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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Colourful Esteli

NICARAGUA | Tuesday, 31 January 2012 | Views [1927] | Comments [1]

Esteli is so colourful and beautiful! This morning I was up at the crack of dawn and on an all-day photo safari. With some pain from my recent dental procedure, I made my morning tea and went online for a bit. I tried to call Flor but she wasn't working today. Asha woke up shortly thereafter and I let her know (via Facebook) that there was hot water in the kitchen so she could make coffee or tea. Tortillas for brekkie sounded tasty so I went across the way and got a few. The unofficial rule is that whatever you don't eat, the dogs eat; if you leave tortillas sitting around, they'll get to 'em. If the dogs don't get to 'em the cats will. Before setting out I wanted to do my laundry. The only choice here is the old fashioned way: on the washtable by hand and then they hit the clothesline. 

With my camera set and mounted on a bicycle I was set to go. Asha had told me about the Proyecto de Las Mujeres Ambientalistas, where I can buy postcards made of recycled material. First I wanted to ride up to the cathedral and then send myself a postcard from Esteli. The cathedral is extremely beautiful!

Esteli is what I describe as "Granada without the tourist crowds" and whilst there's no McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, or Pollo Campero, I was surprised when I saw a Radio Shack. Getting an ice cream, I relaxed up at the plaza for a wee while admiring the cathedral. The local specialty in Leon is iguana, and I'm curious about trying some but I'm not sure where to get some. At a hostel I asked but they said to ask at the market several blocks away. I seem to be a curiousity here; there aren't too many foreigners and I stand out, but I try not to be too obvious with my camera. As you know, I don't like to be a "tourist" when I travel. By noon I must've taken at least 50 photos of buildings in just about every colour and style! It's so beautiful here!  

After sending myself a postcard, I was daydreaming of a mojito to unwind for tonight, so I hunted around for the stuff to make it: mint, limes, club soda, and rum. A bottle of light Flor de Cana costs C$60 (less than $3) when the cheapest rum in the U.S. is about $10. Every other shop in Esteli seems to sell saddles, cowboy hats and boots so I had a look around because I've always wanted a cowboy hat, and then I got a photo of a ranchero in traditional attire. 

Anywhere in Central America it's rather difficult to photograph people. It's awkward to ask and many of the more traditional/indigenous people aren't willing to pose for photographs. Respect is key when it comes to photography! As I cycled around Esteli's colourful market I got a half-dozen limes for only about C$6. All I needed now was mint, but I needed to go to the supermarket for that. Melons and various fruit is in abundance here.

Done at the market, I hit the supermarket for mint that cost 10% of what it would cost in the U.S. and in doing so I got a second bunch so Asha can make some of her famed Moroccan mint tea. With all the mojito stuff in hand I cycled away down a hill and then down a gravel road toward Las Mujeres Ambientalistas. These playful children pointed me out as a gringo

Fossicking through the hand-made cards the lady showed me, I picked out a nice card with Che Guevara on the front to mail to myself. What a great project this is! If I could organize something here in Esteli, it would be a campaign to clean up all the rubbish that lines the streets and waterways. Esteli is beautiful, but rubbish is everywhere! In the stream right next to Asha's house you can see old bicycle tyres sunken at the bottom. Filling my camera card some more on the way back to Asha's house, I was back there at 5:00 PM or so. Asha let me walk with her to walk Kiya and Phoolan before she was headed off to work. 

Kiya is black, Phoolan is brown.

Speaking of the dogs' colour, I absorbed even more colour with Asha as we walked back to her cozy place. Teal is the colour!

Here I am, all coloured out!

Esteli has ten times as many colours as a rainbow! My eyes are all dizzy and weary after all this colour! As I relax and reminisce at Asha's house, I muddle mint and lime to make a mojito. Mmmmmm tasty! And a little buzzed afterward. After so much leg and eye exercise today it was the perfect night to just relax, make another mojito, go online, and then wait for Asha to come home! Tonight she wasn't up for chatting very late but I hung out for a bit before I lay my dizzy self....

Tags: buildings, cities, colour, photography




I was just in Esteli for two months this past summer... it's a beautiful and interesting place - thanks your photos - they brought back so many memories for me :)

  A traveller Nov 20, 2013 2:14 PM

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