Like I mentioned in my last post about my trip, the hotel came with a complimentary breakfast! We could choose among a list of meals (some were more “American” than others, since the hotel is popular with business travelers). We all picked the Nicaraguan Breakfast (red beans, rice, scrambled eggs, cheese, corn tortilla, fruit juice, coffee). We checked out of the hotel, and off to a pharmacy to look for some aloe, as well as some more sunscreen. Due to our not-perfect Spanish, we ended up getting some diaper rash lotion that contained aloe. Close enough, eh?
Took a cab to get to the bus going to Masaya. At a couple of the stoplights, people came up to our cars, trying to sell us bananas, cell phones, birds, and baby turtles, among other interesting objects.
The bus (well, it was more like a van) to Masaya was a bit crowded, but we all fit in there pretty well.
We found a great hotel, Hotel Monte Carlo, which had rooms for $10 US per night! (You could splurge and get air conditioning for an extra $10) The woman running the hotel was super friendly. She hailed a cab and made a deal with the driver for a trip up to Masaya Volcano National Park.
The volcano was AMAZING!!! It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. The park rangers handed us gas masks because there was sulfur emitting from the active crater. I definitely coughed quite a bit before we put those on! We went all the way up to La Cruz de Bobadilla (The Cross of Bobadilla)…though I think there was a sign saying not to go up there! We read in a guide book that there were demon parakeets that lived in the volcano…they were able to survive even with the toxic sulfur gas, an interesting adaptation. There was also a dormant volcano that had been so for centuries. It looked very different: instead of brown and gray rockiness, it was green, grassy, full of trees and flowers.
Back to the city for a tasty buffet for only 38 Córdoba, which is about $2 US!
We wandered around the market for a while. I obsessed about what to buy. I knew I wanted a hammock and an ornament (or something I can turn into an ornament). Now before you think I’m some silly tourist, let me explain the ornament thing. I realized that a big part of decorating the tree at Christmas is remembering where all the ornaments came from. And since I also don’t have any ornaments up here (they’re all at my parents’ place), I figured this would be a good way to start. I’m pretty sure we all bought hammocks. M bought a few paintings as well. We also grabbed some ice cream before heading out!
We relaxed for a bit at our hotel, and then ventured out to Lake Masaya, to see the sunset. It was beautiful to see the sunset over the volcano and lake.
We had a late dinner at a nearby restaurant. We were the only people there, and by the end, the guys working there had gotten ridiculously drunk and giggly, which was fun, cause some of us were getting giggly too!
M and L headed to an internet cafe to check on some things, and A and I headed back to our hotel to get a good nights sleep.