Yet another volcano

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Friday, December 29, 2006

Got the bus to Volcan Masaya national park this morning. Yet another volcano I hear you saying.  I am mildly obsessed by them but particularly want to see lava and this has not been fulfilled as yet.

We got the national park bus from the entrance the 5km up to the summit past lava fields and trees with large iguanas on some of the rocks.  Were glad we got a lift as was hot and quite steep but felt a bit lazy. Summit crater is huge and gases and steam spewing out.  The warning sign says only to spend 20 minutes by the crater due to the gases.  When the wind blows towards you you can see why.  The sign also says if rocks start to be thrown out then hide under a car!  Having chosen which car will protect us we walked around the crater a bit and could almost see to the middle on occasion. Was very impressive especially the layers of rock up the sides which I am sure tells the story of it all.

Then we walked the San Fernando trail around the crater which doesnt appear to be active but is a great site, reminded me a bit of Orongo on Easter Island.  Was a beautiful shape and covered in plants.  Walked on the rim at some points which probably wasnt the required route but was a great view and nice walk.  Got a bit scary at one point as noticed several large birds circling above us as we looked to the other side at Lake Masaya.  Then ahead saw trees covered in these birds, black headed vultures.  Yuk.  I was a bit scared at this point and was considering walking back but decided to plough ahead once we saw a few fly off when they saw us.  Then gradually about 30+ left the tree and ascended into the sky with their big clawy feet beneath them.  It made me think of the horrid flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, a scene that will always terrify me. 

We carried on and finished the trail before going back to the other crater and then the visitors centre.  Tried to organise a night tour for tonight to see the lava (at last!) but was $60 for 2 but hopefully will go tomorrow with a big group for $10 each instead.

Then went out onto the motorway to get a bus to the town of Masaya.  There we got out at San Jeronimo church being restored

and went for a lovely Mexican lunch before walking to the main square with church, cafes and a local band playing glockenspiel, guitars and maracas.  After that the touristy artesinal market and then the more real local market which also had handicrafts.  Bought a few bits but am trying not to get carried away as worried about our luggage limit plus not sure how useful Nicaraguan religious pictures or wooden maracas will be of use to people at home.

Are planning a special meal this evening to celebrate new year to avoid being overcharged on NYE.

Are leaving New York 3 weeks today.  Canīt believe it has come around so quick.  Am starting to really look forward to going home and seeing everyone.  Am also really looking forward to the USA as we are being met by several friends which should be cool.

We are not bored of travelling, or sick of it.  But are starting to feel like it is time to go home.  Are obviously still loving it and making the most of every minute but we think a year is long enough.  For now anyway.
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