Today was another long day, but full of new sights, tastes and sounds. The Glimpsers were bursting to get Esteli, but it was first time to sample the famed local culinary delights. So it was off to Comedor Marlene, for a breakfast to set us up for the two hour journey from Managua to Esteli. We piled into the comedor and got treated to a typical breakfast of gallo pinto (beans and rice) huevos revueltos (scrambled eggs), queso (cheese) and maduro (fried bananas). This was washed down with one of the most colorful drinks kicking about – dragon fruit fresco – which is a bright purple concoction. It was then off to Esteli, and this gave those riding the Ismael Express the opportunity to take in the attractive countryside of Nicaragua. The interesting driving skills of Nicaraguan drivers was keeping the Glimpsers on their toes, and the landscape included verdant mountains, lakes and a variety of wildlife on the roadside. Hotel Las Americas was eagerly awaiting the arrival of our group, and the Glimpsers were pleasantly surprised by the luxury of their new home for the next three weeks.
The team were introduced to owners Adan and Fredman and had time to get used to their new surroundings. A couple of helpful seminars and a tour of the city to help familiarize the Glimpsers with Esteli and Nicaraguan culture took place, then it was off to Buffet Esteli to recharge our hungry stomachs. Chicken, rice, beans, pasta and vegetables were served up, but we all ensured that there was space in our bellies for a trip to the ice cream parlor, ‘Eskimo’ on our return journey to the hotel. Returning GG leader, Erik was delighted to dig into his dragon fruit ice cream. Back at the hostel it was time for the Nightly Meeting and Self-reflection seminar, to allow us to reflect on the busy first days in Nicaragua, and look forward to wait lies ahead.