Idk, roughly 10pm - Casa del Agua, Granada
Today I wore the SPF shirt Mom got me for the trip. I present the following ultra-dweeby picture of me as evidence (not dweeby because of the shirt, just to be clear. The shirt actually ended up being pretty sweet):
|Shorts and sneakers are a good look for no one.|
However, nothing could be finalized until Tierra Tours opened at 8am, so we went to breakfast at the nearby Garden Cafe. This cafe had been started by a Californian and a Nicaraguan in 2007 and had a pretty little garden courtyard (as one might guess) where we sat for breakfast. I ordered an apple, strawberry, and banana smoothie that tasted predominantly of bananas. I casually remarked that I'd had more fruit in the past two days that I usually do in a week (a mild exaggeration) and was promptly made fun of.
|The garden at the... Garden Cafe|
We found our way back to the tour office and eventually decided on a tour to Volcan Mombacho that included a stop at the coffee plantation (imagine my joy) and ziplining. The tour 4x4 picked us up from the hostel & we joined a Managuan woman and her two sons. She'd been living in California for the past 20 years and this was her first trip back to her home - for her high school reunion!
Our tour guide, David, was this energetic, excitable, humorous, knowledgable guy who, as promised, took excellent care of us on our trip. He may have been more excited to zipline than we were - he was certainly more fearless. He offered to capture the experience on film (because who doesn't look attractive in a harness?) and used Courtney's FlipCam & Sara's camera to really make sure every moment was saved for all posterity. All wry remarks aside, he did a really great job of that!
|If you ever go to Granada, find the Tierra Tours office and ask David to give you a tour. He will show you mini orchids (above), go ziplining with you, and try very hard to find you a sloth.|
|One of these two does not enjoy coffee.|
Additionally, I saw an almond tree! For all the almonds I consume, I never really thought about where they come from before. I shall now share my knowledge with you: there is a flower:
David bit the fruit in half for us to point out where the almond could be found. Very cool.
The volcano was not entirely what I expected. It had the shape and size of a volcano, but was completely overgrown - even the craters were hard to see due to the trees and brush that had grown in them. I guess that's what happens when a volcano takes a few centuries off. We got to walk through a cloud forest, where the temperature dropped dramatically, almost causing chills, as well as through a dwarf forest, where everything is tiny because of the hard rock (caused by previous eruptions) under the soil (I believe that's an accurate description). We were able to see and feel why the volcano is not considered dormant: there are holes along the path where steam escapes, which indicates that the volcano still has an active center.
|Steam coming from the ground - if you stick your hand in there, it's hot. Don't stick your hand in there.|
On the other end of the path, we were able to look across to Granada and see the wide expanse of Lake Nicaragua. It was beautiful. I turned around at this point and realized the arrangement of volcano and hills strongly resembled the island on LOST.
|I'm not crazy.|
|He's looking at you.|