What goes up must come down (twice)

Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Monday, October 19, 2009

This morning John went up a mountian. Specifically, it was a volcano, located not too far outside of Leon. The hike up was pretty, and had some nice views of the other volcanos in the area and the surrounding countryside. And don´t worry, Mom -- this one wasn´t an active volcano. It was, essentially, just a large mountian of volcanic ash. If you´ve ever been hiking on volcanic ash, you may have noticed that it´s slippery. It tends to be more small pieces and less rock-hard chunks, so walking up volcanic ash is similar to walking up sand -- two steps forward, one step back.

A while back, someone around here decided to take advantage of this slippery feature, and start investigating ways to just slide down. After much experimentation, they settled on the sport of volcano boarding. With a specially designed board, similar to a sled or a tobaggan, you start at the top and board down the volcano.  Using your feet to steer and brake, you can go down the volcano as fast or as slow as you would like.  If you´re really adventerous, then you go for the speed record -- the best so far is somewhere around 50mph. John got to try this (the boarding, not going for the speed record) and had a very enjoyable morning.  His top speed was clocked at 27 miles per hour.   Other than a mouthful of ash, and a few rocks in his shoes, he made it down quite safely.

For the afternoon, he returned to join me in my exploration of the city, and we stopped by the museum here in Leon. Like the one in Perquin, this museum was dedicated to the country´s civil war, and staffed by veterans of the war. Our tour guide here (Spanish speaking only) managed to speak slowly and clearly and yet very dynamically and told the story of their war, and his part in it, in a very interesting way. The museum here was quite small (two rooms with newspaper clippings and photos on the wall) and had just a few examples of the limited millitary equipment that the guerillas had available for fighting. At the end of the tour, we went up to the roof, where the guide brought up a small bomb and a bomb launcher. John and I each had a chance to shoot our bomb up into the sky over Leon and watch the small pieces of ash fall back down again. (No people or birds were hurt during this process.)

Tomorrow, we are going to start making our way towards the Corn Islands. The Corn Islands are located on the Carribean side of Nicaragua, so we´ll be using a combination of busses, boats and probably an airplane to get there. Internet access may be limited, so look for updates when we get back.
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vivacious09 on

Volcano Boarding
Betcha most people can't say they've ever gone volcano boarding...sounds fun!

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