Volcanoes, volcanoes, and more volcanoes


Six hours later and covered in salt, we arrived in Puerto Cortez, Hunduros. I decided not to spend much time in this country and pass through it as quickly as possible. In Central American time, it translates to two days. From the port, Georg and I took a minibus to San Pedro Sulu, a major bus terminal, to catch a bus to Nicaragua. This was no ordinary minibus, from what I understood it is part of an underground street racing team. It consists of two crew members, the driver and the co-pilot. The driver manages to navigate this 2 ton machine through traffic and dirt roads near super sonic speeds and the co-pilot somehow pushes passangers in and out without the viehcle ever stopping. Surprisingly, I've only witnessed minor injuries. Once we got to San Pedro Sulu, we spent the night and got on a 5am bus to Nicaragua.

Our first stop in Nicaragua was León. An awesome colonial town on the north pacific side. We stayed at Big Foot Hostel which is known for its volcano boarding. The next morning, a group of about 7 of us plus a guide got in the back of an orange ex-military semi-truck and drove to Cero Negro ( black hill ). Cero Negro is the worlds youngest and most active volcano (according to the guide). At 61 years of age, it is made of mostly lava rock and on the west side of the mountain it's almost smooth steep black sand for about 800 meters. Perfect for volcano boarding. We hiked up to the top. The mountain was warm. Really hot at some parts, we could see steam and smoke coming out of the rocks in 80 degree weather! Volcano boarding = extreme sledding down a volcano at speeds up to 90 km/h (you tube it). A few minutes later and some wipouts, we made it back to the truck where the driver greeted us with ice cold Nicaraguan beer. Later that day we took a taxi to the beach and rented some surf boards. The following day I took a chicken bus to Granada, Georg decided to stay in León for an extra night.

Granada is probably one of the prettiest cities in central america thus far. In the morning, I booked a canopy tour and ziplined through 17 platforms in the rainforest (about 2km). I then took a pickup truck to Mombacho Volcano where I hiked around the crater and through some steep shear tunnels. I hitchhiked my way down the volcano, took a tuk-tuk back to the hostel to grab my belongings and took the last chicken bus to San Jorge to catch a ferry to Ometepe ( an island with 2 volcanoes in lake Nicaragua). On the bus I met two girls from NY who have similar plans of travel ( which is really no plans) so the three of us are now traveling together. We missed the ferry so we took this really shitty local boat across for about $1/person. On the boat, we asked the only other person who spoke English on any advice about the island. Turns out he own the best hostel on the island and there is a page in the Lonely Planet Travel Guide just on this dudes place. This guy was absolutely awesome and offered us a ride to his hostel (about 1h drive) and fed us along the way! The place is called Hacienda Hotel and its right on the lake. I plan on staying here for the next few days hiking up the volcano and making my way to Costa Rica next week.

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