Friday, May 9, 2014


Getting out of El Tunco seemed to be a bit tricky. Well, not actually. We're on a no plan plan and more or less only know what we're doing or where we're going 1 day at a time. When trying to figure out transportation to Nicaragua we kept failing in booking anything in time. Shuttles filled up fast with travelers headed the same way we were. This meant a couple more days hangin' in El Tunco. When we finally did manage to move on we rode in luxury. We splurged and enjoyed a direct bus to León but it was well worth it. Air conditioning (something we haven't felt since we first arrived in Guatemala) to combat the 90+ degrees and humidity, reclining seats, movies and even meals. It was as if we were flying back in the day when flying was something special to experience. There were even bus attendants, if you will, walking up and down the aisles bringing a breakfast of scrambled eggs, rolls, rice and beans and a fried plantain. Sandwiches were served for lunch and they also provided pillows and blankets. Totally worth it on our 9 hour bus ride passing through Honduras and into Nicaragua.

Our first stop was León. A colonial city and Nicaragua's second largest city after Managua. The city was founded by the Spaniards in 1524.

We made it in time to find some street food. The cheapest, most authentic, and equally if not more delicious than what you can find in restaurants.

I feel like a lot of times chicken, especially grilled chicken, is simply that - grilled chicken. Not from our beloved ladies manning the grills around here. They really know what they're doing. Every piece is so juicy, cooked perfectly, and with the best smoky grill taste you could hope for. We're all pretty passionate about good food, so eating is always a highlight of our day. 

A wide array of tortillas filled with potatoes, cheese, meats and veggies. Some are slightly sweeter, others simply savory. There's always a great spread of sides that get plopped on your plate as well. If you want to grab it to go, you get a giant banana leaf to hold all your goodies and act as your container. I love that. 

Chicken, gallo pinto (rice & beans), aguacate (avocado), repollo (cabbage) and some queso fresco. A super salty, pretty mild cheese that's very likely to find it's way into a lot of things. 

La Plaza Central

This is the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of León. It was built between 1747 and 1814 and has endured earthquakes, volcanic eruptions of Cerro Negro, and civil wars. This is the largest cathedral in all of Central America. Beneath the cathedral lies several tunnels that connect to other temples that once provided an escape route and refuge when terrorist attacks from Dutch, British & French pirates struck the city. 

We would later tour the roof of this cathedral and stand between these two fine gentlemen. 

This friendly ice cream man asked that I take a picture of him. When I went to do so he wouldn't look and smile but instead looked away and handed Josh the ice cream bar he had already sold and handed to him, acting out his daily routine. 

Oh, P.S. León means Lion

Toña. The incredibly delicious beer of Nicaragua. There's 2 beers here: Toña and Victoria. I suppose we're quite spoiled with our massive beer selection in the States and I don't want to bash the beer that's been quenching our thirst, so, I'll just describe them. They lack flavor and go flat very quickly. Yeah. We've taken up making our own version of a Chelada when we can to spice them up a bit. It's like a bloody mary but minus the vodka, sub in beer, and no tomato juice. It's the poor man's margarita as Joshua deemed it. We add salt, lime, worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. It's actually pretty delicious. 

Our hostel, ViaVia. Plenty of open air and hammocks and a hangout for travelers and locals alike. 

The interior of Cathedral Basilica 

From atop the Basilica overlooking La Plaza Central 

The extremely narrow stairways of the cathedral 

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