>> Friday, April 10, 2009
With every visitor that came down here, we went to at least one new place we had never been, and each trip had its own feel. On the Ragans' first visit, we went to Selva Negra in Matagalpa and regretted not bringing winter coats or avoiding the salad; when Laura and Nancy came, we enjoyed Pelican Eyes paradise; when my parents came, we braved the bumpy roads and one-way streets to visit León; and Danny's visit took us all the way to the Atlantic coast to ring in 2009. My brother Jake was the last visitor we'll host in Nicaragua, and his trip was the most laid back of them all. We knew Jake would be easygoing so we didn't really have a set plan or even reservations for where to stay during the trip. The (lack of a) plan turned out to be a success, and we wound up visiting volcanoes all over the country and finally making it to Ometepe Island.
We started by staying a couple of nights in Masaya and riding our neighborhood bus, visiting the markets and hunting for souveniers, and enoying the best restaurants Masaya has to offer (one day was more than enough time for the restaurant part). Here we are waiting for the bus:
We decided to spend the day visiting our second volcano of the trip, Mombacho. This was the volcano that cemented my hatred for all paths inclined, but at least this time we were only going part way up to do the canopy tour.
We made it back to Granada, had some lunch and picked up our stuff from the flea-infested hostel, and went back to Masaya. Jake's trip was quickly coming to an end, so we had to decide how we should spend his last day here: visit the old political prison? Go swimming at the Laguna de Apoyo? Visit Volcán Masaya? Go to the zoo? Go to the parakeet nature reserve? Play more Nintendo DS? We asked Jake for input, but he deferred to our judgment and said he'd be happy doing whatever. Now, Jake and I did our fair share of bickering as kids, and a few short years ago he would have not only voiced an opinion, but he would have made sure it was the exact opposite of whatever opinion I had. For him to be so darn agreeable was quite a shock, and it was nearly impossible for us to choose, even after consulting our guide books and telling Jake the pros and cons of each possibility. Eventually it became apparent that Paul and I were just going to have to make a choice, so we decided to round out our volcano tour with a visit to Masaya's volcano. Jake's response? "Oh, good. I was just about to say I wanted to go to the volcano."
Masaya's volcano has a nice, paved road to the crater at the top and lots of trails surrounding it. We went on the cave tour to get out of the mid-afternoon heat and to see some bats: mission accomplished on both counts.