Thursday, March 17, 2011

A weekend with Uncle Andy

Las Penitas

Before we left, Uncle Andy was going to visit us but because of the snow his flight got canceled to New York so he came to visit us in Nicaragua instead. His flight arrived on Friday at 12:20 but it took an hour and a half to get to Leon from Managua. He came to Hotel La Perla and we went to the beach. We took a taxi to Las Penitas and got dropped off at Hotel Suyapa. They had a pool there which was nice because the ocean was had big waves and the pool was calm. 

We ate dinner right on the water front and the food was really good. We could watch people surfing as we ate dinner. It felt great to be at the beach
because in Leon it was so hot and busy but the beach was calmer, more relaxed, and it had a nice breeze so the weather was a little cooler. At night there were very pretty sunsets. They were bright orange and the clouds turned to a light shade of pink. For lunch we ate at the Tsunami Taco Bar which is across the street from Hotel Suyapa and is owned by a Canadian. The shrimp tacos that we had tasted delicious.

We walked to the estuary(where the river flows into the ocean so salt water and fresh water mix)  at low tide so the middle was all sand and it burned my feet to walk on it! There were people coming back from fishing and they had to push the boat through the water back to land. There was a guy who picked up a turtle shell that was bloody and the backbone was attached. It made me cringe when i saw it. The back of the shell was beautiful with lots of different markings in it.

 There is a nice hostel/restaurant called Barca De Oro at that estuary that we went to and had a drink and washed off.  We walked  back to Suyapa's beach to swim. When we went body surfing in the waves, Uncle Andy took his camera(it is water proof) and took pictures and videos of us in the water. After we went swimming in the ocean we went swimming in the pool to rinse off. On Sunday  morning after a quick swim we left the beach and went back to Leon. 

On Sunday afternoon right after we got back from the beach, we went to La Perla and had a quick lunch.

Then we went straight to the Tierra Tours office(a tour company) because we were going to climb an active volcano!!! We waited in the office for a little while and then we were off to Cerro Negro Volcano. This time we didn't get lost like the last time we went!
When we got to the volcano, we signed our selves in and then we stared hiking. We could see Cerro Negro's baby volcanoes that had little craters in them.

The hike up was on black and gray rocks of all different sizes that made us feel like we were walking on the moon. The reason that Cerro Negro is all black is because it is one of the youngest volcanoes in the world. It first erupted in 1850 in a corn field and unlike other volcanoes, it erupted very recently in 1999. So, while the other volcanoes are covered with life, Cerro Negro is all black. That is why it is called Cerro Negro because it means "black hill". 
top of the world

The path up was steep and the view over the side was a green and yellow valley between the volcanoes. At the top the wind was so strong that we felt like we were going to be blown over!!! The guide took us inside the crater and we could smell the sulfur(eeew!), feel the heat(sooooo hot), and see the smoke/steam(awesome)!

When we were walking on the ridge of the crater, one of the other people we were with had his hat on.... and then it wasn't on. The wind blew it down the side and it got stuck on a rock so the guy went down and he got his hat back! After
                                                    that he didn't wear his hat at all.  What we saw was amazing with        volcanoes in every direction.  The guide, my mom, and i all jumped with joy like we were at the top of the world! 
looking into the colorful crater

Only Uncle Andy(and two other people from Austria who were standing) went boarding and he got all suited up with a yellow jumpsuit, gloves, goggles, knee pads, wrist pads, elbow pads,  and of course a board! The first two went down and they kept falling down and not being able to get back up again! We were laughing our heads off because it was very funny to watch them. Uncle Andy went down after they did and he just went straight down the side off the volcano.

 Then it was our turn to go down so we started walking but found that we could jump, run, and hop and it felt like we were on the moon again! It was soooo fun to go down and by the time we were at the bottom, we had tons of sand and little pebbles in out sneakers!

The sunset was stunning with a fuchsia stained sky and a scarlet sun disappearing until there was nothing left but mountains in the distance. The guide brought candies and we ate them in the van.  Tierra Tours provides fruit so we ate watermelon back at the ranger station. We threw the rinds in an iguana's cage that they had at the station so the iguana's could eat them! When everyone had shaken out their shoes and taken pictures we got back in the van and headed home(and we made it without a problem this time).

On Monday my mom and I had classes in the morning so Uncle Andy stayed at his hotel until 10:00 when he met us at our favorite bakery, Pan y Paz. After that Uncle Andy went to the cathedral while we did our second half of classes. The afternoon activity was to go to San Jacinto hot springs. We were going to pack a bathing suit and we thought that it would be nice to go in these hot springs. 

We were wrong. The hot springs were hot mud pools with boiling mud bubbles and really hot steam coming out of them! We decided that we didn't want to go in them (no one would want to go in them) and they were just for looking at. One of the boys there said that it takes about 5 minutes to boil an egg. They collected the mud and made pottery out of it that the children were giving to us. Our guide bought some and so did Denise and Cloudio.

Tuesday morning Uncle Andy left so we went to see him before our classes and his flight was at about 1:00 but he had to leave earlier to make it on time.

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