*This entry is being posted out of sync with linear time….
A bus ride from leon to estlie, a former strong hold for contras and sandinistas but only to be disappointed by how boring the town really is and how there is not much at all that echoes the sense of revolution. I guess I was somewhat serious when I said that I be doing a tour of leftist revolutionaries. I wonder what it is about revolution that really draws me in? Maybe its because they wish for something better, maybe because they stand for change and they fight for the little people?!
Another nearly 2 hour bus ride out to the reserva miraflora the next morning. Chicken bus packed to the rim, just when you think that they can’t fit anymore onto the bus, they squeeze a little tighter and another comes on board. The road out to the reserva is a dirt road with rocks and GIANT pot holes filled with rain water. We get dropped off at what I assume is the start of the reserve and we attempt to trek 2km through mud to get to the place where we are supposed to stay. About a km in, we see this finca that I had seen a flyer for in town, we inquire about prices and etc, one finca is just as good as another, why trek another km with packs through mud? We get ourselves into this really cute finca, run by a German wife, a Nicaraguan husband, their baby nero and two fantastic dogs, fiona and snoopy. I was rather smitten with the dogs and really wanted to take one of them home with me.
There are 6 americans here already at the finca. All from northern Cali and here to do some volunteer work for a NGO. 3 of them are in their 60’s, old hippies who have found god but are still a bit crunchy and still have a lust for the road. The other 3 are this one guy Mike’s daughter, her fiancée and his nephew who has never been outside of California before. They are nice, they are friendly, we make friends and have a nice chat. All the while, I can’t help but wonder how did I end up on a finca in nicaragua with a bunch of americans. Then again, 3 nights later, I am sitting lake side drinking rum and coke with a room full of brits.
We opt to ride horses through the reserva. We originally had wanted to trek, but my hiking shoes are nearly dead, tread less and not doing me much good on slippery trails. With the rock filled dirt road and giant water filled pot hole, a horse seems like a much better idea. Ernesto tries to find two more horses for us and in the meantime, we gulf down another plate of rice and beans for breakfast.
8 gringos and 1 guide sets off on horseback. I some how end up with the lead horse, she doesn’t like it when there are other horses in front of her and if she sees another approaching, she will pick up pace and get ahead of them. Ian is on a horse that does not like to walk next to other horses, it seems to have trouble with personal space. Several different occasions something would set my horse off, whether because another has come from behind at a full gallop or she felt her position as the lead horse is threatened, she would break out into a full run and I would dig my heels in and hold on for dear life.
The ride through the reserva is beautiful. Gradual green hills dotted with small farms sets in between mountain ranges, just at the height of the clouds. There is green green and more green, all in different shades and textures. We finally get to a waterfall, tie up our horses and sit by the water for a bit. I have been under the weather since El Salvador. Today, I feel like shit. After the waterfall, the guide gave me a different horse for the ride back. This new horse does not like to have its reign pulled at all. You could barley touch reigns as it freaks out when you do. At first she just wanted to walk very very slowly. Feeling like death warmed over by this point, I am rather fine with just sitting on a horse instead of doing any kind of riding. In the meantime, the nephew gets thrown off the horse I was on previously and I am slightly glad that I am not on her anymore. About half way home, my horse freaks out and starts into a full gallop. Can’t pull the reigns as that makes her even more crazy, verbal commands don’t work, hanging on for dear life is the only thing to do. I can’t sit up and ride with her cause there is nothing to hold on to, I would only want to pull on the reigns at least a little if I were to sit up. So now I am leaning closer and closer down to her neck and all of sudden she jerks her head back and head butts me. Once, twice, FUCK! I some how get her to stop running and I get the fuck off of this crazy horse. My face is a little bashed up and I have cut my lip open. I hand the reigns back to the guide and I start my walk home. Enough riding for one day. Ian runs his horse back to the finca and walks back down to meet me. As we both make our way back to the finca, the guide tells us that ian’s horse, the one with the personal space issue is crazy as well that is why they named it Satan.
The rest of the afternoon was spent cuddle up in a hammock. Me with as much clothes as I can manage to put on, dozing in the hammock while Ian plows his way through war and peace.
Night comes and we stand out in the middle of the field and look up. There are so many stars out, there are no city lights, there are nothing for miles around. The last time I had seen a sky with as many stars, I was 100KM from MT Everest in a no name town with someone who I thought I was going to marry. 18 months later, I am in Nicaragua, wrapped up in another man’s arms and once again amazed at the beauty that I am being offered, amazed at the twists and turns life has in store for us all. The fire flies are out. They blink on and off through out the finca and it is as if we are surrounded by stars above and below. We maybe but dust walking but do you think that we were able to appreciate this much beauty when we were stars?