Gerry Timmermans


Gerry Timmermans

I've done lots of travelling in the past (I think I'm up to about 57 countries). This blog was started in 2007 shortly before my Peru/Bolivia/Chile trip, but I'll eventually update it with my previous trips at some point (one of these days when I actually get around to scanning the photos).

This blog is both a journal for myself (and my wife and kids for our family trips) and a tool to share our photos/experiences with family and friends.

Masaya is one of 18 distinct volcanic centers that make up the Nicaraguan portion of the Central American Volcanic Belt. Formed by the subduction of the Cocos Plate beneath the Caribbean Plate, this belt of volcanoes runs from volcán Tacaná in Guatemala to Irazú in Costa Rica. In 1979, Masaya became Nicaragua's first national park, named Parque Nacional Volcan Masaya. The park has an area of 54 km² and includes two volcanoes and five craters. Volcan Masaya is about 30km west of Granada and is one of Nicaragua's most active and unusual volcanoes. In contrast to most other volcanoes in subduction zones, it has been erupting mainly fluid basaltic lava. At the time of the Spanish Conquistadors, it contained an active lava lake and it is rumoured that there were attempts to extract the volcano's molten ... read more
The lava pool. Super huge and super bright.
An attempted selfie with the lava pool
Slightly different view of lava pool

We had a lovely breakfast and great coffee at our hostel. While relaxing over breakfast we realized that a shuttle to Granada was leaving right from the front door at 9am and only cost $10 each. We realized at 8:55am. Thankfully we were already packed and ready to go, so off to Granada we went. On the shuttle we bumped into Brian and Dara, who were on their way to the airport. When we arrived in Granada we happily realized that the shuttle dropped us off only a few blocks away from our next Guesthouse, Hostal La Mexicana. The owner was super-friendly and though I wouldn't eat off the floor, this place was much nicer than our accommodations in León had been ... and there were two fans in the room that both worked :) Granada ... read more
The Cathedral
Centro Turistico
Iglesia Guadalupe

We took the rest of the morning to clean-up which was difficult to do since we hadn't yet gone shopping and had to split a tiny bottle of hotel shampoo and a mini bar of soap between the two of us. There also wasn't a heck of a lot of water pressure. But, I still felt 100% better afterward. Before heading out to see the rest of León we stopped by the Ticabus office to purchase our onward tickets from Granada to Liberia, Costa Rica. We were lucky and scored 2 of the last 5 seats on any busses that left April 15-16. I wasn't able to book this ahead of time and being Easter the busses had booked up quickly. We had a lovely lunch at a local commodore (eatery) before visiting more of this ... read more
Museo de Leyendas y Tradiciones
Ruins of the Church of San Sebastián
Museo de la Revolución

Today we set out to hike to the top of Mt. Telica, an active volcano not too far from León. I'd been in contact with Quetzaltrekkers over the past few weeks and originally they weren't planning to do this trek today. Fortunately, there were another couple of Canadians who also had this specific date in mind so we met the minimum number and they decided to run with it. Quetzaltrekkers is a local agency that donates their profits to local street kids and most of the people who work there are volunteers. We met up at their extremely messy office at 6am and met our guides Mo & Eric and our fellow Canadian trekkers Brian and Dara. I'd chosen Volcán Telica as it is one of most active in Nicaragua and the fact that you can ... read more
The "before" photo
Smoking hot mud
Mo and Eric making lunch.

The original city of León was founded in 1524 by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba. The city was abandoned in 1610 after a series of earthquakes (the earthquakes seem to be closely related to the eruption of nearby Momotombo). The current city of León was built shortly afterward about 30 km west of the original site. León had been the capital of Nicaragua since colonial times, so when Nicaragua withdrew from the United Provinces of Central America in 1839, León became the capital of the new nation. For years the capital shifted back and forth between liberal León and conservative Granada, until as a compromise Managua was agreed upon to be the permanent capital in 1858. León is hot, temperatures while we were there were generally around 35 celcius during the day. We arrived at the UCA ... read more
Catedral de León
Parque Central in front of Catedral de León
Sunset from the patio of Bar El Mirador

Everything I read prior to going to Nicaragua said to skip Managua. Our original plan had us spending the night at the Hotel Casa Real and spend a few hours checking out the nearby Cathedral before heading off to León by early afternoon. Although we spent the night in San Salvador, we mostly stuck to that plan. We arrived at the airport around 9:30am and took a hotel shuttle to the Casa Real. They provided us some breakfast and had agreed to hold our bags while we explored a little bit of the area nearby. With the old cathedral of Managua destroyed in 1972, it took nearly 20 years for a new cathedral to be built. The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1991, and is often simply called the new cathedral by ... read more
On the road to Leon. This is a common sight.
The main highway through Managua.
Some kids (on their way home from work?)

El Salvador is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. Somewhat bypassed on the tourist trail, many people miss out on immense expanses of natural beauty, forests, beaches, and even the opportunity to view some archaeological sites. We'd planned to bypass it also because of time constraints but the last leg of our flight to Nicaragua was overbooked so we got to spend one short night in San Salvador courtesy of Avianca Airlines. Other than the military presence at the airport and the hotel we didn't see much ... but it wasn't too big of an inconvenience as we hadn't planned to stay in Managua for more than a few hours anyway.... read more

South America » Peru » Lima » Lima » Lima April 7th 2008

Note: this will be the last entry for awhile as my trip is complete and now I'm back home to numerous hugs and kisses from my girls. I crammed as much as I could possibly get into 3 weeks and I had a great trip, but 3 weeks away is a bit too long I think (especially for Mikaela, but for me too). Ann is awesome, of course. I've put lots of other blog entries up (for which you didn't get emails). Just click on my name and scroll down and you'll see the whole list (in reverse chronological order). Or, just go to this link: and scroll down. Lima In 1532 the Spanish Francisco Pizarro landed in Peru with a force of around 180 men. Conditions were favourable to conquest, for the empire was ... read more
the Cathedral
cathedral at night

South America » Peru » Ica » Nazca » Nazca Lines April 6th 2008

Some History They were not discovered until the airplane was invented and man flew high above them, the Nazca Lines in Peru are a mystery that has yet to be explained by modern science... Are they evidence of an advanced early civilization that history never recorded? Are they proof that early man had contact with extraterrestrials? Is it a giant scientific or mathematic equation? Did UFOs once land in a remote corner of South America? To this day, the famous Nazca Lines in southern Peru pose more questions than answers. They are one of history’s more intriguing puzzles. Sixty years ago, Nazca was a dusty small town in the middle of the desert south of Lima. (OK, Nazca is still a dusty town in the middle of the desert south of Lima, but now it's bigger ... read more
the spider
my plane
the monkey (googled image)

South America » Peru » Arequipa » Arequipa April 4th 2008

Locals sometimes say ´when the moon separated from the earth, it forgot to take Arequipa.´ This beautiful city has grand colonial buildings, built from a light-coloured volcanic rock called sillar that is simply stunning. The modern city of Arequipa was founded on 15 August 1540, by Garcí Manuel de Carbajal, an emissary of Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro. Today, Arequipa is the 2nd largest city in Peru with a population of approximately 750,000. Throughout history Arequipa remained relatively isolated during colonial and early republican times, but that changed in 1870 when a Southern railroad to the coastal port of Mollendo was inaugurated, opening trade via the Pacific Ocean. The building and expansion of more roads in the 1930s also led to a direct connection with the Pan-American Highway, strengthening Arequipa's links to the rest of the Americas. ... read more
an alleyway beside the History Museum
the market
the Plaza de Armas

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