My final day of attempting to finish the guidebook’s walking trail with no further distractions! So much for 4-6 hours… Mind you, I knew I was going to be in town for a few days so didn’t knock myself out. More old churches and I came to the National University of Nicaragua. Leon is known for being the cultural and intellectual hub of Nicaragua so the university takes pride of place in the centre of town. This is also a particularly important place in Nicaraguan historical context as it was students from here that guided the revolution. It always makes me wonder what would have happened to these leading lights who dared to take on the old guarde with their liberal views, only to be rewarded with an early death.
Pondering and pounding the pavement is thirsty work so I decided to find one of the many student bars mentioned in the guidebook to take the edge off a particularly hot day. The bar I chose also had a makeshift cafeteria in the entrance where diners could choose their combination of local cuisine from a variety of Bain Maries. I chose to just sit on my cerveza though the food did look good.
Suitably refreshed and ready to continue this never ending trail, I made my way past the final few places of interest and ended up at the Museo Ruben Dario. This remarkable poet is one of the most important figures in Nicaraguan history, alongside revolutionary leader, Sandino. The Nicaraguans tend to rate a decent poet and many of them have made their way into local history’s records, but none so much as el señor Dario. The Museo was set in his birthplace, which was of interest in itself as an example of a moderately wealthy Leonese casa of the late 19th century.
I chose just to wander by myself and read the many info boards (in Spanish) rather than get a guide. El señor Dario turned out to be a shocking alcoholic and after winning the hearts of most of Latin America, came home to die at a mate’s place. His body was interred in the main cathedral and his funeral took place over the better part of a week, attended by everyone who was anyone. All this for a man of verse. Like I said, Nicaraguans do rate a decent poet.
By this stage, I was well and truly over pounding a particularly hot Leonese pavement and decided my afternoon ambitions lay in the form of a shaded hammock back at the hostel. Three days in a hot, hectic city had taken its toll and I made plans to escape the following day to somewhere cooler and off the beaten track.