Friday, January 29, 2010

Somoto Canyon

Happy New Year! It's been nearly two months since I posted anything. That could be due to sheer laziness, the fact I had three friends here in December, the lack of electricity in my pueblo, the incredibly slow/barely functioning internet, or some combination of the above! Who knows? And, as it said in the title (before I changed it), who really cares?

Well, maybe those of you who lie vicariously through my adventures.

Okay. So, after going to the campo and all that, Sylvain and I went to Somoto for the carnival. We met up with two more of his friends from France and we went hiking in the Somoto Canyon.

We spent some time at the entrance arguing with a fella. He told us we had to pay the $10 a piece for a guide. There was nothing posted anywhere that said we needed a guide and Martin, one of the French fellas, lived not too far from Somoto and had been there several times. Dude at the entrance said it was a new law that went into effect yesterday and that we would have to pay. I told him if it's a law, I want to see a copy of it. He wouldn't show us. We spent a good 20 minutes arguing with him.

Eventually, he made us write and sign a piece of paper saying that if we die, it's our own damn fault, and we went on our way. We hiked for about half an hour before we ran into some kids that were just hanging out with their feet in the water. They came up to us and told us we had to have a guide. We told him that dude at the front had let us in and showed us a piece of paper. He brought us to another fella who (allegedly) works for MARENA (Ministerio del Ambiente y los Recursos Naturales).

"No pueden pasar sin un guilla!" the guy said. And he pointed to his piece of paper that had the laws in regards to the Somoto Canyon. I think he was hoping that we were illiterate or something, because the law said we cannot go into restricted areas, we cannot pick flowers and we cannot throw garbage on the ground.

None of us are really into that kind of thing anyway.

You may think we're jerks for not wanting to pay, but we are all volunteers and everyone knows the French are cheap bastards. And we only had about 2 hours before we had to get back to Somoto and meet up with Sylvain's (psycho) girlfriend.

None of us brought any water or anything to drink with us, so, when we got out, Veronica and I went straight for the little snack bar and ordered bottles of water and sodas.

(insert pepsi)

The taste of a new generation, indeed. My father, I'm sure, is very proud I'm not doing this with Coke.

After that, we went to the Carnival and had beers!

Don't mind them, they're in love.

While we were having beers, I saw the saddest thing in the world.

See that bag? It is full of poached turtle eggs. He was selling them. For people to eat. He was putting them in styrofoam cups. It was very, very sad. What's even sadder is that people bought them. And ate them. Allegedly, turtle eggs improve your virility. And can cure asthma.

That night, we went to the block party in Somoto! It was super fun. I left my camera at the hostel and we went out, listened to music and danced.

The next day, I rode the bus to Matagalpa and back to Rio Blanco with Veronica. I then spent three days in Rio Blanco before leaving again. This time to Managua to meet a friend at the airport! On December 3rd!

Find all about who and what we did in my next post!