I watched my friend’s granda cook tostones- without a recipe
peel and rinse the platanos.
Cut them in pieces.
fry them in oil and add salt.
Take them off the heat and press each of them with your hand.
fry them again
Sometimes I just need my space – need time to relax and do exactly what I want. This weekend I spoiled my self with some alone time.
Yesterday I took the public bus from León to Poneloya, then a boat and a horse carriage before I reached my hostel on Isla Los Brasiles at noon. I spend the rest of the day tanning and reading novels and enjoying a frappu. I finished a novel in Danish and started on my first novel in Spanish. It was a huge boost of selfesteem that I actually could understand and feel drawn my the words. The night sky was amazing. I don’t recall the last time I have seen that many starts – I even saw a shooting star. I allowed myself a coco loco (coconut with flor de caña) with chia seeds. Cocos are amazing because they both contain a drink and a snack:)
I had trouble sleeping because of mosquitoes. But nothing could ruin my joy of finding such a silent pearl with a fresh breeze to relax.
Today I woke up at 8 and continued working on my tan and my books. At noon I left for the city.
I got back to busy, loud and poluted León where men always scream chelite, amor, baba etc. I found a place to escape though. A french bakery. I spoiled myself with a big plate of bread and cheece, which I have missed for long, accompanied with a beetroot juice. Just now, I am finishing the leftovers.
I can strongly recommend a weekend like this!
Nicaraguas cleanest town, with the oldest tree
famous for quesillos – nothing special if you ask me
tiste on the other hand, is a new favorite: cacao mixed with maiz and cinnemon and water…ricoooo
it was lovely to get away from León’s many noices.
Nagarote was quit, and it was even possible to walk on the streets, because there were more bikes than cars.
direction: take the bus to Nagarote from León’s bus terminal. It take 70 minuttes and costs 21 cordobas.
Last Saturday my Norwegian friend and I visited our friend, the woman who lives at the marked. She had invited us for tamales at 6 pm. We greeted her with kisses on the checks, and she asked us to take a seat.
Since she has bad knees and her usual housekeeper was sick, a man was helping her with errands. She asked him to go and buy the nacatamales, coffee, bottled water as well as soda.
He got back with three instant coffee backs and three big nacatamales. The nacatamales consisted of a mass of corn wrapped in leaves. The mass was stuffed with a few pieces of pork, bell pepper, a few raisins, a trace of rice and a some chunks of pure fat. To me it seems as a leftover dish, but if you ask a Nica, they are only for special occasions or weekends.
The nacatamales were served with coffee. The three of us ate together, though she barely touched the food. At some point she started telling us about how grateful she was for her current life, though (as she emphasized) she was poor. She told us her life had been “dura” (hard). With tears in her eyes and a sentimental voice, she told us about her childhood. As a child she had often eaten nothing but salted tortillas, and it had been a luxury when her grandmother had cooked soup with yucca and other vegetables.
Today she has five children. Three of the children lives in Miami, and she clearly misses them. Two of the children in Miami have their own “fritanga” (small restaurant). The woman told us that it is expensive to eat at fritangas in the United States – in fact everything is expensive over there. She compared the price of tortillas, nacatamale etc. The children send her remittances. One of the girls, who live in the States, owns a big house in León, and is corruntly having another constructed. Our friend, however, does not want to live there. She wants to stay at the marked where she has her friends. The fact that she owns the house at the marked seems to be another major reason for her to stay – she wants to live in her own property. She told us she had visited the children in Miami many years ago, but now she was too weak. Furthermore she had travelled to Costa Rica and Panama. In Panama she had been in an accident – the bus she travelled on got into an accident and four people died.
Another of her sons lives in Nicaragua, but he has had a drug problem. However, as I have written before, she has grandchildren and a great grandchild here in León.
She mentioned her deceased husband several time, but it turned out they had been divorced for years before he died. They had lived together for 21 years, when he asked for a divorce. The divorce was clearly a big failure from her point of view. She felt as if she had betrayed God, and this surely cost her a lot of pain. She is an evangelist.
She also told us that she had fled to Honduras with her baby during the revolution, because León was a very dangerous place to be. She also remembered the big earthquake in 1972 – Managua was much prettier before the earthquake, now there are just big roads and fancy buildings.
When she was done with her story, we told her thanks. It was so interesting, but I wish I could understand more. Before we left she gave each of us a mango, and promised to teach us how to make tortillas the following day. I asked if we could bring some ingredients, pay for the food, or if she wished for something. She told us we should not bring anything, because she knew how it was to be away from one’s family, and now she was our family.
Today two friends and I took the bus from terminal de buses in León towards San Isidro, but to San Jacinto. The fare was 12 cordobas.
When we came to San Jacinto we walked down a dirt road for 5 minutes, and there we found our guides. The guides were two girls age 10-12. They showed the sizzling hot mud holes, but couldn’t tell us much. They knew a few worlds in English, which they proudly practiced.
After having seen the mud, they took us to the river. The water was so hot, the otherwise hot air felt cold afterwards. It was a bit dirty, but it wasn’t too bad. There were fish as well. When we switched pool, our former pool became taken over by cows and horses.
It felt a bit rare, because when we arrived to the pool a bunch of local teenage guys arrived as well. At first the just sad there, staring, but when I asked them if they were not going to swim, they hurried in the water.
On the way back to the entrance one of the girls catched a calf, we got to pet. Afterwards we dropped by a house where a woman was making “pasteles”. Her husband asked us if we wanted to buy some. They only cost 5 cordobas. It was fried dough stuffed with marmalade – too fried and too sweet for me. The man started to talk religion. He was evangelic “because the catholic party, drink and smokes too much”. He was surprised to hear we do not use horses on the roads in Scandinavia as they do here. We had to tell him, we needed to catch the bus, in order to escape.
Entrance: 50 cordobas
guides: voluntary donation