemala. It leaves at 1:00am and arrives in Antigua at 7:00pm. Wish us luck!