Beaches and volcano boarding

Central America Caribbean
February 24th 2012
Published: April 20th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

Yes everyone, we’re still alive and well. It’s hard to find the time to keep up with the blog when we keep ourselves so busy all the time! I sure am glad Amelia is having fun with us now, too. Now wherever I go I’m not the only monkey around. Many of you probably haven’t heard of our next stop, Nicaragua. Well, WE didn’t know about it until Jessie and Nate told us about it either. We definitely got some funny stares from people as we were sitting on the top of the bus seats to see outside the windows. I don’t think too many monkeys go backpacking around here. Leon was our first stop and we have to say, we really like it. The highlight here was definitely going volcano boarding. We got to take a huge 4x4 truck to the volcano. We felt like we were in a monster truck ready to run over old cars. It was awesome! At the bottom of the volcano there is a place where they are breeding iguanas to make sure they don’t start to be endangered in this area. We always love having our pictures taken with other animals. When we were done with our iguana meeting we started hiking up the volcano with our boards…well, Nate and Jessie had them at least. You can probably guess where we were on the way up…yep, on their shoulders. But, we had to hold on extra tight when we got to the top because it got really windy! Poor Amelia almost fell right off Jessie’s shoulder but she saved herself by grabbing Jessie’s ear before she fell. Good catch!

We really like the view from the top and lots of people were taking silly pictures to make them look like they were falling through the air. It was also neat to see the guide dig into the volcanic stones to show us the heat coming off of it because it’s still active. I have to tell you, that made me a little nervous. We looked at Nate and Jessie and told them, “If this volcano start rumbling we’ll be down to the bottom faster than you can say “monkeys running for their lives”.” We were only half serious though. The moment of truth had come and all of the people had to get on these orange jump-suits to protect them from getting scraped up if they fell off the board. Everyone got some goggles too, but since you couldn’t see a THING out of them from being so scratched from the stones, we weren’t counting on being able to look too far ahead. I went with Jessie first, holding onto her ponytail as tight as I could. Even though she went nice and slow, I don’t think I stopped yelling the whole way down. It was almost like I was on my first roller coaster! Amelia went with Nate and almost paid for it. Nate started to slide down the volcano completely sideways and I don’t think I’ve ever heard a monkey scream so loud in my life! Amelia said she thought she was going to have to jump off, but somehow Nate pulled it together and made it to the bottom. What a crazy ride down it was! Well, there’s another thing we get to cross off the list of things we wanted to do on this trip!

After Leon we spent some time in a couple of other places including Granada, Ometepe, and San Juan del Sur. There really wasn’t a whole lot for monkeys to do here though. Our favorite part of Granada though was climbing up to a bell-tower in a church to get an amazing view of the city. Amelia and I got our pictures taken and I just HAD to get one of me hanging from the bell! There was a family up there who starting talking with us and asked Nate and Jessie if they were right out of college. Amelia and I almost fell over laughing! After all, they’re going to be turning 30 this year! I can’t even imagine being that old right now. Granada was pretty nice for a couple of days but we were ready to move on and stop in San Juan del Sur for a couple of nights. We were definitely more excited for Ometepe, which is an island in the middle of a huge lake. Good thing Amelia and I don’t get sea sick because our boat sure was rocking a lot. When we reached the island we got onto a bus that took us 2 HOURS to get to the other part of the island we wanted to stay at because the roads are so bad. I can sleep just about anywhere these days so I curled up in Nate’s hand and took a nap while Amelia sleep in Jessie’s lap.

When we woke up, we were getting off and Nate and Jessie had to carry their backpacks up and down some pretty steep hills. Boy, I sure am glad I don’t have one of those sometimes! The biggest thing we wanted to do while we were here was take a hike to a waterfall. It turned out to be a really long walk and we got more than enough exercise for the day, but it was really cool to see some of the wildlife on the island. We even got to see some Howler monkeys on the way. I almost jumped right out of my shirt when I first heard them. I thought a jungle monster was coming after us! I tell you what, those little monkeys sure can make some loud noises! I don’t think even King Kong could be as loud as some of these little guys. The other wildlife we saw here included Nate almost getting bitten by a snake on the way down because he didn’t see it and Jessie almost stepping on a scorpion at night! I don’t know about you, but I really wouldn’t want to mess with either one of those.

After enjoying our time on the island we made a quick stop in San Juan del Sur, a very small town right on the ocean. Our favorite part was hiking up to a lookout point for a great view. I think Nate and Jessie were a little jealous that we could swing through the trees on the way up while they were walking almost straight up a hill. We actually wanted to check out some beaches here, too, but we were going to have to pay extra money for them. So, instead we decided to wait until Costa Rica to work on our tans. The people in Costa Rica are SO nice. Everyone was nice to us and so were the howler monkeys. They’re everywhere in Costa Rica and came over to welcome us into their home. Nate and Jessie have already been to Costa Rica and Panama so we weren’t going to spend a whole lot of time here. On our way down we stopped at a couple of beaches so we could lay out and soak up as much sun as possible. Sometimes it’s just really nice to lay in the sand and relax for a few hours even though it gets really hot during the day. I was sweating right through my shirt! It was great to be back at the beach again, but Nate got something he didn’t bargain for. One of the towns had a dirt road with really big rocks in it and you couldn’t really see very well at night because they don’t have many lights. Nate was walking to the store and accidently kicked a rock while wearing his flip flops. All of the sudden we heard a loud yell, so we rushed outside to see what happened. The worst part about this was later we would find out Nate had actually broken his big toe. Well that’s sure going to make hiking a lot harder isn’t it! Sorry Nate, I would carry you if I could but that would be like you trying to carry a car on your back!

We were going to do some hiking after Santa Teresa but with Nate’s broken toe we weren’t going to be doing any of that. Instead we decided to just make our way to Panama after quick stop in the capitol, San Jose. The border crossing was really easy to get into Panama and within a couple of days we were in Panama City. We thought we were going to sail to Colombia, but the weather this time of year is really windy on the water. Just the idea of having 20 foot high waves was enough to give us all the goose bumps! We were really glad Nate and Jessie just decided we would fly instead. I can’t believe Central America is already over for us, but I’m so excited to get to South America at the same time so I can see my family. Next stop Colombia!

Your favorite monkey travelers,

Wylie & Amelia

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