When we awoke this morning we were still on our way into Port Corintho. I looked out and saw the local pilot coming aboard to bring us in. Mom and I were heading in on an excursion, so we went up to the dining room to have an early breakfast. Our meeting time was 9:15, just about the time we were finally docked. Our trip today took us into the colonial town of Leon. It has numerous reasons for being important, but one of which is that the revolution began here in the 70s. We had a wonderful tour guide again today, Guillermo. He gave us a great deal of background on the country including the times when it was ruled by Sandino, who was assassinated and was followed by three different Samosas. Nicaragua has a very violent history, which they are trying to overcome to this day. The living conditions here are quite poor, and it is certainly considered a developing country. It's probably where Costa Rica was about a decade ago. Due to the nutrient rich volcanic soil, farming is the main industry. They produce many different products including sugar cane, cotton, fruits, and in the mountains, coffee. One item that is grown here is the Jicaro.
They use the seeds and grind them up as a nutritious beverage and the entire fruit can be dried and turned into maracas. Nicaragua is called the "Land of Lakes and Volcanos". There are 25 official volcanos, but we were told that there are probably closer to 200 within the country.
The largest, San Cristobal was visible from the time we left the ship, all the way to Leon and quite an impressive site. After about an hours drive we arrived in the town square where we found lots of local artisans selling their goods and even a guy carving personalized maracas. I have been in dire need of some decent internet, so we went into a cafe on the square and ordered two Victorias, a Nicaraguan beer. The things we will do to get internet!
I was able to upload photos from yesterday and Mom was finally able to talk to Dad. We then went into the Basilica Asuncion, a church that has been there for centuries, though this is the fifth building constructed in 1610. After walking around some more it was time to head back. We arrived back on the ship around 1:45 and we went up to grab some lunch before the dining room closed. Since the weather was so perfect, we decided to dine in the courtyard between the Grills. We had a most enjoyable lunch followed by some time lying out in the sun working on our tans. Later we ended up on the balcony watching the other groups come in from their tours and watching our departure from the port.
Before long, it was time to head up for another meal. We had a wonderful stuffed veal chop, however, it was way too much food tonight. After dinner we went down and listened to the quartet play a set before coming up for bed. Another long day and we're looking forward to getting some rest.