Surfing a volcano

Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 31, 2012

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Day 1 - Around Town
Left Managua pretty early to make sure I had some time in Leon. Taxi driver was kind enough to drop me off at the minibus station rather than the chicken bus staion and even though I had an extra 30min wait due to one of the minibuses being broken down, Im sure the ride was faster and definately more comfortable then the chicken bus alternative.

arrived in town within a busy market area. these always seem to be located around the bus station. guess people want to sell things to new arrivals or people departing. Had no real orientation or idea where I was even with the guide book map. Thankfully a guy at the bus station gave me some directions and while they were vague they at least had me heading in the right direction. All the building are all pretty similar in size and shape so I had no real landmarks to use to orient myself.

thankfully eventually found a church which was kind enough to show its name on a plaque out front. This gave me a landmark to find on my map and from there i could count out streets and determine whn I needed to make a left or right turn.

Found the hostel without to much trouble and wandered around town looking for a tour for the following day. Seems like a nice spanish colonial town and unlike antigua in Guatemala it also seems to be one populate by locals as well as the tourists. Lots of nice if rundown churches and buildings in general. also found that I could climb up one of the church steeples and roof top which gave a nice view of the surrounding town.

Some initial observations were that Nicuraguans seem to use horses in their daily lives a lot more than the other places I have visted in CA. Also found that the rocking chair seems to be a popular pieces of furniture. Can see in a lot of places peple just rocking in a rocking chair rather than sitting in a normal one.

Ended the night playing a bit of fooz ball with a couple of college kids from the states. Was even slowly getting the hang of it before the end of the night.

Day 2 - Volcano boarding Cerro Negro
Had organised a volcano boarding tour for today. Ended up riding out in the back of a pickup truck to the volcano and then hiing for about 1.5hrs to reach the top. Lots of nice views from the pickup and from the trail on the way up. Also wandered into the crater where you could smell shulphur, see sulphur encrusted rocks and smoke coming out of holes. Could also feel a bit of heat in a few places.

Once at the to wandered around the top of the crater for some views and then got geared up for the trip down. To do a run you basically sit on a board, hold onto a rope for direction control and leaned back. Found that the rope didnt really help control direction and the board kept heading in a particular direction. Had to dig my hand into the rocks on occasion in order to keep the board going straight.

Ended up going really slow on my first run. Was told that I had had my feet to far ahead of the board but was dubious that this was the cause since my body was pretty straight. found that no matter what I did the board kept sinking. Looking at the bottom of theboard could see a number of holes in the tin shetting that was lining the board.

After getting down got a ride fron the bottom of the run back to the trail and went up again for a second run. The boards were stored in the truck while we were being transported and I made sure I didnt end up with the same board.

Had a decent run this time and managed to get a bit of speed. One problem though with volcano boarding is that the rocks seem to get stuck on top of teh board which tends to slow you down. You also get a lot of friction due to the largish size of the volcanic rock. definately found that the sandboarding I did in Peru on a previous trip had significantly higher speeds on the runs down the sand dunes compared to those down the vocano.

After the second run we had a sandwich for lunch and checked out the iguanas in the nearby pen. Found that the cows here seem to be smarter or better trained. That is, when they are all across the road and a cars starts heading towrds them, they are smart enough to head for the side of teh road and get off of it without being diected to.

Spent the evening wandering around the main square of town. Lots of christmas decorations and people preparing for christmas though Im not sure what ill be doing. 

Would have been nice to hang around for the full moon\lunar eclipse volcano hike or  3 day canyon hike but dont really have the time and already have tickets for my flight to little corn.

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