Friday, December 18, 2009

rarrr! (that is me growling like a lion)

I've just hit the ground running in Leon, Nicaragua.  Being a tour leader in a new place can be a bit of a nightmare, but these days I try to see it as a chance to explore and discover information and I see it as a bit of a challenge.  I'd done a bit of googling about Leon last night and stumbled upon, where you can create your own travel guides.  It is a pretty cool site, that combined with wikitravel I came up with a couple cool places to check out, my favorite being Cafe La Rosita which is just off of the parque central.  Holy hell, they have the best iced coffee I've had in AGES and a killer orange cake.  Oh me oh my, I am a sucker for a good cup of coffee.  Anyhow it was another one of those days that was made better by a bit of time playing in a cafe. That combined with a HILARIOUS trip to the police station to report a stolen camera (a story which I won't recount here) made it a memorable first afternoon in Leon. 
Tomorrow: beaches. 

Friday, December 11, 2009

back in c.a.

It is true, fair readers, that I have returned to Central America.  This has been a bit of a surprise to some old friends.  Most of my amigos ticos have no idea where Thailand or Cabodia are, so I've been telling them that I was in China.  Now they've all started the rumor that I have spent the last six months eating tiger penises.  Seriously.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

it finally happened....

This was breaking news almost two weeks ago, which is kind of indicative of the speed at which news in my life moves, none the less it happened:  I ATE DURIAN.  It took, 3 separate visits, and a cumulative 9 and a half months spent in Asia but I finally bit the bullet. And you know what? It smells a whole hell of a lot worse than it tastes.  I also am proud to report that I ate it in Kampot province which anyone who has spent a bit of time in Cambodia knows grows the best durian. 

How did it happen?  On a countryside tour of Kampot by bike and boat which I wend on with the majority of my group.  We went along the river following the main (paved ) road, then on to lesser red dirt roads and finally veered off on to sandy little tracks where you would loose all control and come to an utter and complete stop.  This of course would cause me to giggle like a small child and slowed our progress considerably.  When we finally made it back to the packed red dirt road everyone was a bit dusty and the local guide decided that durian was what the situation needed.  Not far up the way we found a khmer woman selling durian at a wooden stand on the side of the road.  Next thing I know we had a small durian cracked open and I was putting a custard textured lump in my mouth.  Honestly it tastes a bit like a banana custard mixed in with the smell of overripe tropical fruit.  It was the kind of thing you eat and you aren't sure if you absolutely love it or hate it, not unlike that fish sauce dip that comes with spring rolls, or less exotically chococheese, or strangely for me: white chocolate.  So yea man.  Don't fear the durian, give it a go if you get the chance and if your name is Jon you best be eating some while you are in Asia next month.