Nicaragua was amazing for all sorts of reasons. The landscape is second to none and also our friend Zoe came to join us for two whole weeks, which meant we drank copious amounts of rum. With Zoe joining us on the trip we soon realised she seemed to "steal" everything and put it in her bag including toothpaste, my headtorch and even Katie's camera. Damn thief.
Although Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Central America, it is by far one of the friendliest and most welcoming of places. It also had one of the best pizza places in Central America (although the owner was Italian).
Nicaragua was a country of activties (once again) and we proceeded to enjoy the delights of boarding down a volcano on ones arse as well as hanging upside down while travelling at high speeds on a zip line.
So to start, let's begin with the boarding. The idea started when an Aussie guy (it had to be really) wanted to see if there was a way of travelling down the side of Cerro Negro which is an active volcano. He tried all sorts of methods including a surf board, a fridge door and even a mattress. When all else failed he discovered that a simple plank of wood with a bit of rope would suffice. We had to hike up the volcano with the boards before the thrilling ride which wasn't much fun but at least the rain kept off. At the top of the volcano you could see amazing views of the surrounding rolling hills and neighbouring volcanos as well as the crater. After many pictures and jumping shots we doned our rather dashing orange boiler suits looking very much like the Beastie Boys. The clouds started to roll in so we couldn't actually see the bottom so quickly set off on our boards. The spped you reach is totally up to you. Some reach 87kmph, however I feel that my 25kmph was fast enough. At the bottom you suddenly realise that you have volcano rocks in your hair, ears and later in the shower you also discover more black rock in your bra. How it ended up there I do not know!
Next on our list was surfing in the pacific. We headed out of the town of Leon on a dirt track to the sea and more importantly to Ernesto's house. Ernesto is an elderly guy who has opened up his house to the surf school, I guess for a bit of company as he has MS and cannot get out much. So the lesson started after a downpour of rain, a rum coffee and a bit of pineapple - you know for energy. The lesson was pretty simple, get out to sea, spot a wave, jump on the board, paddle like anything, catch the wave and stand up. Easy.
Unfortunately the waves were quite rough especially for beginners so it took me about 20minutes to get out to the waves in the first place. I wasn't too bad at catching them but the lesson we took completely went out of my head and all I cared about was catching the wave and standing up so my technique wasn't much of a technique. It was good fun but after swallowing copious amounts of sea water I gave up and drank some more rum coffee. The trip home was rather hilarious as the old, banged up jeep we were travelling decided it didn't want to live anymore and died a painful death on the side of the road spitting out steam as its last breaths. So we waited on the side of the road in the pitch black and watched the pretty fire flies.
The next activity was canopy zip lines in Granada which has to be the most fun yet. There were 17 platforms and the guides were crazy. After harnessing you up, they ask do you want to go Superman or upside down. At first I was wondering what they were asking me but after one of the guides hoisted me up from my wasit and held my legs out behind did I realise I was to go head first down the zip line just like superman - awesome.
The other platforms were just as good, especially the last one where they bounce you down the longest line to the ground. For $35, not a bad day at all.
The last part of our adventures in Nicaragua was the island Ometepe. Now you can climb the volcano which we were planning on doing but Katie had a gammy foot so decided against it. Instead we took the hike to the waterfall. Now we were told it was a simple 4km walk to the entrance and 3km uphill to the waterfall. Easy. However it was rather hot that day and the 3km uphill was more like a 4-5km uphill and when I say uphill it was bloody steep. So we arrived hot and sweaty after traipsing through the jungle, climbing up rocks, slipping down rocks, wading through streams and clambering up part of the waterfall to reach the top. The waterfall was ice cold which for about 5minutes was a gentle relief from the hot, sticky weather.
One of the other amazing points about Ometepe was the electrical storms we could see from the jetty of our hostel. It seemed that there were about 3 different storms happening in all directions and the colours in the sky were beautiful.
On a more relaxing day we went to some beautiful infinity pools in San Juan Del Sur. The pools overlooked the whole little town and gave some amazing views of the coastline. That with some lobster for dinner = pretty good day.
I absolutely loved Nicaragua and would totally go back one day. It was totally "tuani".
Mama Sounds perfect. UK is going to be very dull.!!
sue reynolds Nicki I feel so envious - take me with you next time!