Monday, May 2, 2011

Day 117/118/119 - Granada - Leon/Leon

Distance travelled (by bike): 12,150

Day 117 -
Opting for a very early start (to beat the heat) i left Granada. Following the map (not trusting the gps 100%) i thought the route was quite straight forward, and it should have been. Unfortunately somewhere i managed to take the wrong turn. After a 100km detour i was back on track. Passing through Managua, (the capital city) i briefly wiggled through the city but decided not to stop. Cruising along the road i was trying to stay within the speed limit as i had been warned by other travellers about the police pulling over tourists, (luckily this hasn't happened yet in Nicaragua) but ignoring the local drivers who are speeding. Arriving at Leon i met up with Ben (a fellow biker i met in Costa Rica),  he had lived in Leon so know where to go and where to avoid. This is the one of the first times i have had to leave the bike on the street overnight. The security guard advised me to remove everything that could be stolen, i did. 

(*images are low quality as the internet connection is really slow)

driving into leon

the cathedral 

Day 118 - 
Relieved to wake up and find the bike was still parked outside with everything still where i left it. Having lost track of days i didn't realise it was a sunday, so a very lazy and quiet day locally.
However, Ben, having lived in Leon told be that sunday was cock (rooster) fighting and gambling day. The locals gather at a venue, attach razor blades, hooks, etc to the legs of the cocks, antagonise them, then let them fight to the death. This i had to experience, getting a taxi to some part of town where we were the only gringo's (feeling quite glad i hadn't shaved), then paying $0.50 to enter someones back garden, which had the 'arena' in it. A lot of locals (all looking quite rough) were betting on which bird would win, length of time to the kill etc. There was even something resembling a roulette wheel. The cocks were in small cages, before the fight the owners attached their weapon of choice to the animals leg, using another bird they would antagonise it/them, then both birds released and the fight began. 
Lasting about 5-10 minutes they were really quite brutal, massively bloody and to the death, or near enough!
Armed with beers we took our seats on the dusty planks around the 'cage' and watched as the brutality began.

attaching the razor to the birds leg

antagonising one of the birds

sizing each other up


the very bloody winner & proud owner

Day 119 - 
I decided to stay in Leon one more day to get paperwork and insurance worked out for the some of the countries i would be passing through in the next month. Upon hearing it was a national holiday I was relieved i decided against going to the border this morning, would have been hot and hellish. I think today was the hottest day i have experienced so far, nothing to do but stay in the shade and drink a lot of water. As the day wore on ben ventured out to go and retrieve his motorbike from the local mechanic and i set off to do some more sightseeing. Early start tomorrow, hopefully i'll be able to get to the border, cross into honduras, drive across Honduras and clear into El Salvador by tomorrow evening - long day!!

lion outside the cathedral 

bells of the cathedral 


one of the many murals around the city

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