•Full speed in Nicaragua•

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Alright guys, today we are reporting from Nicaragua. Yes, yes… the neighboring country of Costa Rica wasn’t part of our itinerary in the beginning but as you may know: plans are there to be revised! ;) Kathi & Henrik made us curious and so we decided on the spot to do a small detour to Nicaragua and travel a bit together with them. On Nov 11 we landed on the volcanic island of Ometepe in the middle of the “Lago Nicaragua” – the largest lake in whole Central America (8,264 km2). We enjoyed a bath in the natural pool “Ojo de Agua” and explored the island by bike. Again we were really surprised how green and lush the nature around us was.

 

 

Three days later we drove to Granada, finally catching up with Kathi & Henrik. They’ve been in Granada for two weeks already supporting an educational project on a voluntary basis. The majority of the population lives below the poverty line (have only 1 US$ per day) – reason enough for  many parents to force their kids to earn money on the street instead of allowing them to go to school. As difficult as it may sound: DON’T BUY ANY STUFF FROM THESE KIDS! They should sit in school, play with friends or lie in bed and sleep (no kidding: some parents make their kids sell stuff even at night time!)!

 

Mickey, the Irish founder of the educational project “Chavalos Nica” (NGO) is working hard since many years (and spending a lot of her money) on this project and it is amazing to see that someone is giving these inquisitive kids and grown-ups a chance to live a brighter life. The aim of Chavalos Nica is to prepare the participants in the best possible way to achieve scholarships in the US and other countries, finish their studies abroad and then (in the long run) come back to Granada in order to build up a well-educated middleclass in Nicaragua. Next year Chavalos Nica is opening their own, proper school and they are still in need of school materials (pencils, books, etc.) and English-speaking teacher (more info on www.chavalosnica.com).

 

Nevertheless we got to know Granada as a colourful city full of colonial building with fancy patios. Together with Kathi & Henrik we enjoyed one (uhm…two) ALL YOU CAN EAT breakfast at the Choco Museum (crêpes, waffles, omelettes and pan cakes ’till you drop!!!) and “zipped” through the canopy of a nearby jungle in different positions: upside-down, Superman-stlye and in a couple! That was such a cool experience!

 

Next stop: Léon! The sister city of Hamburg is the second largest city of Nicaragua located in the north-west of the country. As all the favored hostels were fully booked we “had” to go for the “Mariposa Hotel”  located just in the suburb of Léon. But compared to all the other hostels this place had a wellness-shower, hammocks and a huge swimming pool – perfect to spend some easy days and have a break from traveling.

 

 

After visiting the city we went to the youngest volcano of Nicaragua “Cerro Negro” where things got rough and fast: volcano-boarding! When arriving there we asked the guide whether the volcano is dangerous and he replied calmingly: “I’d describe it as active! It erupts every 10 years – last time was in 1999!” …

 

ANYWAY… we climbed up the volcano on an uneven trail (loose volcanic rocks). We slid, we fought… a sweaty, demanding ascent! And then we crossed the slopped but still smoking crater and finally reached the point where the funny part of this trip shall start.

We jumped into fancy boiler suits and put on knee and elbow protectors as well as some funky goggles. And then we sat down on that “thing” (a thin wooden plate) and rode down the volcano rocks. Boys first… “looks innocuous – so let’s go!”

 

The sledge began to gain speed … got faster and fast… actually too fast! So heels to the ground, trying to break. Stones were splashing into our faces …outch! Better not to make a wrong move otherwise it’s over. When is the ride actually over and how do I stop that damn thing? No more dust… stop! Is everything still intact? Check! The guys came to us and called us crazy …so did we! ;-) 100% adrenaline!

 

The last days of our common journey we spent at the beach of Las Peñitas (10km west of Léon). Authentically we slept in a small bamboo hut and enjoyed being at the beach – lying in the sun. On top of this we got to see a little crocodile and baby turtles during a mangrove trip… so cute! :-)

 

 

After 10 amazing days we went into different directions: Kathi & Henrik  hit the road up north towards Guatemala and we went south to Costa Rica. But one thing’s for sure: that wasn’t the last trip we did together! We are looking forward to read your lively travel news and a ALL YOU CAN EAT Revival.

 

 

And what are the „green“ news?


We were very surprised to see wind power stations at the Lake Nicaragua. But considering the large wind yield it was just a matter of time until someone would have come up with that idea. But besides this, there’s not too much positive stuff to report from: trash is lying around or is burned at the roadside –young and old people likewise. The reason is a huge lack of environmental education and the awareness that it’s their living space which they destroy with the garbage. We hope that something is going to change soon!

 

Here you can see the pictures from Nicaragua!