Red-eyed frogs and salamanders

Trip Start Nov 08, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2009

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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Where's a good place to go for local information? The tourist information centre. Not in Granada it ain't. We read about a ranger station you could stay the night in on volcano mombachu, near Granada. For $30 they'd give you a bed, food and a guided night tour. It was about 20 mins drive away. Did they know anything about it? No. We disturbed their coffee break and Paul, with his ever so charming 'i'm not going anywhere until you tell me what I want to know' face had them phoning people and looking things up on the net. We finally left with a confirmed booking.  

It was so worth it. The place is definitely a highlight in Nicaragua. It's a dormant volcano steeped in cloud forest. The ranger station is at the top of an incredibly steep road and is in 99% humidity. Funnily enough it rains. A lot. Our guide was fantastic, informative and welcoming and patient - you need to repeat things several times before we understand. We had a lovely tea, watched a tourism video and then got taken out with industrial torches to look for wildlife. It was so great. He pointed out red-eyed tree frogs, numerous insects, sloths - well, they were supposed to be there but we couldn't see them- and the curious mombachu salamander, endemic to that particular forest. He said it was found nowhere else in the world. There were loads of them. We picked them up to get a better look and were surprised to find they were cold and sticky, but very cute. I know it's not spotting jaguars and elephants, but it was just a really nice experience. Even discovering the poisonous spider next to my shoe was an experience. And if you'd read our last blog, you'll know that we've come a long way.
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