We've now 'done' (I hate that term) should I say briefly travelled through and seen some of 4 of the Central American 'Bad Boy' countries with not such as a peek from any bandido's, pickpockets, scoundrels or thieves. Everywhere has felt so friendly and safe. No one we've spoken to (not even the single ladies) have had any hassle. We've met one German bloke (who was pretty weird anyway) who seemed to be super paranoid about security (still doing it though) but apart from him, no one has really even mentioned it except to say how surprised they were that it was all good.
The second thing (that I don't feel so happy to talk about) is this 'mighty' 1000 km we've managed to ride. Whilst sitting on my skinny white arse on that air con bus the other day I worked out that if we'd not come here at all but had actually ridden to work 5 days a week for 6 weeks that we'd have covered 750km. Ok, it's not quite the same (I have to say I've never ever had to stop half way up the Old Kent Road to sit with my head on my handlebars and wait whilst my lungs try to burst out of my rib cage) but I'm sure you'll understand what I'm getting at. Maybe we should cut back on those 'guilt free' ice creams & cakes or we may actually come back porkier than when we left!
So, finally, what's the city of Leon like? It's nice. Nice? Is that it, my only description? Pathetic!
Whilst deciding where to go out one night we consulted 'The Oracle' otherwise known as the Lonely Planet. Which one d'you think we headed to?!
In typical LP style though, the oldies bar was popular with no one and the night club looked as if it had closed down...
One thing it did come up trumps with though was somewhere to eat. Yes, yet another BBQ street stall cafe. This one is a bit different though. Here there are loads of tasty items to choose from. Once you've struggled to work out what they all are or might be, you wait for them to be cooked and served. The strange bit is when you come to pay after you've eaten. The boss'll ask the ladies who served you what we had, they'll look over blankly at us (how would they ever remember, they've served another 20 people in that time?) so it's down to you to not only remember what you had but also how to say it in Spanish so they can tot it up. For those of you reading this who are old enough to remember it, it's like a scene from the Generation Game but unfortunately there's no Teas Made or cuddly toys involved, just the added confusion of whether you want to pay in dollars or local Cordobas or even a combo of both. Phewy!
Anyway... Back to Leon.... This place has had more revolutions than Lance Armstrong pedalling up a volcano in granny gear. It used to be the capital and has been fought in, over, round and about for centuries. It certainly has some energy, soul and atmosphere. There are plenty of western travellers here but it's still a country town going about its business. There are some pretty nice old crumbling buildings and plenty of museums and street art to remind you of its troubled past
This statue in the main square is here to poke fun at the Spanish invaders. Apparently the Spanish women were seen as super tall and it would appear that other parts of them also 'stood out' to the indigenous people!
Whilst on that subject, we visited a museum of 'Legend & Tradition'. Check this little lady out
Some of the other exhibits were a bit more macabre
There was also some information on the various barbaric torture & suffering caused by the various dictators and marauders that have put their mark on the place over the centuries. This actual tank featured in a great b&w photo from 1979 in which it was cruising down Leon high street followed by a bunch of high waister, flared Jean wearing Che Guevara lookalikes.
Now what with all this revolution stuff, I've got inspired and am thinking of going for a new look. What d'you reckon?
And while we're on the subject of doing things differently, how cool is this? It's a hand wound mechanical orange peeler!
As per the photo, the peel comes off in 1 continuous strand. If we had more space and it weighed less I'd have to have it. This is defo something you can't get on eBay...
Getting arty on a rooftop tour of the cathedral
Gotta luv a church n Volcan combo
Complicated confessions were around the corner in the second booth....
Don't worry, we're off again tomorrow and will hopefully have a bit more to talk about. Seem to be doing a lot of sitting around for a cycling trip.....
Oh no, she's doing it again....