The Grand Finale

We saved this tour with Quetzal Trekkers for last, punctuating an epic trip with a giant exclamation point.  Nicaragua is the only place in the world where you can go volcano boarding.  This activity requires 45 minutes hiking up a steep rocky volcano and along a high narrow ridge with a 5 foot wooden toboggan and a heavy denim bag strapped to your back.  Add that to high winds that create a parachute effect on the board, plus being on a tour with a group of energetic 20 year olds that were impossible to keep up with.  It was so hard for me that the guide had to carry my board and I still had to stop every 5 minutes to catch my breath.  The tour company we went with is the only one that offered a second go but I knew from the start that I would not be taking advantage of that!
Finally at the top, suited up in a heavy denim one size fits all jumpsuit, goggles, and a bandanna to protect the face from sharp flying rocks.
Looking back toward the launch area at several groups of tourists.  It's a "must do" for every backpacker in Nicaragua.  Luis and I were definitely the oldest folks up there, and Maya the youngest.  
The boards look like home made sleds. They weigh about 10 pounds.
A couple of nice views from the top of this young 2400 foot volcano, which erupts on average every 17 years.  The last eruption was in 1999.  Hmmmmm.
Luis trying to look cool.  
Maya succeeding at the look.
Steam vents! If you dig down just a few inches it's hot enough to cook an egg.
Listening to the guides instructions. Hard to hear through the wind.
Waiting at the top, not sure if it looks as high as it is....but it feels pretty nerve wracking waiting for our turn.  It's longer and steeper than it looks.  Lean back, put your feet up and you can gain some serious speed. Or you can lean forward, dig your heels in and have complete control over your speed. You can be sure I used the second technique, braking the record for slowest descent I'm sure! 

Walking back to the trucks after our run, Luis and jack decided to take another turn.  I would have done it again too if there was a chair lift or something, but I couldn't do the hike a second time.  

Volcano boarding down Cerro Negro was a great way to end our trip.  We made it back to Leon in one piece, got a pineapple smoothie, and boarded the next bus to Managua to crash before our flight in the morning.

1 comment:

  1. Woah...ok, so I thought it might look like something I could imagine doing after reading your posts and looking at the photos. Uh, nope! Not me. Ever. :-)

    Glad you followed through, though, and it looks like y'all had fun, you crazy kids!!!

    Also glad you got back in one piece.... ;-)