From León we travelled on to Estelí to meet up with Janie Boyd who runs Hostal Luna and Cafe Luz. We’re famous here – they even have Alan’s picture on the wall!
At last we could hand over the remaining items we’d brought from UK, including the Twister game in it’s substantial box. Janie’s chicas, Zaira and Siena were keen to get playing straightaway with Alan spinning the wheel!
Over dinner we enjoyed an invigorating conversation with Álvaro, a Nicaraguan doctor friend of Janie’s who has an unrelenting interest in the UK’s public schools, especially Eton!
Next day we went on exciting trip to Somoto Canyon which deserves a separate post of it’s own!
In Esteli you can buy everything for your horse plus a smart outfit for yourself. We visited the leather shops but decided against bespoke cowboy boots ( just as well as in the circumstances we’d not have been able to collect them) but bought Alan a smart belt as a consolation prize.
With Ariel the driver we went into the Miraflor district, a remote area of cloud forest populated by subsistence coffee farmers. These people were rewarded for their strong support for the Sandinistas with the gift of land confiscated from the dictator Somoza and his cronies. But it is a desperately poor community and Janie has developed a number of projects to assist them to develop their economy. The problems have been exacerbated in recent years by La Roya a fungus which is affecting coffee production throughout Latin America.
The cloud forest is cool and damp and so we dressed warmly and took waterproofs. First we visited a waterfall and bathing area where we delivered building supplies to the women who maintains them.
Than after lunch we walked in the cloud forest where we saw entirely different vegetation, shade grown coffee, bromeliads, orchids and a huge, hollow tree!
Next day we had to leave , promising to return later in March – sadly not to be.