July 10 - 12, 2014… Leon, Leon Department, Nicaragua

Not being able to load the address of our first choice hotel with parking, Kev and I headed towards the city square.  We choose accommodations close to the town center, as this is the heart of the community and the best place to experience, taste and interact with it's people.  The street we happen to be riding down dead ends into the town square, so we decide to park the bikes and hit a coffee shop we just passed for a cold drink and some wifi.  It has been a very long day, and we are totally wiped...more than eager to get off the road, out of our ridiculously sweaty gear and into a shower.  With the reviving help of a mind freezing banana/strawberry icy concoction, some wifi and friendly local help we learn that our hotel is actually on this street!  

The very busy square!

The very busy square!

Asking for directions

Asking for directions

By 6pm the bikes are securely parked behind closed doors, our luggage unloaded and carted upstairs, and Kev and I are mindlessly floating in the cool pool, now fighting off the leg and feet cramping we are experiencing…painfully and very thankful that this day has finally come to an end!  

Beautiful bell tower on one of the churches in the square.

Beautiful bell tower on one of the churches in the square.

What the heck is that?  A peaceful slept came to an abrupt end precisely at 7am.  The high pitch screams of a an air raid siren had us scampering around our room trying to figure out what was going on.  Later, sitting in a coffee shop, the siren sounded again.  Apparently this is a twice daily occurrence according to a local med student…No need for an alarm clock here!


Hiking up the side of a volcano, on a wondrous…setting sun with a full moon rising.  Still worn out from dehydration  we did not want to miss this opportunity.  There are cows   everywhere in Nicaragua!

Hiking up the side of a volcano, on a wondrous…setting sun with a full moon rising.  Still worn out from dehydration  we did not want to miss this opportunity.  There are cows everywhere in Nicaragua!

The next afternoon Kev and I were slowly hiking up the side of the Telica Volcano…it was an opportunity that we could not miss, even though we still were not 100%.  Our guide was sympathetic to our present ailing issues.  We paused every 10 minutes or so to hydrate, catch our breath and enjoy the beauty below us.  A fiery sun was beginning to set, a brilliant full moon was beginning to rise and the entire experience was magnificently surreal.  As we climbed, hiking over the rubbly and rocky terrain, each step bringing us closer to the edge of the active volcanic creator, the now strong misty sulfur fumes were beginning to irritate our nostrils.  It was crazy…you now could hear the jet engine like roar from the active molten lava, 150 meters below.  The sound was so commanding that it instinctively kept us from venturing too close to the volcanos unstable, crusty, crumbly craters edge.  When the misty, sulfur clouds periodically dissipated you could see the red hot poker glow from the river of lava below…..too crazy!  It really could not have been a more spectacular experience.

Nicaragua has one of the most impressive chains of volcanos in Central America. Often referred to as the 'country of lakes and volcanoes', Nicaragua features over fifty cones, with seven of them being active.  The Telica Volcano is active, still grumbling and smoking and last erupted in 1999.  Telica rises over one kilometer high has a huge 120 meter deep crater and is 700 meters in diameter.  

Telica's smoking creator…with the keepers of the trail collecting a toll!

Telica's smoking creator…with the keepers of the trail collecting a toll!

At the edge 

At the edge 

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The moon is starting to rise behind us as we watch the sun set in front of us!

The moon is starting to rise behind us as we watch the sun set in front of us!

Our guide

Our guide

Barely making out the red dots….this is the jet engine roaring lava below!

Barely making out the red dots….this is the jet engine roaring lava below!