A Week in Nicaragua travel blog

Starting the day

Wagon load

The latest eruption

Ai Ai lava

lava flow

The Gates of Hell - Masaya volcano

Volcanic glass

On the edge

The pit

Managua off in the distance

The three tyoes of lava

Parrot

Stag

Garden center

White City - pottery making

Colors

Old Kiln

The showroom

Apoyo crater

In Apoyo crater

The beach at Ayopo

Granada Cathedral

Granada Sunset

Dinner Time!


Tuesday

Up around 7:00 after a good night and out to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Omelet and toast with tea. Then back to the room and do a bit of laundry and cleaning up, then the clerk says our tour is ready – and it’s Kevin again – same guide from yesterday. Different driver though.

We travel to Masaya and enter the volcano park. We stop at a field of a lava flow from 1772 – you could see where the lava had flowed out of the crater and followed a path across the hillside. We collected a couple pieces of the lava and looked around for iguanas – but none were to be seen.

Then up to the volcano lip itself – a spectacular view. A round hole where the lava had risen recently then subsided so only smoke and steam was coming out while we were there. The walls were straight up and down on three sides and the low edge was where the lava had flowed during the last eruption.

There was a zip line to the base of the volcano as well – not a tourist thing but for folks who study the volcano. There was a crew there ready to go down. There were also parrot nests in the wall of the crater – where birds laid their eggs with no nests. There was very little smell from the mist as well.

Kevin took us up the hill a bit and showed us some black spots. The volcano still spews out tiny threads of glass – hair like things – that gather in the depression of the wall and other places. There were also three crosses at the highest level – They were originally erected by the Spanish who thought this might be the gates to hell.

From there we went to the museum that displayed materials about the volcano and local area, In one spot we walked through a lava tube (replica) and scared out several dozen sleeping bats. Good information about Nicaragua volcanos (six active – the newest was the one we boarded down), and Central America sits on a plate moving west running into a plate running east. Quite the active region!

Then off to Masaya town and an hour in a souvenir market. Lots of stuff and I saw some masks I wanted, but we looked around and tried to find them again to no avail! Got some stuff for the kids though.

Then off to “White Town” – so called because all of the houses used to be white – but they weren’t anymore. There was a ceramics factory there and we were shown how they make the pottery sold pretty much everywhere around the country. Using rocks and seed and natural colors. They also showed us the kilns – and one was about four by six feet. We wondered how they could make the thousands of pieces for sale everywhere by loading 200 pieces and waiting four days. Magic I guess.

Then, in the showroom, we looked around at hundreds of pieces and picked out a nice pot. I asked how much and thought the man said $50 – so I countered with $40 and he said fine. When we went to pay we found he had said $15 and settled on $14. Rather embarrassing!

Then we headed off to Catarina and an overlook of the Apoyo volcano crater – now filled with water that had broken through to the Pacific Ocean. The central depth is 200 meters. Water is slightly brackish (Kitty tasted some later in the day).

After that quick stop we were dropped off at the base of the crater and told we had a free drink and use of the facilities – swimming, kayak, etc. That wasn’t in the tour description so we were quite unprepared! We sat at the bar and ordered lunch. I headed off to the toilet and heard a crash – come to find out it was a case of beer that dropped right behind Kitty and the bottles kept exploding sending beer and glass everywhere! Anyway, we were cleaning up glass for about ten minutes – finding little pieces the cleaners had missed.

Then we waited a long time and no lunch – seemed the server forgot us with the beer mess. We finally got the food and they forgot the chicken on Kitty’s salad. But we did eat!

Then we took a walk along the beach for a couple hundred yards – no shells but lots of pumice and other rocks. The back and waited for our ride. We were both a bit upset as we had no idea this was part of the tour.

Finally about 4:30 Omar came and got us and we drove back to Granada with two local women – one a student and one her friend.

Back at the hotel all was well. We rested up for a bit then headed off to look at hammocks – there was a factory right across the street but they were really overpriced and not that attractive. So we headed to Central Park and the souvenir shops there. We made a couple purchases and headed over to the Cathedral.

We stopped in to see if the bell tower was open (no), then walked down the street in the restaurant district. Lots of nice places and lots of people, but we had a late lunch so walked back to the hotel to drop off stuff, then stocked up on water!

Then we headed off and decide to eat at Ryan’s Irish Pub! Seemed appropriate. Ordered dinner and many street vendors stopped at our table – and lots of fun people passed by! Dinner was fine and we started walking back to the hotel, but a street band was playing a rumba so we had a little dance. We wanted to dance more but they seemed to be hired by this one family so we headed back.

After a stop in for some ice cream and cake we went back to the room. I tried to post to the travel journal but pictures wouldn’t load. So I finished this description and went to bed!



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