A Travellerspoint blog

Nicaragua

León, Nicaragua

Volcanoes as far as the eye can see!

sunny 104 °F

Leon is surrounded by a string of active volcanoes. We climbed Telica on the evening of a full moon and could see seven volcanoes including two of them venting smoke against the setting sun.
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After the sunset we peered over the ridge of Telica and down into the bubbling lava 200 meters below. The volcano made an airplane like sound that was indescribable! Standing on a sheer cliff looking down into the cycle of earth regeneration was one of the top awe inspiring events of our trip.
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We also climbed Sierra Negro to give its infamous volcano boarding (aka rock sledding) a try… it made for an exhilarating way to avoid the normal knee crushing mountain descents.

Leon itself is a nice little city filled with markets and churches and is easy to walk around. We visited in Leon’s hottest month of the year (April) and the city hadn’t seen rain for almost 8 months! Needless to say, the hiking was dusty and dry with about 2-3 inches of fine dirt on all the trails.
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To beat the heat and dust we took a day trip to the coast to a deserted beach. The highlights of our beach trip included watching some cows stranded on an island trying to cross through rushing water, and drinking beer from a bag. Since bottles are for deposit, the locals drink their soda out of a bag with a straw… but since we don’t drink soda, the bartender had quite a laugh when we requested a roadie (cervesa para llevar).
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Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 20:05 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

Granada, Nicaragua

It’s getting hot in here…

sunny 103 °F

Nicaragua has been a true test of our ability to withstand the heat, but while wondering the market we stumbled into a lady making tortillas over a wooden fire who put us to shame. It was quite inspiring to watch her working by the fire making tortillas in triple digit heat.
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After our trip through the markets of Asia we would only end up with little pink plastic bags, however here we randomly ended up with an assortment of items in a full R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. rainbow of plastic bags!
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We stopped in and tasted some cacao tea and cacao liquor at the Museo de Cacao where we learned how the ancient Mayans used cacao beans for currency! It was a nice complement to our hands-on chocolate making experience in Costa Rica.

We felt very comfortable in Granada and enjoyed walking around the old colonial city. The architecture inside the buildings was impressive and beautiful. Hotels, hostels, museums and restaurants all had big open ceilings and central gardens right inside the house! These open courtyards made for a great outdoorsy feeling when you were actually inside a home!
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Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 20:04 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (0)

Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

Living the lake life

sunny 101 °F

Lake Nicaragua is the largest fresh water lake in Central America. It is so large that it gives the feeling of an ocean, especially when on the little lancha (passenger boat) that we had to ride over the big waves in. Ometepe was formed by two volcanoes that were then joined together by an isthmus and when we stood on the connecting beach we could see both on the horizon.

We hiked the larger of the two volcanoes, Conception, which happens to be considered the most symmetrically formed volcano in all of Central America. To say this was a hard hike is true, but more than the strenuous scrambling on all fours, is the mental stress to not think about slipping down the loose rock incline as it became steeper and steeper towards the top.
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We celebrated our victory against earth wind and fire with the local beer, and some fabulous sunsets over the lake.
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On one evening when we returned home, the whole town was without electricity. Our local restaurant that we had planned to eat at was shut, so we wandered through little shops with candles and gathered up as many vegetables as we could. Our hostel only had one pot, so we had to be a little creative in what we would make in the dark. We basically ended up with veggie/lentil stew seasoned with salad sprinkles. This invention has since been our favorite quick meal to make even when the lights are on!
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The island is small enough that it can be explored in just one day by dirt bike. We finally got to use our motor biking skills to weave in and out of cattle and over rocky dirt roads.
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One of the local legends claims to make you younger after bathing in the mineral-rich water of Ojo de Agua. The water was cool and clear and if you look hard enough, we think you’ll see the shimmer of youth in our eyes!
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Posted by Robin-and-Kevin 14:56 Archived in Nicaragua Comments (1)

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