05 July 2012


(I split the last one and this in half because it was getting rather long)

There are no pictures from ziplining because there were no survivors.  I kid.  Sara hasn't uploaded them yet.

After an exhausting hike back up the volcano to the biological center, we headed off for ziplining!  Two staff members were assigned to us, one named Rambo and the other with an equally macho name that I can't remember.  They were mostly completely deadpan and therefore frequently funny.  They gave us a roughly 90 second lesson, then said, "alright? Let's go!" Sure, no big deal - you're just going to fling us down a wire, but we got this, we got this.

Ziplining was, in fact, awesome.  It was exhilarating flying out over the trees.  After about four runs of this, we were informed that we were now qualified to do "tricks."  David was particularly excited about this.  Me, well, I had my doubts.  Courtney was the only one brave enough attempt the "Superman" move first.  Let me explain what the "Superman" entails and maybe you'll understand my hesitation.  The move was done with an instructor, who you were strapped to.  You then lean forward and wrap your legs around his waist so you are flying down the line a la Superman.  I will say no more.  Obviously, I eventually tried it (caved to the peer pressure of David, Courtney, & Rambo - you don't say no to Rambo).   It wasn't bad, but once was enough.

The second trick involved going upside down.  I eventually decided to try it and found that it was actually pretty fun - until I realized I had spun around so that I was facing the way I came and therefore had no idea where the end was.  The other immediate problem was that I couldn't get myself upright again - just as I spun around again and saw that the end was in sight.  Too much in sight, really.  I gave up on trying to get upright, covered my face and yelled, "stop me!"  Fortunately, Rambo (and not the tree) was able to stop me.

Ziplining was incredibly worth it.  It ended with the big guy, whose name I can't remember, zipping on ahead of us and bouncing the line from the ground.  Rambo's last words to me as I took off were, "do not brake."  Comforting.  But then I was all over the place, and I was going really fast, and I was wondering, "are we SURE I'm not supposed to be braking?,"  and I was really near the end, and then I slammed into the big guy's hands and stopped.  Sara asked him if it hurt his hands and he, all nonchalantly, said, "no."

On the way back to Granada, Courtney got David talking about his perspective on the political situation in Nicaragua.  He gave a pretty accurate rundown of the current president, Daniel Ortega - at least based on what I'd read prior to coming.  Hearing David's take on Nicaraguan politics allowed me to see him as someone other than a tour guide.  He was slightly pessimistic about the future ("nothing has changed... yet") and concerned about the fact that the current politicians seemed to use young people to make it appear as though they had more support than they did.  He was vehement about the fact that having another civil war would be devastating for the country, as it just seems to be settling down recently.

A totally unrelated picture:
A crevasse to a crater.

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