posted by Mandy and Kevin
29.01.2011 - 07.02.2011 85 °F
We jumped on a 12 hour bus from San Pedro Sula, Honduras to make our way to Nicaragua. Mandy was battling the first stomach illness of the trip, so it proved to be a long and uncomfortable ride. The bus was heading to Managua, but Kevin decided at the last minute to jump off in Leon and managed to forget his iphone on the bus. Luckily, an honest American rushed to the front of the bus, and threw it to us as it was pulling away. Leon was a hot, dry, colonial town amongst several active volcanoes. Our days there included walking around, checking out the cool, unpreserved Spanish architecture,
as well as sledding down the side of an active volcano ("Volcano Boarding"). Mandy's speed was a mighty 14 KPH, and Kevin blew away the competition with a whopping 23 KPH. To put this in perspective, the fastest guy in our group clocked in at 68 KPH! We are pushing life's limits (hahaha).
Off to the more famous colonial town of Granada. We navigated to Granada via minibus, where Mandy had to sit on Kevin's lap for 2 hours (we must add that it was a humid 90+ degrees). More of the same~ strolling the boulevards, eating & drinking Tonas at local "comedores," checking out cool architecture,
and purchasing our first big souvenir, a wood block print done by a local artist. One day was spent at Laguna Apollo, a small crater lake on the top of a dormant volcano. Kevin, again, left his iphone on the bus ride up to the lake. It somehow managed to stay under the seat all day, until we found it on our way back to the hostel. Can you say lucky?! Anyway, the lake was beautiful and we had a nice, relaxing day swimming in fresh water and chatting with new found friends. We decided to move on to Isla de Ometepe in Lago Nicaragua. Ometepe turned out to be one of our favorite places on the trip so far! It is an island in the middle of a massive lake (that has one of the world's rarest fresh water sharks BTW), formed by two large volcanoes~ one dormant, one active.
On our first full day, we hiked our butts off to the top of Volcan Madras, the dormant volcano. It was the toughest hike of our lives! 8+ hours of grueling muddy steep jungle humid sweaty hiking.
But fun and so worth it! The days following included recovering by lounging lakeside, swimming, bicycling and observing a local weekly baseball game. It was the toughest place to leave thus far!