Léon and Poneloya
08.02.2011 - 18.02.2011
Wandering around with all our bags in probably the hottest town we'd visited wasn't so fun! We hadn't booked a hostel and as places were fully booked we were regretting it! Luckily, the hostel we eventually ended up at was nice but the room was roasting. I think most rooms in Léon are unless you pay for air conditioning. A busy town with big street blocks (depressing when you're walking from one side of town to the other!) and lots of people, Léon is definitely full of life. There's some great restaurants and cafes - an awesome cafe that opens soley for breakfast - and interesting sites like the impressive art gallery and the cathedral with great views from the roof. They've got a cinema too where we saw The Little Fockers - very funny. We spent a couple of days taking in the town but were glad to be leaving for the coast where at least there would be a bit of a breeze.
While in Xela (the town of our spanish school, Guatemala), a girl who was staying at our hostel reccomended we go to Surfing Turtle Lodge in Poneloya. It's a hostel on an almost deserted beach a short boat ride from Poneloya. It was a bit of a trek to get there as the tide was out so we had to walk quite a way but the setting was beautiful and we treated ourselves to our own cabin.
Potato the cat thinks she's a dog and comes for a walk down the beach with you, so sweet!
We got a bit stuck, in a good way, at Poneloya. The beach was gorgeous and so peaceful - walking down the beach I didn't see another soul. Occasionally someone on a horse would trot by or maybe even a horse and cart but that was as "busy" as it got. We just chilled out, lying in hammocks, reading a book, jumping waves in the sea (too rough for a proper swim), maybe the odd nap in the afternoon...am I making you jealous? I even had a 1-1 yoga class a couple of mornings; I've never tried it before. The sunsets were fantastic (there are tonnes of photos in the gallery) and the stars at night were brilliant on the first night but then as the week progressed the moon got brighter and made them harder to see.
The only thing that I found surprising was that going to sleep with the sound of the waves, which you'd imagine would be so relaxing and soothing, was the complete opposite for me. I ended up wearing earplugs! I'm obviously not destined for a seaside house one day, I think it would drive me mad! I prefer pure silence, maybe birdsong, maybe the odd car noise I'm used too! At least one of us appreciated it though, Chris had the best sleep of the trip so far.
The main reason we stayed so long, or at least that's the excuse we told ourselves, was for the turtles. They have a hatchery at the lodge and we were hoping for some new arrivals. Unfortunately for us, they weren't ready to meet the world yet and after a week we decided to call it a day (or a week) and move on.
Back to the heat of Léon we ended up at a different hostel overnight with a pool table and a swimming pool - very welcome in the heat of Léon. Chris has taught me how to play pool a bit better, a bit too well in fact as I can now give him a run for his money!