Volcano Surfing

Trip Start Feb 10, 2010
Trip End Jul 21, 2010

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Where I stayed
Hotel Via Via

Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Leon is a lovely colonial town, the main plaza is dominated by a huge church and the old part of town is very pretty.
As nice as Leon is, we came here for one thing and one thing only, to launch ourselves down the side of an active volcano.
Another early start and another transport problem, this time the car which the company we were going with owned broke down before we had even left town. It was donated to Quetzal Trekkers by some guys who had driven it to Leon from British Colombia and had rewired the whole car...very badly. Quetzzal Trekkers is a non-profit organisation who donates anything they make to help Nicaraguan Street Kids, so we can kind of forgive the slight delay!

Once we were up and running we continued our drive to the Cerro Negro Volcano. This volcano is the youngest in Central America, itīs only 150 years old. It is also very active, in those 150 years it has erupted 23 times, the last one being in 1999, and it is due for another very soon!

We drove to the base of the volcano, got our stuff together and then volcano board in hand we began the walk to the top. Our guides informed us that on the first walk we would actually walk through the crater,now its not every day you can say you have walked in the crater of an active volcano! The crater was incredible, the ground was boiling hot and there was sulphorous gas billowing out of the many vents, it wouldnīt have looked out of place on Mars!

Once we reached the top we donned our Guantanamo Bay-esque Boiler suits, goggles and gloves, sat on our boards and pushed off. At first it wasnīt that farst but as soon you started to pick up speed there was very litttle you could do by the way of control or slowing down. Falling off was pretty painful thanks to all the gravel. We both made it to the bottom all in one piece, though with the speed Ellie went down at Iīm suprised.
After dusting ourselves off and removing any unwanted gravel, we worked our way back up to the top for another run (avoiding the crater this time). This run went alot better for me, i managed to get some decent speed and a bitmore control.
Ellie again looked like she was trying to break the land speed record, still no injuries other than my bruised ego because Elllie went faster than me! 
The adventure wasnīt over yet,just as we were leaving the heavens opened and we got caught up in some seriously heavy rain, and the roads were pretty hairy in places.
Luckily we made it back to the hotel soaking but very happy.

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