Hey! Can anyone believe how totally November it is already? Me neither.
Here I am in Nicaragua, and it’s pretty great. At the end of my last blog, I was getting ready to leave Granada. I arrived safely in San Juan del Sur weekend before last, and have been enjoying this small Pacific beach town quite a lot. From talking to people, it seems that they either hate this place or love it. In fact, the Nicas are lovely but there’s definitely a pretty hardcore surfer/party scene here. I can see how it could get annoying, but it´s not bad in small doses. There are a lot of English-speaking folks who have settled here semi-permanently, which means that it´s possible to find some pretty decent hummus. Without question, the highlight so far was leaving SJdS for Isla de Ometepe, a pair of conjoined volcanic islands: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ometepe .
On the island, I stayed at an organic coffee cooperative called Finca Magdalena, which had the most amazing coffee I have ever tasted. The finca was located at the base of the smaller volcano – Maderas. The two volcanoes are quite different, Conception being younger and more active, and Maderas being older and covered in cloud forest. I decided to hike Maderas because there were promises of a lagoon in the crater to swim in after the tough hike. Switchbacks are not a luxury afforded to hikers of this mountain, and we gained just over 4500 feet in less than 3.5 miles. Experiences like that are always worth it, though, and this was no exception. The next day I checked out some Mayan petroglyphs and some mineral springs before heading home with about 2000 new mosquito bites on each of my lower extremities. I owe some deity much thanks if I don´t contract The Dengue in the next week or so.
This week, along with my Spanish classes, I´ve been amping up the physical activity with yoga classes and hiking the hills around town in preparation for climbing some Nica and Guatemalan volcanos over the next several weeks. On the list is Tajumulco, the tallest volcano in Central America, at 13,845 ft. Wish me luck.
Volcans Conception and Maderas as seen from San Jorge
Cacao – tastes nothing like chocolate, but is amazing.
Post swim in crater lake, happy to be there.
Signs posted all over Ometepe, many of them pointing, unaccountably, in opposite directions. Point well taken.
San Juan del Sur as seen from the hills