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  • Writer's pictureTim and Lindsey

She's a bitch in León - Day 541

How dare he call her a bitch! Apart from that, we were very lucky to have a private walking tour around León and hear about its political history.

Our Hotel was slightly weird. One of the staff members recorded a conversation with Nathalie and kept calling Zoe a bitch. At breakfast time Nathalie said 'he called her a bitch again" but in such a way that we all burst out laughing. Isn't it funny that the word for a female dog also has rather a nasty connotation! He did also hold my hand rather suggestively when I gave him the key back.

We planned to go on a free walking tour at 9am but breakfast arrived slower than expected. I got in touch with the *The Original* Free Walking Tour León and they kindly offered to put on a special walk for us. How lovely! We were met by Marlon. Zoe, who can be a bit nervous with strangers and would usually bark, just laid on her back wagging her tail. Aren't dogs amazing. They definitely have a 6th sense. Marlon has four dogs and it was obvious that he loves them.

Our tour was brilliant. Marlon ensured we stood in the shade and gave us just the right amount of information about León, its political history, people and culture.

A large, rather insipid coloured mural around a small park was the perfect place to start, giving us a pictorial representation of the journey from tribes moving down from Mexico through to current history. This included the Spanish invasion; Sandino, who was a farmer, starting the revolution against the US military occupation. He was depicted by a shadow as he was rarely seen and his body was never discovered after he was assassinated. Next we heard the story of the Somoza family dictatorship, ruling Nicaragua for 50 years, stopped by another revolution. Fascinating history if it wasn't for the many lives adversely affected.

We walked around the imposing Cathedral, the largest in Central America, where Marlon explained that this huge building was buil from Volcanic Stone, Sand, Egg shells and Egg whites. Crikey, the chickens must have gone ten to the dozen! It would have been nice to visit inside and climb to the top, but time and heat prevented this.

Marlon was very good at interacting with us, asking questions and testing us later. He explained that León has three nicknames. First is the capital of the first revolution, the second is the University city, as it had the first University in Central America. Thirdly it is know as the City of Poets with even a park commemorating five poets with the statue of Rubén Darío in the middle. He is most famous Nicaraguan poet, known as a genius and a drunk. The quote "Write drunk, edit sober" springs to mind.

It was time to leave, we had a long drive back to San Juan del Sur. That was an adventure in itself, with cars double overtaking or pulling out of side roads without looking, a poor, lone, starving horse wandering in the middle of a main road in the dark which Eve managed to coax into a nearby field, and many cyclists riding with no headlights at night. Phew! We were glad to get back safe and sound.

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