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It´s too hot. The Nicaraguan air condition route.

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So, it´s hot and I am not into discomfort so it was time to find some relief. You could of course stay in some double priced hotel and get air conditioning, but you still have to deal with the heat when you are out and about. What I needed was a good dose of winter weather. Luckily, I was not too far from the north highlands and from Leon it was a mere couple of hours and three buses away (which included one of those getting dropped off on the side of the road and not quite sure what exactly is going on, but as always it works out.)

My first stop was in the mid highlands at the town of Matagalpa. At about 700M, the temperature was cool in the shade and searing heat in the direct sun. It was that perfect temperature where you could be comfortable walking around in a t-shirt, but you would also feel just fine in a long sleeve shirt. At night it was cozily cool with enough warmth coming with a single layer of sheet. With a light comforter you could sleep in till noon. That is what I like in my life, not too much, not too little, just right. Just got to figure out how to get everything else in my life to fall into that order.

I ended up spending three nights there as my first hotel choice sounded good in the book and actually lived up to what it advertised but was really horrid in my perfect searching lifestyle. You could spend $15US for a nice room or you could spend $7 for a single room. I chose the $7 as I wasn´t planning on any company and it did have a tv which is all that I really wanted. The negatives were that it was one of those partion walled rooms with walls that were a foot short of the ceiling. They were kind of like portable offices thrown up in the lobby of a business building. Everybody that walked by felt like they were climbing over your bed and the other single sleepers cuddled up next to you. Freezing cold shared shower and I was out the next day. I paid up a bit and got a full room which was a lot more comfortable.

The town itself wasn´t going to win any awards, but it was a nice small-medium size town built in a valley surrounded by mountains. The weather was like I said perfect, and the people ranged from city dwellers to rural farmers. I had to search a bit to find a mamas food stall but finally found one right off the central park. I was comfortable.

And so I´m watching tv and I hear a couple of gringos passing my window. The conversation was pretty much one sided but what stuck out was the constant use of the word “fuck”. Fucking fuckity fuck fuck. Fuck yea. Fuck no. No fucking way. Fuck. It´s kind of the same feeling you have when you see the Russian girls walking into the churches wearing super mini´s and tube tops. What kind of gnawed at me was that I knew the guy was American, probably military related and that he had no idea how he must look to the locals. All I could do was mutter “fuck”. Later on in the day I ran into the two guys and they invited me out with them for a drink. The “fuck” guy was of course American, from LA, and the other a retired Canadian hippie sort. I thought what the hell and we went off to one of the semi-touristy bars. There I learned where they were from and that they both had just come from Mexico and were basically just burning time and had met up in Leon. Good enough sorts and the “fucks” actually disipated for some odd reason. Alex the “fuck” guy was second generation Mexican and spoke fluent Spanish. Blaine the Canadian apparently was living in Mexico in an expat community and spoke about five words of Spanish. We talked a bit and they were alright. I just wasn´t clicking all that much but it was nice talking to some foreigners for a bit over a nice cheeseburger. After eating they pulled out some Cohiba cigars and invited me for a smoke. Nicaraguan cigars I knew were generally considered good quality with some excellent varieties at the top level as well. It was like old times sitting in a bar smoking a big fat stogey. 60C for 5 Cohibas. Rolled nicely, smooth taste, good burn and ashing, definitely good for barely more than 50 cents. After the smoke which ended up almost clearing the bar of other patrons, a couple of girls showed up that the guys knew from a restaurant that they ate at. Thats where it got really uncomfortable and I was pretty sure that I wasn´t going to be hanging around with these guys much. The girls of course spoke only Spanish. Alex was fluent and was scoping out a particular girl. He did try to keep everybody on the same page by doing the interpretar thing but he was also trying to hook up so it was very intermittent. This kind of left myself and Blaine with the other girl. It shouldn´t have been weird, but it was like Blaine started to panic and started focusing on me. I didn´t even have a chance to say hello to the friend when he started chattering away at me in English. It wouldn´t have been so bad if I could have done some interpretting as well and got the other girl involved, but it was like he didn´t want to lose my sole attention. He actually shifted his chair so he was facing not over the table, but angled directly toward me. He was on one side with his knees basically pointing at me chatting away and asking questions while the girl was on my left looking like she would have preferred death. Alex tried to get things going by talking in Spanish and English, and I would start talking in Spanish with pertinent information so that the girls could see that I understood and could talk, but Blaine was so intent on talking in English to me the only other person he could talk to otherwise he would be the one looking like he preferred death. It just got really awkward for me and fortunately it was soon over and we decided to go our own ways. Alex was a tad bit of a tweaker and really wanted to play some slots in one of the casinos (there are a lot of these small casinos with slot machines all over the place). Blaine didn´t gamble and I hadn´t done so in a long time so we went in for a bit. I ended up spending 30C or $1.50 in about a half an hour playing some weird 20 option slot machine. Alex was done in about two minutes. Later we went back to the hotel where we kicked back a bit and started to sort out Alexs budget. Apparently he got some sort of SS check every month and had 21 days until his next check. This left him with about $8 per day to spend on food as he had already paid for the room until the end of the month. I mean it was doable, but for him I don´t think so as after figuring out that he was screwed he decided to go buy more cell minutes and beer while making plans to go out that night. I needed to ditch these guys so I ducked out at dinner time before they left and snuck back to my room later. The next morning it was time to get out of Dodge and on to some freezer level cooling.



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