We took a chicken plane from Roatan Island and oh wow it was an interesting flight. As we came into land, we did a U turn at such a fast pace to meet the runway, with the houses in the cliffs appearing far too close to our windows.. it was terrifying and such a relief to land safe and sound on one of the world’s most dangerous runways.
Nicaragua has so much to offer, beautiful scenery with adrenaline and adventure on offer at the best prices- the last cheap stop before the tourist destination of Costa Rica pushes the prices right back up again.
The volcano we were about to hike up, and board down… Active volcano meets dormant volcanoes.
Number 7 on the Thrillseeker’s list is skydiving over Mount Everest. Number 2, only second to flying a fighter jet plane, is Volcano Boarding. Our first stop was Leon. Volcano boarding down an active volcano. Wow. The hike up the volcano in itself was just incredible and worth the $25. The views, where the dark volcanic rock met the green vegetation of the surrounding dormant volcanoes, was simply amazing. The higher we hiked, the better the view. Walking on the edge of the volcano we could see steam rising, and the beautiful colourings of the crater that supposedly erupts every 7 years, but the last one was 14 years ago…
Donning our appealing orange jumpsuits, I had my camera out, eager to get some footage, but the guide just looked at me like “Naaah, put that thing away, even gopros get smashed to bits…” Away went the camera, and off I went, guiding myself around the first bend before the one way plummit to the bottom. Minimal instructrions of course and I found myself completely out of control, with my body lying all the way back, desperately trying to break the speed record. Silly girl. I wiped out a total of three times, before coming to grips with the wooden board, having your feet out provided steering, but you really had to sit up to control your speed. Oueff, the last crash I went flying! Twisting my knee in the process. Nevertheless, it was SO much fun, and I was able to watch four of my friends make their way down. The suprise and absolute highlight of the day was seeing an orange dot bombing it down the volcano at such a speed. We realised that it had to be Fliss, and we were all thinking “naaah, surely not” We realised it was her, and everyone at the bottom was cheering her on and it was the funniest thing, we were all amazed and stunned she didn´t wipe out. Hilarious. Absolute gold. A cold, refreshing beer was waiting for us at the end, as we jumped back into the orange truck.
We were the first ones to make it down, so we were able to witness everyone else´s efforts. Oh my, some of the crashes at the bottom of the volcano were nasty, and a lot of people had cuts on their faces and bodies. Luckily, people aren´t shown that beforeee making the hike up, the medical team at the bottom were called into action almost every other person! Crazy.
The next visit within Nicaragua was to the beautiful town of Granada. Granada is a place in which you could imagine yourself living. The streets are clean, and the pedestrian street lined with bars and restaurants was so colourful and inviting. I spent my time chilling and walking the streets and buying silly little vest tops in the market as usual 🙂 A random bar with the worst music and very little people was our only option of the night, but we sucked up the tequila shots and had a good time.
Next stop, Ometepe Island which is a small island which consists pretty much of just two volcanoes. Volcan Concepcion, is the highest of the two, standing at 1600m above sea level. This is the one we chose to climb. 1000m up to the view point was our first aim, but at 600m we were all feeling the burn. We all made it to the 1000m point, through the clouds and rainfall, but when we got to the view point, the weather had suddenly cleared up and we had an amazing view.
The clouds came and went so quickly it was crazy. One minute we could see the island, the lake and the mainland, and the next, nothing. After a couple of sandwhiches the majority of us decided to give the last 600m in elevation a go. Wow it was hard, and so dangerous, we could barely see the person ahead of us when the clouds came and suffocated us together with the strong smell of sulphur. We were only able to stay up there for a certain amount of time due to the sulphur levels and we made it to 1300m! The way back down was horrible, just horrible. Everyone was slipping and slidding down the rocks, there was definitely no path and no good route to take. Everyone´s knees were killing. The hike up there was challenging, yet so beautiful. It was totally worth it! On the way up and down we saw two types of monkeys, lots and lots of howler monkeys and a couple of white faced capuchins.
That night we were fully rewarded with an absolutely beautiful sunset over the lake. Only beaten by the sunset the following day. Two nights of absolutely incredible sunsets. Probably the most breathtaking I have ever seen in my life so far! The pictures show just how beautiful it was, I really can’t describe it… the colours were so bright and beautiful. Chilling in a hammock on the beach whilst watching the sunset… After one of the most challenging days, we were all so lucky to just sit back and relax. Perfect.
We were staying in Puesta del Sol. A community of houses, all central to the chill out area in front of the beach lined with tables, chairs and hammocks. Similar to the homestay I did in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, except it was a little bit awkward at dinner when the woman made such amazing food, yet didn’t join us eating and instead just sat there quietly which was sad. Still, Felicity and I shared a bathroom with Timmy the toad who watched us shower, whilst accumlating a Santa Claus-esque beard from the shampoo.
We had a little fiesta in the community building with a local band playing traditional songs for us, one member using a turtle shell as a drum! Sad, but he was making the most incredible sounds! We had a piñata which was smashed to pieces. The girls had a great night singing away to all the songs, and replacing every possible word with Juan. Girls just Juana have fuuuun. You’re the Juan that a want… etc etc. Good times finished with a bonfire on the beach.
Like Lonely Planet states, Ometepe Island is the “dramatic contender for the 8th wonder of the world.” The views in and around the lake of Nicaragua, and the country itself, were all so beautiful, and my pictures only tell half the story…
Until next time,