Tuesday, July 5, 2011

On Moto Wipeouts and Volcano Boarding in León

When I tried to bargain down the price of our Volcano boarding trip, Anry, the manager of Mas Adventures smiled and said "I know 28 dollars is a lot for Nicaragua but trust me, it goes to a good place." He then described how Mas Adventures supports a local community that has seen tons of tour buses fly by but little in their own economic benefit. But what really surprised me was when he suggested we borrow his motorcycle to catch the sunset from nearby viewpoint. "You know how to drive a motorcycleright?" He watched Betty safely drive us around the block before giving us directions to the viewpoint.

We drove through the outskirts of León before hitting a dirt path that curved through the jungle. All of a sudden, we were climbing up a gravelly slope and the next thing we knew, the bike was going down. I jumped off the back as the bike began to list but Betty, like a dedicated skipper, went down with the ship. She had cuts on her feet and leg but was otherwise ok. We walked around the former military barracks that had been used to oppress and torture members of both the Somoza and Sandinista oppositions.
The following day we went Volcano boarding, which was a bit harder than snowboarding or surfing. The trip also involved a visit to an Iguana Ranch (these were Soup Iguanas!) and a nice hike up the volcano. 

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