“It’s too hot!”,”It’s not even that cool…” were phrases other travelers used to describe our next location Leon. Luckily, I gave no shits about their advice, because I’d much rather form my own opinion. Leon may have been my favorite city so far. Leon is the first place I’ve come along on this adventure where I could actually set up shop and live permanently. The old colonial vibe kind of reminded me of Antigua, Guatemala – except a bit more grimy. Just the way I like it.
First off, the city has an awesome food scene and the best pizza I’ve had thus far. Something very dear and important to me. The street food carries on into wee hours of the morning. You can even get yourself some steaming hot Ramen at 3AM for 80 cents. The people are nice. The nightlife is ridiculous. There are a bit of Travelers and gringoes here, but by no means does that define the city and local economy, in fact the city makes a strong fighting effort to keep all restaraunts local and not allow commercialization or american chain restaraunts in their hood.. There’s a casino AND movie theatre for entertainment purposes. A movie is $2. and that same $2 can give you about an hour or so’s worth of entertainment playing some familiar Caveman Keno or Jacks or Better Video Poker. Not to mention free drinks and bingo night. We pretty much instantly made some great friends here, who greet us with hugs and make us feel at home. The beach is 35-40 minutes away in a $2 chicken bus that leaves every hour (or a 25-30 minute drive without stops in a car) These, to me, are descriptions I require in any city I’d settle down it, except unlike any coastal US town, you can get a studio for about $50 a month.
Downsides: Others were right, it is in fact very hot here. But not Phoenix Arizona hot. The upside, at least for the entirety of our stay was the daily afternoon heavy rainstorm to cool you down. If not, you can always hang out at the bank for some free AC time.
They ration water which is smart, but dont be surprised when at any given moment your water is shut off for a 24 hour period. Hopefully you dont have a hot date planned that night…
Bums – There’s not alot more than any other Central American city we’ve visited, but it really gets old quick and they can be quite aggressive. Like grabbing you and punching you in the shoulder when you shoe them off.
We stayed at Chili-Inn. A new hostel not mentioned in the Lonely Planet Books. Our main selling point was the pool but an added bonus was the $8 a night, free unlimited coffee and 2 free cocktailss each day – and let me tell you, 2 of these drinks will leave you feeling a bit tipsy. I feel like having 2 free (strong) cocktails and a few cups of coffee basically makes the room free, right? The pool will also save your life under the scorching afternoon sun.
This was our cute room
Some other fun highlights of Leon: A HUGE concert at our hostel with some famous musician of Central America – It more reminded me of prom with adolescents dressed to the nines.
Our hostel had a really cool bird rescue with adorable tropical birds in rehab
I read, not one but THREE mind numbing books by Chelsea Handler. So bad, but slightly good at moments.
We went to an old prison turned into a Museum of Legends and Myths. For a $2 entry, this old prison was filled with super creepy ancient torture methods, disturbing paintings, a ladder to walk the circumference from a guards perspective(nice views) and most importantly, the legend of the Tit Lady:
I’m just trying to hang out with my new friends!!
Leaving Leon left me sad and yearning for more till we meet again Leon – I love you.