To continue with Adventures de Nicaragua, we'll leave the scene of my friends near death in our hotel room and go to The Hike That Nearly Killed Me, instead.
Pretty much our whole group likes to hike and likes the outdoors - except Josh, who is fair-skinned and ginger-haired and nature HATES him so he has to apply SPF 1400 or something and STILL wear sleeves if he's going to be outside for long. But he's a trooper and hikes a volcano with us anyway.
And the local guide tells us there is a Regular Hike and a Most Difficult Hike, called the Puma Trail.
Oh, we're doing the Puma, Amigo.
So the five of us, our local tour guide, and the hiking guide take off together. And I'm not in the best shape of my life back then, Josh is overheating, and our local tour guide doesn't normally do this hike so he's also struggling. But the other three in our group are forging the way like they hike volcanos every day in D.C.
And our Hiking Guide looks like THIS in sweltering heat:
And after, oh, the 109th time of hearing the Hiking Guide say "this is the last uphill, I promise" I might've yelled out something in protest. Then I hear our Local Guide SWEAR IN ENGLISH, which makes me laugh and feel better. Because you know it's serious if someone blurts out an expletive, and they can't even find something harsh enough in their entire native language...
We finally DID reach the "last uphill" (which led right into the building where we catch our truck to go home - AKA THE WHOLE DARN HIKE WAS UPHILL, LIAR!) and ended that adventurous day by taking a boat around a group of tiny islands where we met Panchetta:
Who lives on one of the Islands here:
But loves to jump onboard boats and hang with the locals like so:
I totally bonded with her so please no one tell me what sorts of diseases wild monkeys carry, K?
We then went to a restaurant on another island where we ate fish.
Like, the entire fish. Tail and all:
(Lesson Learned: if done right, fish tails taste a lot like Potato Chips. Fact.)
And then we went back home to our hotel.
Some of our other adventures included deep-sea fishing, where our guides filleted the fish we just caught- right on the boat - so that by the time we got to our hotel, the hotel owner/cook could immediately make it into fresh ceviche for us. Did I mention I miss this place?
And another day, we did a "canopy tour", which means you jump in a harness that makes everyone look like they are wearing a torture device/diaper, and you climb up on platforms, get hooked onto cables, and sail through the tops of trees, overlooking all of San Juan Del Sur like so:
And I'm scared of heights, but the guys that run this place are so laid back that you quickly feel like "Yeah, yeah, hook right there, pull down with this arm to brake - I got this, Bro." And I'm not even waiting for them anymore, I just sail to one platform, unhook, hook to the next cable, and push off again. And part of the time, there are multiple cables so while I'm sailing on one, one of my friends will be sailing on another above or below me. I'd notice something out of the corner of my eye and - oh yeah, that's another human flying through the air. Oh HEY Adrian! Nice weather we're having, huh?
And the last cable we do is super long and stretches over a very deep valley, and a tiny Nicaraguan man is waiting to "catch" you on the other side. And the guide on THIS side warns me to "brake the whole way, ok? the WHOLE. WAY."
So of course I let up a little on the brake - because I wanna see how it feels to go fast! - and I start gaining speed and start to picture myself TAKING THAT LITTLE NICARAGUAN ON THE OTHER SIDE OOOOUT. So I slow down and he does manage to "catch" me. Ungracefully.
Afterwards, my fearless friend Sarah admits she barely braked at all and didn't really worry about the little guy on the other side. Dang it! I should've been MORE reckless!
Anyway, all of those things were amazing and I'll include a couple more pics below. The surfing lesson story will have to be in Part Tres. I forgot how much we did in one trip!
How we got off the volcano:
Just one of The Views. Totally worth it.