Well, it is a country formed by volcanoes, I see volcanoes every day, and there are lots of opportunities to climb them.  So the brief hiatus from my farming work continues with tales of sulphur gas and molton lava.  And some howler monkeys.

A natural tunnel along the crater of Mombacho

A natural tunnel along the crater of Mombacho

Volcan Mombacho, a sleeping volcano outside of Granada, is a giant crate filled with jungle vegetation and howler monkeys.  We could hear them, but couldn´t get any good glances. We went with a small community cooperative tour agency, and although I wanted to support them and he was perfectly nice, I would choose to go with a more well-established tour group next time.

La Isla Ometepe got five stars from all of us.  Formed by two volcanos,

The Isla Ometepe from San Jorge, the nearest coastal town.

The Isla Ometepe from San Jorge, the nearest coastal town.

Concepción which is still active and Maderas which is not, the island is only accessible by boat.  It was a long trip to get there, with bus, taxi, boat, bus, and then little private pickup-taxi service by a very enthusiastic woman named Adelma.  We finally landed at a beautiful little coffee farm called Finca Magdelena, where we spend the next day learning about the history of the coffee cooperative and biking to a beautiful black-sand beach.  We didn´t climb wither volcano, but we appreciated the beautiful views of both of them.

Volcan Masaya also gets rave reviews.  We took the night tour, which includes going down into bat caves and watching the molten lava in the dark.  I was particularly impressed with this National Park; the guides spoke good english, the tour was well organized, the park well maintained, and everyone was very professional.  You definitely don´t need to pay an outside tour group to do this, the guides offered by the park are great.  Just get there early, because the museum has a substantial exhibit that is very good and we barely got to see half of it before they whisked us up to the steaming crater.

And this morning – Cerro Negro.  I wonder how many times I will climb this volcano before I leave here!  Twice and I´m ready to climb it again when my brother is here.  It is beautiful, so doable, and so impressive to climb right down into an active crater.  What an amazing earth we live on.

sorry for the stolen pics.  personal ones coming soon