Nicaragua Into Costa Rica

I’m finally back to internet, and with some free time, too. Guess it’s time for an update! But first, a quick look back at January 24th.

I mentioned on the 23rd that I was going Volcano boarding with Bigfoot Hostel in Leon, but I never posted anything about it post-boarding. That’s because I was waiting for photos, which I’ve finally got:

1623764_652839864780929_1862100412_nAbout 25 of us made the trip. Volcano Cerro Negro is about an hour outside of Leon, and is a really bizarre site to see. Rising up from the surrounding farm fields, and less than a kilometer from another normal volcano, Cerro Negro is a giant cone of black ash. No plants grow on its slopes, and while half of it’s littered with giant boulders, the other half is totally smooth.

I didn’t bring my camera because we were warned that A) the ash was so fine it would seriously compromise camera integrity, and B) if you hiked up with it, you’d have to board down with it – and risk crashing out and destroying your equipment. The tour guides bring a DSLR to photograph the group, so I left mine at the hostel.

1391910586961We hiked up with our boards in the blistering sun and insane winds, the boards acting as sails and nearly blowing us off the edge.

Once at the top we walked over to the crater (yes, the volcano is still active) and watched the steam vents and experimented with how deep we could dig in the sand before it became so hot we couldn’t touch it anymore. Then we changed into our orange prison jumpsuits and realized the slope was so steep we couldn’t see the whole trip down from where we stood.

Bigfoot’s bus driver stands at the bottom of the slope with a radar gun to measure your speed. Being super pumped to slide down a mountain of jagged rocks on a piece of wood (and hoping to witness some of the inevitable crashes of my trip mates), I volunteered to go first.

1391910447335My top speed was clocked at 61kph, which I’m pretty pleased with. (The day’s fastest was 70kph  and the all-time record, to put things in perspective, is a mind-boggling 93kph!)

Crashing at 61kph wasn’t as awesome, but I didn’t break anything so I’ve got no complaints. I saw some spectacular crashes, too, and no one else got seriously hurt (I may have actually been the worst of the group):

1391910728749It was super fun, and something I don’t think you can do anywhere else in the world, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone with substandard regard for their own safety.

Now that that’s recapped (and you’re sufficiently grossed out), let’s return to our regularly scheduled programming and get this blog back up to date:

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My First Video Blog

I had some time on a walk from Santa Cruz to Merida (both still on the island of Ometepe), and figured I’d try a new style of blog update. Apologies for the video quality – I think it’s a combination of my camera, slow computer, and unreliable internet connection.

Leon & Granada, Nicaragua

SONY DSCIn Leon, I spent Thursday wandering the city and writing my last blog update. Thursday night I went to the local Salsa night at La Olla Quemada, a very popular and very busy bar just a few blocks from my hostel. Some friends from Utila were there, and we watched the locals dance for a few hours before I called it a night and went back to the hostel.

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Friday, I continued exploring, and when it got too hot I went to the local movie theatre. I saw I, Frankenstein in 3D for $5.20. (Don’t judge me – I had never heard of the movie and picked it based solely on the image on the poster, and the fact that the box office woman said it was in English. I also didn’t know it was 3D. And yes, it was really terrible.)

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