27.01.2011 - 03.02.2011 32 °C
After hot Granada we were off to León. We really liked León: it had a special vibe. Being more of a student city, it’s always been a bit more revolutionary than its neighboring ones.
Although slightly older and unorganized, compared to Granada, it was definitely more authentic and we never felt unsafe in town… We didn’t do much in León, besides wandering around the streets, exploring the market…We also met Hanna again here. It was actually her last days of her trip in Central America…
After 3 days in Granada we thought we could go down to the Pacific coast to Las Peñas and check out the waves. Las Peñas is a very remote and tiny place. The waves were huge though, so that made it very difficult to ride a wave. In fact, a guy who’d rented boards before us, had broken his nose as he got hit by the board!
The next day we rented an inflatable kayak and went out to a mangrove area: it was really cool, exploring it on our own, besides the fact that we were on an inflatable kayak in a water full of branches and things sticking out so we would have to watch out for the sharp stuff in the water!
We kayaked up to Isla Juan Venado, a protected area which is a nesting for sea turtles. It was very different from the place we stayed at in Costa Rica.
We tried surfing in Las Peñitas but the currents were quite strong and the waves fairly too big. To be honest, there weren’t the best conditions to surf. In fact, the guy who’s rented the board before us had had an accident and hit his nose with the board!
We left Peñitas as we have founded a place which sounded very appealing: a basic hostel by the pacific coast, north of Nicaragua, which was supposed an amazing place. It is called Rancho Esperanza. The good thing about it is that they offered voluntary positions to help the families who lived in the community nearby. We actually spoke to the manager from the hostel, an American guy, who said that they had a strong need of volunteers. It sounded perfect: a paradise by the coast, surfing possibilities and working with the community. However, when we got there we realized that there was as good as it sounded. First thing, he said he had a kids center: the volunteers worked only 2 hours a day, which sounded very little. But then we went visited the community and we realized that a lot of the kids who attended the center came from a humble family, but not a poor one. I had the impression that the owner of the hostel had set up different “volunteer” activities to keep the guests happy in the place and made them stay longer. He had started some good things which were good for the community but the area was definitely not in a desperate need of help as we expected.