Monkeys, but no flying poo
Trip Start Jul 31, 2010
11Trip End Aug 15, 2010
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Where I stayed
To start out we walked down a road for a little bit. At one point we passed under a tree with howler monkeys! And they did not throw poop at us! Apparently, Eric has never heard that this is relatively common and still doesn't fully believe me.
Unfortunately, then our luck ran out! We rounded a curve in the road and there stood two large, loud, angry geese! For those of you that don't know - geese hate me, passionately. So I hid behind Eric as the geese quickly charged me. Eric was not my savior and left me defenseless against the geese as they went to attack my feet. At this point, a random Nicaraguan and his young daughter and Eric are laughing at my terror. I rallied my loudest harshest teacher voice, pointed in the geese's faces and sternly said, "NO!"
I should have learned that trick years ago
Well, soon we were on the trail through the forest. There were howler monkeys and insects and birds calling from every direction. It was so beautiful as the light falls through the green canopy. And the butterflies floating around are so striking.
After a few hours, we reached Catarina. The town is known for their wood carvings and potted plants. In fact, many Nicaraguans will go there specifically to buy their plants. Unfortunately, I have no pictures because my camera battery died as we reached the summit.
After walking around a little, we headed back down the trail. Then we saw our second set of monkeys - spider monkeys. There was a mother, a juvenile, and a small baby that still clung to his mother. They were only about 12 feet from us! Amazing!
Soon we were back at our lodging and swam in the lagoon, in lieu of a shower and then headed to the National Vocano Park for their sunset tour.
The park houses two volcanoes and 5 craters, and one of the craters is still active and spews forth sulfur clouds (Santiago Crater). We peered into this abyss for a few minutes, before walking to a higher spot that holds a tall cross. It is said that virgins and young children used to be thrown into the volcano from this point to appease the gods, until the 1600's when missionaries baptized the crater with a cross
We then piled back in our cars and went to view the other crater, which is now extinct. Then we went donned hard hats and flashlights and went into a cave with hundreds of flying bats! They continuously flew in circles in front of us, as our group blocked the entrance. Next we went to another cave that had been created by lava about 800 years ago. Lastly, we went back to Santiago crater, and looked through the sulfur clouds to vaguely see glowing red lava.
After we left, we stopped at a cantina to eat. If you have ever seen a movie where there is buffet style food stand and tables in the back with music and more people and more tables standing around farther back in an open area - you have pictured where we ate. Eric had to go to the bathroom at one point and we think they told him to pee against the wall in the far far back. It was all said in Spanish and so he is not sure that they said that, but no one yelled at him.
Finally we were back at Crater's Edge and hopped back in the lagoon to refresh ourselves.
What a wonderful day!