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EO 601 Cigars Espinosa and Ortega are 1000 Percent Right
Written by Daniel Lopez

Friday, 16 January 2009

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eo 601erik espinosa


Day 4 Saturday

I knocked on Eddie Ortega's door this morning early to get him up so I could interview him alone. I set up the video camera and Eddie comes to the roof top of Los Arcos Hotel. The rooftop has a beautiful view of the city of Esteli. Eddie sits in a rocking chair as I ask him some things about 601. As we shoot video, Erik finds us and I get a chance to shoot some video with both of them together. We get ready for one last trip to the factory to visit Pepin before we leave back to Managua. We end up instead going by Pepin's apartment to say goodbye as he is eating lunch. I thanked Pepin for being such a gracious host to me during my visit and he tells me thank you for coming. Holding him in a higher respect now more than ever, I tell him I will return one day and my Spanish will be better. One more respectful handshake and we all leave for one more stop before heading out of town.

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Winding down alley ways of Esteli, we make our way to a leather goods shop were Erik picks up some fine leather card holders and wallets with 601 on them. Something that can only be made by hand. We all talk about the quality in which they have been made with. Lunch at Tip Top Chicken and we are out of town headed back to Managua.


Too Much Fun

So we enter Managua and check into the nicest hotel there called El Camino Real. The rooms are spacious and the drinks are great. The hotel has a casino attached so, Erik and I hit up the casino and win money. We play with our money as a corporation and split the winnings. Erik has some freaking nuts when it comes to gambling as can be seen when he presses the bets with the table limits when he is winning. The pit boss makes a change in the middle of the blackjack shoot and brings in the cleaner at which time Erik says it is time to cash out.

Erik, Eddie, JC and I sit by the beautiful pool playing that addictive game of Scopa for hours as we kick back pitchers of Rum filled mixed drinks. I decide to have a few more drinks since we were not planning on leaving the hotel anymore since Managua is not the safest place in the world at night. After cards, we all go back to our rooms to get ready for dinner. The decision is made to go find a nice seafood restaurant downtown that they know of. We catch a cab and make our way to an area of the city that has lots of restaurants. We eat some fresh seafood and talk about the trip. Erik and Eddie keep ordering stuff and I tell them I am not that hungry. They laugh as I keep trying the stuff they bring out. It seemed like it never ended, but I had to loosen my belt multiple times. We hit up a bar afterwards before we realize we really need to be getting back to the hotel.

We would later return that night and clean up again at the hotel in blackjack. A few more hands where Erik "Bet his Balls" on a hand and we were way up again. OK so now I got way more money in my pocket than I came with. Erik says we are up and I promise not to sneak back to the casino that night without him. Damn that was fun. We hit our rooms and he reminds me not to go back to the casino. I know, I know, quit while you are ahead.


Day 5 Sunday

My flight was one the first out that day, but we still had time for a great breakfast before catching the shuttle bus back to the airport. I thanked Erik and Eddie for everything and wrote down JC's info so we could stay in touch. As I hit the airport line I called my wife and checked my phone messages back home. I ran out of minutes on the phone at the airport so I ditched it in the garbage and decided to hit up the duty free store with some of the winnings from the night before. Needless to say when I showed up at home back in Houston, Texas that night my wife loved the stuff I brought for her on the trip. I watched my boy play in the yard. Later that night, I lit up a 601 and told my wife all about my buddies, Erik and Eddie of United Tobacco and new friends Pepin, Jaime, and Amilcar from El Rey De Los Habanos.






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