Que pasa? I ask this pulling off a feat of sheer lunacy, balancing in a hemp hammock tied between two Spanish colonial buildings over a street filled with rusty clown cars with taxi signs on top. Doing this while smoking the world’s largest cigar and not even slightly creasing my freshly pressed tuxedo. All the while my top hat is acting as a refuge where misunderstood door mice create burlap nap sacks for sale on the streets next to the cheap eats. Let us discuss the important matter of Pablo Picasso, partying and visiting random dentists on a wild whim in Leon, Nicaragua…
Been doing some partying lately and by partying I don’t mean tubing, full moon parties or my personal favorite, Lagos. Just casually running into other gregarious gentlemen, lads or ladies and deciding to paint the town red with a small refined paint brush, Picasso style. Flora Cana rum is delicious and this is coming from someone who doesn’t even like rum, in fact despises it. Do yourself a favor and drink some or lots when you’re here.
The Cathedral of the Assumption is amazing at night, stared at it once more. Stop by some of those little burger / hot dog stands late night that get towed places and feast on a fully loaded poco dog for 15$C or a grande for 30 $C, recommended. Also the street food here is yelling at me and I’m barking back. 3 tacos with cabbage and sauce for 30 $C, say what? Or let’s discuss my personal favorite, quarter chicken with fries for 50$c, they even have a dining room setup on a street corner with single incandescent light bulb hanging on a coat hanger, priceless.
If you want to get a taste of something more refined, recommend you go to La Solera for dinner and drinks. The drinks are as cheap as anywhere and the food is reasonable but it is the crowd. It’s the professional crowd or at least the kids of the professional crowed. I ventured in with this 40 year old gent who had been traveling since 27 and both of us were like, are we still in Leon!? May just go there for dinner tonight as it seems like the only appropriate thing to do.
Hit up Via Via once on rumors of something grand, I know and I’m sorry. I’m not a fan of that brand and it’s worldwide, The bar was empty except for random rogue travelers, we didn’t stay long. Every Wednesday there is this bar that charges cover for a really great band and it’s only $C 50 and comes with a rum and coke that will put hair on a ladies chest, seriously. It has a bit of a hip crowd but not the hipster crowd if that makes sense, have hipsters ruined the normal usage of the word hip!? Pondering such as I sip a grape Gatorade through an over-sized swirly straw.
There is an art museum in town that costs $1US to get into and it is phenomenal. It even has original prints of Pablo Picasso aka a true legend. It belonged to this family who donated it and now it’s a foundation of sorts, or the still own it, not sure but definitely go check it out. Went with this German lady I met on the streets with a casual “good day” / egregious tip of the hat combo and the moment we went in I said “wow” and she said “not impressive if you’re European”, that was the last exchange we had as I just walked away.
Suffice to say the prints, paintings and modern art are sublime but what really talked to me was the Spanish colonial architecture. These streets look so plain and boring, they are but behind the gates are people’s private oasis of sorts. Also they all have many open court yards and high ceilings to keep the heat away, ingenious! They also had amazing ponds and it was so tranquil that I found myself just sitting there mindlessly staring at the fountain.
Finally, have you ever woken up and just thought to yourself “time for the dentist”? That happened today and was recommended this lady, she wasn’t in. Then I remember in a somewhat less desirable part of town I saw this sign that said “dentist” so I made my way there. Once you get behind the iron gates there is this door and it doesn’t look like much. This family greeted me and we called the dentist, 45 minutes later I was into his lair.
This was NOT the cleanest place I’ve had my teeth done, somewhere like the first time I got it done abroad in Panama in 2005 or so. In Panama I got it done after this guy we know who had the nickname “Surly Sailor”. That said, the utensils were clean, he showed me the procedure and he knew what he was doing. He has a machine that heats up all the tools and showed it to me before we began, can’t argue with that.
The total cost of my teeth cleaning was 200$c or about $8.74US, steal. There is no “set price”, he inspects your teeth then day dreams for about 5.23 seconds and gives you a quote. The cleaner they are the cheaper it is, indeed. Will say that he wasn’t gentle but thorough and my teeth are clean and polished. His name was Dr. Merlo and I’d go back because we had a good rapport but curious to see what other places are like as well…
Have now had dental work in Nicaragua, Panama, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Poland, Tanzania and Turkey.
This post has gone on long enough, tomorrow we’re going to a beach.
Will leave with very fond memories of Leon.
P.S: No photos from the museum and these are a mixed bag of from recent outings.