Expecting cooler weather in the Nicaraguan highlands...and not getting it (Matagalpa)

Written by Tyler Cole | 28 April 2010

waterfall matagalpa nicaragua cascada blanca

Leaving from Leon and arriving after what is now appearing to be the characteristic dusty Nicaraguan bus ride, I was disappointed to feel the unrelentless heat in Matagalpa much like in the lower areas. Supposedly it´s "cooler" here, but I can´t imagine by more than 5 degrees. I was hoping to hike around some coffee farms in the area, which the region is known for (I´ve tasted some damn good coffee in Matagalpa), but the heat has sucked any motivation for physical activity out of me. Instead I made my way to a big waterfall in the area called Cascada Blanca, and had the good fortune of being the only visitor the entire day. It was quite the treat during the thermal peak of the day. Besides that visit though, the weather is very conducive to sitting around all day and reading, so not much exciting report (although I would HIGHLY recommend reading In Defense of Food: An Eater´s Manifesto by Micheal Pollen, click for the Amazon Link). Pictures are below.


VIDEO Taking a rickshaw through the streets of Leon, Nicaragua

Written by Tyler Cole | 27 April 2010

Arriving in Leon from Granada, I was disappointed after seeing the Laguna de Xiloa en route and being told by several people that I would be robbed if I walked up to the supposedly nicer laguna, which was my real destination (the entrance was barbed wired anyway).  Anyways, I grabbed this video after arriving on the bus and in transit on a bicycle rickshaw towards my hostel. I was hoping to do a volcano boarding tour near Leon supporting street kids, but they needed a minumum of three and I was the only one that had signed up for the next day given it´s the low season. With time contraints I moved on, so this video is the most interesting part of Leon that I´ve got. It´s a street scene that gives a nice look at the no-so-photographed part of town. Sorry for the shakiness, and the lady´s voice you hear in the beginning is a vendor selling water (¡agua!).

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The island of two volcanoes (Ometepe) and another colonial city (Granada) (and not the one in Spain)

Written by Tyler Cole | 25 April 2010

mural granada nicaragua womens rightsAfter a mad dash from the overpriced Costa Rica to take refuge in Nicaragua, my first stop after a dusty border crossing was Ometepe. Formed thousand or millions or billions or however many years ago by two volcanoes rising almost symmetrically from the island, it sits imposingly as the largest freshwater island in the world in the middle of the huge Lake Nicaragua. I took a boat over the island and met a French Canadian named Usagi who had been living on Ometepe for years and had a nice little hostel near the dock. He told me all about the local folklore along with another Nico who had been living in Miami for years and was planning a move back to get into the tourism business. Folklore slowly led into indigenous rights (which don't exist on the island) and inevitably to


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