Leon Travel Blog› entry 127 of 134 › view all entries
Leon has been a byword for fun and adventure for many travellers. I had high expectations and after gladly escaping San Juan, I was looking forward to Nica. It had been sun drenched and beautiful a few weeks previously when the rest of Central America was suffereing torrential rain. Unfortunately the tables had turned and I arrived to torrential rain.
I checked into Big Foot and thus the triangle of Leon was formed. Big Foot to Earth Cafe to the cafe across the road. I never ventured far from these places as the rain was insane and I actually had to make use of an umbrella I had to buy inGuate. Yes i bought an unmbrella, on holiday. It sucks.
I met some great people in the hostel including 2 lovely aussie girls Ruth and Jamie who were in my dorm, Sean a brilliantly funny irish man, Max a droll Englishman and Molly a lovely lovely New Yorker and in the spirit of adventure we signed up for the one activity Leon is famous for.
With 25 other people on the bus I couldn't chicken out so I manned up, jumped aboardthe bus and took the bumpy ride to the bottom of Cerro Negro volacno. The weather had seemingly cleared and my bravado increased marginally. We arrived at the base, signed our names to say we would undertake this hairbrain activity and were handed our "boards". This is Nicaragua. The boards were homemade pieces of wood with an acetate strip on the reverse and a piece of timber as a foot hold. Pieces of rope were strung through the small piece of timber and fashioned with a small handle which is the mechanism by which you control the "board". High tech stuff.
We were handed a bright orange bag that contained our "kit", our board and were told to start our trek up the volcano side.
We finally emptied and tried on our kit. A Guantanemo bay orange jumpsuit complete with science goggles and gloves. We looked like escape convicts which is just as well given the madcap scheme that was unfolding. We were given a briefing session (stick to the tracks, keep your hands in, don't scream and tap your feet to slow down).
I watched as two sets of people slid down the face of the volcano and watched as the van far below came to view. The orange jumpsuits proved to be a sound call, it was the only thing you could see against the mountain. With thebravdo at an all time high I decided it was now or never and i took my place at the top of the mounatain alongside Ruth and Jamie.
I'm so glad I did it and next time I'm hoping to get a note worthy speed up!
The remainder of my time in rainy Leon was spent playing giant jenga, eating and repacking my bag (it's a travelleing marvel how often you seem to need to do this.) Sean and I managed a sneaky walk around the city when the rain subsided one morning but at least I got my volcano boarding in. Leon I'll be back.