Hiking Volcan Momotumbo

Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Nicaragua  , León,
Monday, July 12, 2004

After leaving Esteli´, I took a bus to Leon, Nicaragua; a small colonial town with no less than 19 cathedrals including the largest in Central America and home to many of Nicaragua´s universities.

An organization that I was familiar with from Xela, Guatemala called "Quetzaltrekkers" is also based here and guides hikes to 4 of Nicaragua´s volcanoes. Their profits go to help street kids in Guate and Nic. This weekend´s hike is to Volcan Momotombo; a rigorous 2 days of adventure and I´m signed up to go.

Saturday: 4:30am wake up call followed by breakfast and an introduction to the others that are going. 19 year old Miguel, a former street kid from Guatemala and now employed as a guide will be our fearless leader along with Jane from Australia. My companions include Myka, Inge, and Hirman from Holland and Marcos and Claire from England. We will all share the load of tents, food, water and supplies for 2 days on the trail.

The climb up was steep and very hot, not to mention complicated by loose volcanic rock. After about 5 hours, we reached a point to set up camp and then dumped our heavy gear and headed for the summit. This is by far the most difficult hike I´ve been on so far but the views and exhilaration of standing at the crater were awesome. The way back down was just as difficult as the risk of taking a fall was quite high.

Sunday: Hiked down with all our stuff and began what was a 6 hour hike to a small town where we hired a pick up to get us to a bus stop for the ride home to Leon. All in all a really cool weekend. The pix are more impressive than this quick account of the hike.
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