Saturday we were super productive. Ran all kinds of errands, switched hostels, I bought some shoes, signed up for a hike, went grocery shopping for said hike, walked around the city, and then ended it relaxing in hammocks with cold drinks.
I prefer León to Granada. Less touristy, but still had the city feel and was easy to walk around. Lots of small shops, restaurants, and some cool Spanish architecture throughout the city (not as well-maintained as Granada though).
We walked through some other stuff as well, but the Cathedral is again their most famous thing. I had one of my best meals of the trip that night, a huge thing of vegetarian pasta.
The next morning was the day of the big hike up Telica, an active volcano. Sadly, one of my traveling companies became very ill, so she had to stay. So the two of us joined the guide and another girl for the hike.
The beginning was a nightmare: they didn’t provide any of the things they said they would, and we got off to a late start. Then we skipped a bunch of stuff on the itinerary, and arrived quite early – early enough for a 3 hour nap. The hike was about 3 hours itself, and quite easy, so we were kind of disappointed that we didn’t bring things to do once at the top, so we kind of just hung around.
Worse yet, because it was Easter, no one brought up beer to sell.
I wandered around for a while by myself and with the Belgian girl, who proved to be far too enthusiastic about the relatively mundane to hold my attention. So I sat for a bit and enjoyed the view.
Below is pretty close to where we camped. That is the volcano. At night, you could see some magma in there. We saw a little bit, but I was a bit underwhelmed. Still, a cool thing I suppose.
We also went to a bat cave, so I walked in there and took a picture, but it didn’t turn out great.
The sunset was pretty awesome. If you want a picture of the sunset, then you’ve got to buy the ticket and sleep on the volcanic rocks yourself. Because screw you, that’s why.
We made a campfire, but of course the guide didn’t bring anything to light it, so we had to get something from a local. I’d also like to note that this “eco-friendly” hostel was paying these people to “take care of the space” and we saw a hole where they were burying trash. At least he had marshmallows and sticks, which combined with the Oreos and peanut butter we brought turned into a decent snack.
After a night of what I suppose you could call sleeping, but mostly just tossing and turning in a tent on hard volcanic rocks with the wind whipping the tent around, we got up bright and early to see the sunrise.
The hike down took a couple hours, and afterward we showered, gathered our things, and checked out. Sick nurse was staying and going to Costa Rica, so not sick nurse and I went to Managua so we could catch our flights the next day.
After a lost in translation taxi drive through Managua to a kind of sketchy hotel reservation, we bailed and decided to live in luxury for the last night. We stayed at Camino Real, taking advantage of the free wifi, pool, and nice bathroom to wash away the layers of dirt and volcanic ash. Served at white-clothed tables by people wearing bow ties, you could see them become increasingly impressed as our dinner unfolded, which in the end consisted of 12 rum and cokes and a side of nachos.
I took the 5am shuttle to the airport and spent the entire day flying back. I was able to read Journey to the Centre of the Earth, drink milk for the first time in a month (even though it cost like $3), and land safely with my rum and cigars in one piece.