It"s been difficult to put into words my experience of Nicaragua. It has been a completely different experience to Costa Rica. Wonderul to visit the cities of Granada and Leon. So much life and vibrancy and a real feeling of hope and excitement. It was a 7 day festival where the people carry the staute of the Virgin Mary around the streets and set off firecrakers and sparklers everywhere. In Leon all these little boys were running around constantly banging drums. They had such an amazing sense of rhythm. I loved the parks and all the people hanging out talking, spending time together, not drinking or shopping, just spending time enjoying life. I wish we had that more in England. The buildings of those two cities were beautiful. The restaurants had huge high ceilings and lots of wooden chairs and tables, but never anyone in them really. As if the party had ended and Id missed it.
I went to some beach towns too. A couple where there wasn't any other tourists really. Had a wonderful experience with lots of kids. They were all selling necklaces and things on the beach. I was chatting with them and we ended up playing a game. It was a drawing game where you had clues and then everyone would guess the word, and then write it. So they had really basic reading and writing skills so it was good because they were learning how to write new words and they were teaching me spanish words at the same time. It was so wonderful, when I left they were all laughing and playing and having lots of fun. It was lovely to see them acting as children, rather than just working.
Now I'm on a volcanic island. Had another wonderful experience where I had a drink with some locals. One was an artist and he was showing me all these beautiful paintings he had done, all relating to the history of Nicaragua. They were talking to me all about the revolution and one of them was reciting some poems of Ruben Dario. I wished so much my Spanish was better because I was only grasping it on such a basic level and would have loved to have understood completely. But they were so eager to hear my experiences, and were so interested to hear how it is living in a Capitalist country. One of them said i was "muy valiente" very brave, to come to a country with such different politics to my own country. I said it was the whole reason I needed to come here, and that it was an honour to be here.
Well I've had so many wonderful little encounters like this, i could write all day about it. There is so so much to say about Nicaragua. I don't feel like I have the right words to express it really. I'm staying at another town on the volcanic island at the moment. In a brilliant friendly hostel with lots of communal meals, and I'm meeting lots of nice people. It's fun to share lots of stories of travels when I come to the end of my trip. I'll write again before I leave.