Nicaragua!

Michelle Thu, 10/19/2006 - 14:03

So far so good! Granada is really pretty. Very colonial city, and as far as I can tell they’ve got plenty of conveniences. The only annoying thing so far is that occasionally the electricity goes out for no apparent reason. Everyone has generators to keep their business going and as soon as the lights flicker you hear all those engines start up.

We stayed at this awesome little hostel called The Oasis. And it really was! Comfy hammocks, internet, cheap rooms, clean bathrooms, clean water, good (and cheap) food! You reallllly start appreciating stuff like that after a while! So, we decided to take a tourist day. We’re relaxing, kicking back. We decide to look into doing a canopy tour. John and Jeanna have done it before...and they were trying to describe it. It basically sounds like they strap you in and you swing from the trees like a monkey! Sounds good to me!!

Well our tour guides come to pick us up at 1:30pm. The website that we saw for them looked pretty legit so we felt confidant.... until they got there. heh heh. They pull up in this dumpy beat up truck... the guys were nice and they all spoke english and they reassured us that the truck has made regular trips up and down the mountain, so don’t be nervous. Also, though the ride will be VERY bumpy... it’s all part of the ADVENTURE! Uh... ok....

So we start on our way up... Nicaraguan roads are pretty terrible. Dirt. Mud. Rocks. HUGE holes. Some roads completely washed out from water.... floods, rivers... BAM! BAM! We were getting thrown around the back of that truck pretty good! Paola starts getting car sick so the guy up front got in the back so we could get in the front seats. At least in the front we had handle bars to hold on to!

Jeanna didn’t think we were going to make it. She said she kept thinking they would turn around... but they just kept on driving! The driver was weaving in and out of these maze like roads with incredible ease (and speed, too). So bumpy, so rocky, so... steep! I was scared to death! Then came... the RIVER. At first, it was just a trickle... then it just came gushing and rushing everywhere! It was like this big rushing mudslide, I thought it would sweep us away. Because we were driving right up it! Well, we were pretty much praying for our lives. I’m thinking, wow, we wanted adventure... we certainly got it.

Eventually we got to the top... well, almost! We put on our harness gear, and start to realize after all the little mosquitoes are feasting on our blood, just how badly we’re going to need the bug spray that we so conveniently forgot. Next we’re on the road again to the platforms... I’m starting to get really nervous now that I have my gear on, and I realize that I’m going to be hanging off the top of a tree by one little latch connected to one little cable. AH! So now I’m officially freaking out! I don’t want to go anymore! I don’t want to go! But we’ve come so far, at this point, what could I do?? And then.... we come around a curve, and there’s a tree down in the road! The guys stop the truck, get out and scratch their head. ‘What can we do?’

I’m so happy... I’m like ‘YESS! We can turn around!’ Till one of them gets the brilliant idea that they’ll walk down to the gear house and get a machete. Aw darn! So we wait and wait... till they come back with an ax, and they start to cut up the tree. Now at this point, I’ve pretty much turned into a huge chicken, and I’m just prayin that the ax head comes off so we don’t have to go any farther. But of course, it does’t.

They cut the tree, move it out of the road, pile everyone back into the truck and..... the engine won’t start. Ok, so I pretty much do NOT want to go anymore. I’m soooo nervous. What ELSE could go wrong? How about the things that will go wrong while I’m hangin off the top of a tree like a monkey?? But these Nicaraguans are determined. They go BACK down the mountain, put the ax back and get a big ole tractor to drive up a car battery to jump start the truck with. WAAHHHH!! Bring me home!!! So in the meantime, we’re all waiting around on this little grassy path. Trying to stay moving because we were so brilliant to not wear jeans, or bring bug repellant. I mean, you wouldn’t think we were traveling through CENTRAL AMERICA or anything. Sheesh. But the mosquitos weren’t really getting to me as much as my own mind was getting carried away with images of jumping spiders and tarantulas and such. Just then, something crawls on my leg... I look down AHHHH!!! I scream like a girl! (probably because I am a girl) It’s BIG. It’s BLACK. It’s got LOTS OF LEGS. So here I am, once again, dancing like a crazy person. I accidentally drop my camera on the rocks before Paola could calm me down.. It’s just an ant. An ANT???? It was HUGE. No really... who knew ants could be THAT BIG. Well, I wasn’t really scared of them anymore, after I knew it was just an ant... even after my previous ant episode. Rather embarrassed, I explained my spider phobia to all the people looking at me. Great. I pick up my camera, fortunately not broken. Who’s brilliant idea was it to wear shorts?

So they fix the car... we get back in and proceed to the top.... *sigh*

We finally reached the top, and the platforms, and the guys start to show us how to ride the cables. First, we get a little demonstration on a little rope on the ground. YES! I can practice on the ground! NO! He shows you on the ground, you practice in the tree! Uh oh. So we have to start climbing the ladder up the tree. I go first.... When I get close to the tree I realize how many little critters there are crawling around everywhere..... critters I don’t really mind. SPIDERS are a problem though!! But the platforms are so small... if I got too close to the tree all the spiders would get me, but if I got too close to the edge, I would fall off. AHHH! It took some maneuvering and lots of guts, but I eventually got used to it and didn’t see any spiders in the tree tops. (WHEW) Now I just had to deal with the whole ‘jumping out of a tree’ thing. ... then he grabs me... ‘ok, you first! ’ AHHHHH!

So I’m listening to his instructions closely, gripping the cable with all my might. I knew there was no possible way I would be able to hang on if I fell. Visions of busting my knee at Blue Hole filled my head... So then they made me sit in my harness and.... let go.... WEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!! I screamed at first but after I got used to it, it was wicked fun! The view was gorgeous, gliding from tree to tree, over these coffee plantations in the mountains. We saw some wild animals, some stray horses, and the volcano from Lake Nicaragua. Our treetop tour finished completely successful and though the road on the way down was kind of dark since we started so late, and a bit flooded (who knows why), otherwise our ride was uneventful. All in all... what an adventure! Nicaragua!!

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