Leon, Monday, 18 November 2012 to Friday, 23 November 2012, Day 139 to Day 143

Bike parked at the bar whilst bossman is trying yet again to learn Spanish 🙂

Studying Spanish at Dariana Spanish School back on Saturday 🙂

So what have I been up to this week well truth be told I have sort of grounded to halt must be the heat because I do not recall doing a lot this week. As soon as I crossed the border into Nicaragua the sun came and it’s been extremely hot and sweaty ever since making doing anything a chore so slowly slowly is the order of the day.

  • Dariana Spanish school. Back to the books again I am determined to get better at Spanish well as determined as you can be when its hot and there are lot of siesta’s needed to get you through the day. I went to the school on Monday morning and started my lesson with David that afternoon. There was huge American group still in on the Monday and Tuesday so no homestay available for me so I stayed put in the dorms in the Viavia not to conducive to learning but the cleaner Marie Therese did help me a bit with my homework. David is a young 26 old Nicaraguan lad who has only been teaching for 2 years and he does not speak a lot of English but we had a fun 5 days I am not saying my Spanish is much better but I did enjoy myself and that is the reason why I am doing this trip. I think my Spanish is a tad better but like any language it is just a case of practice practise and put the work in. I did 2 afternoons and 3 mornings 20 hours and a bit of homework in total only me there for the 1st 3 days and at the end of the week 2 others joined so very quite in comparison to the Antigua Spanish School. So a big thank you to David I really enjoyed my week with you.  I even got a certificate 🙂

    David great teacher and Nicaraguan History story teller

  • Story of Nicaragua. On our first lesson David took me into town to show me the Murals and he gave me an excellent history lesson and story on Nicaragua and explained the symbolism in the pictures. Fascinating stuff I knew bits and pieces but I never knew the whole story it looks like they have been screwed over by the Spanish then by the Americans paranoid about communism and then protecting there interests in the Panama. Hopefully they are on the right path now well rid of the imperialist colonists and making a go of it with out to much interference from the outside world if that’s at all possible in today’s world. From what I have seen it is a nice country and nice folks.(Please note this was all done in Spanish so I must be getting a bit better)

    Great murals especially if you know the story behind them thanks again David

    After revolution life goes on

  • Gouda cheese. The good thing about staying somewhere a bit longer is you can get a nice breakfast rhythm going for me in Leon this was at Pan Y Pan. A French bakery with a French baker married to a Dutch lady whom I met whilst driving my motorcycle through the bar on my first day. So you could get a French baguette sandwich and they had locally made Gouda Cheese, which was very nice. So for 5 days a morning ritual of a cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee in a nice courtyard and then to school. I do miss routine sometimes as I am continually on the move not knowing where I will be the next day so its nice to stay in a one place for a short while
  • As I mentioned in the previous posting there where 4 other motorcyclist staying at the Viavia including me so that is Chris, Chloe, Paul and Daryl and Alex and Andrea who also came round whilst in town so for the first couple of nights I hung out with theses guys swapping tall stories and trying to get as much info on the road ahead as possible with out scaring the shit out of myself. It was a bit quite after they all left but will meet up with 4 of them maybe on the way down to Panama City and definitely on the boat to Columbia

    Daryl getting the bike through the restaurant and bar

  • On Monday there was a trivia quiz night so only me Chris and Chloe left so we had a small team of the 3 of us battling against the huge regular teams. We did not do to bad but not in the prizes (Not even close :-)) These two started in Buenos Aires and are doing the same trip as me but in the opposite direction they have the same issue as me as they will be hitting the weather as they go north like I will be as I go South here is the link to there bog for those of you who like motorcycle blogs interesting reading and this is the territory Phillys is heading into. http://ccgadventures.wordpress.com
  • Saying Thank you not Gracias. Back to Spanish I have a weird block when it comes to saying Thank you. I always say Gracias which is correct however to me this does not sound like thank you or feel like a thank you so I always add on a Thank you and or merci to ensure that I have said Thank you this is totally redundant and confusing I guess it was the way I was brought up and I had please and thank you drummed into me from a young age and its still does not feel right even in a foreign language or as if I omit it I need to avoid the swift clip around me head so I add in a English thanks as well. I guess I was brought up to well as where the clip is going to come from here I do not know but I am still not willing to risk it 🙂
  • One of the things I liked about Leon was that the sirens in the town went of at 7am every morning so folks without clocks and watches knew it was time for work and they went of at 12am for lunch. Not sure if I heard them for the end of the day as well but I thought this was a great idea and a lot of my day was based on these sirens
  • Like I said quite a slow week after school I normally did some homework and hung around Viavia and at about 3pm or 4pm I would venture out as it was slightly cooler and wander all around Leon. Not quite Antigua but charming enough for wandering I enjoyed my time here but I need to be moving south.

    leon

      

      

Problem in doing a full week catch up is that I probably missed loads but I guess it could not have been that interesting if I forgotten about it already.

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3 thoughts on “Leon, Monday, 18 November 2012 to Friday, 23 November 2012, Day 139 to Day 143

  1. Sjoerd

    Hoi Phil , … a self teaching moment about your document check Well done , get the silly stuff ironed out at the start .
    A word about the alleged fake charge at the Nica entry. There are municipal levies at the border and that is what you paid.Not bogus, check your little receipt .It is a little tourist tax of the township to pay for the adoquinado roads and other services being built to small villages .
    By the way if in Panama your way to getting on a boat involves riding through the city of Colon do NOT go walkig about even in dayligh in that city. The usual story on Colon is that the question is not IF you will get mugged — it is WHEN will you get mugged =) Just thought I would put your mind at ease . There is an excellent Hotel Carlton in the city though, worth a stay with your bike parked at the front door under the eyes of an armed guard .

    Reply
  2. Sjoerd

    Since you are looking for places to stay that are interesting and low cost have a look at this one for northern Costa Rica http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/route-planning/costa-rica-bike-friendly-hotel-42047
    You will like that one because it gets you away from the warm Guanacaste savannah. The road in from the Panamericano may well be all paved by now, but it is an easy gravel road if not. Through Upala and south again gets you back to the Panam so you can have the great ride over the mountains into the rainforest and over the top, along Lago Arenal to see the active volcano perhaps , if not clouded in.
    Cheers

    Reply

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