Volcan Masaya


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Published: April 29th 2011
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I had information that it should be possible to camp near Volcan Masaya so I decided to give it a shot. I thought that the park might be closed on Easter Sunday but it was not and I was allowed to camp in the visitor center parking lot. This was not a great campsite because there were no facilities after the visitors center closed but I much preferred this to spending another night in a hotel. I was not the only camper on this occasion. A young French couple showed up in an RV that was as big as a school bus. As a matter of fact, it was a school bus! Their story is that they bought this dilapidated monstrosity in Quebec for $2000 and converted it into an RV by removing the seats and outfitting it with an assortment of disused furniture rescued from the indignity of ending up in a Canadian landfill or Gerbs basement. They packed up and drove this beast the whole way here from Quebec and were planning to take it on to Panama where they planned to sell it. My present folly didnt seem quite so ridiculous after sizing up this endeavor.

I signed up for a night tour of volcano which turned out to be more fun than I thought it was going to be. When I arrived at the designated time and place for the tour to begin, I discovered that there was more than one tour happening. The package tourists had an English-speaking guide and gas masks. I, on the other hand, had the discount tour purchased directly from the park so my guide spoke only Spanish and of course we didnt need no stinking gas masks. I got to talking with an older couple who saw my license plate and asked if I had driven the whole way to Nicaragua from Pennsylvania. Their next question was "Why?" followed by "Where is your gas mask?" I told them that I didnt need one because I was immune to noxious gases. They were justly skeptical until I threw open the tailgate of the Scion where two weeks worth of perspiration-soaked t-shirts, underwear, and socks bake everyday in the oppressive heat of Central America. Their silly gas masks, I knew, would not save them from this stench. They were quickly overcome and down they went. Die turistas! Ha!

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