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Exhausting, Exhilarating and Extraordinary

Volcano Boarding? What, you mean riding down a volcano on a board? I thought this must be a joke.

Once I arrived at the Bigfoot Hostel in León, Nicaragua, I realized it wasn't a joke at all. It looked amazing, it looked painful, it looked like something right up my alley! I signed up immediately—I couldn't get the money out of my wallet fast enough!

That afternoon was one of the most fun I would have in all of the eight months (so far) that I have traveled in Central America.

Around 15 other hostelers and I jumped on one of the two pickup trucks specified for the volcano boarding expedition. Forty-five minutes later, outside of León, a miniature, yet ominous, black volcano stood before us.

We were given our volcano boards and a bag that contained our overalls -- a pair of clothing reminiscent of the Department of Corrections issued uniforms.

We began the ascent of Cerro Negro. It wasn't easy, my physical condition wasn't the best but it's fair to say everyone struggled.

We all reached the top, and it was glorious. The view of several other volcanoes was breathtaking and surreal, was I in the filming of Jurassic Park?

There weren't any dinosaurs to be seen and so we all soon learned the way to volcano board.

"It's easy," said Kim, the Dutch guide. "You hold your hands here, your put your feet down there, when you start to veer left, you put your right foot out, and vica versa."

It sounded easy but judging from the runs of a few other people, (a German friend named Oliver was shortly doing somersaults down the volcano), needless to say I wasn't convinced.

And all the sudden it was my turn, racing down the volcano against an Aussie that shared the same birthday as me, his name was Thomas. Did I mention we had goggles on? It was a good thing because the rocks that flew by as I went 20 kilometers per hour down the volcano were landing in my hair and hitting my cheeks. I didn't care, it was a blast and the speed was fun.

Thomas beat me down to the bottom, but I was happy to make it down without falling off the board, like so many of the other people had done. Everyone at the bottom were showing each other their battle wounds, rejoicing at the same time and watching the next pair of people go down.

After everyone had finished we all jumped back in the trucks in time to see the sun set over the colonial city of Leon. We all enjoyed mojitos back at Bigfoot and wondered how long it would be before the volcanic ash and rocks were out of our hair.

Further Information

Travel tips: Only go volcano boarding with Bigfoot Hostel, the other tour companies don't offer goggles or protective overalls. Take lots of water.
Must see/do at this place: Volcano board!
You should avoid here: Bring a camera! The views need to be remembered!

Did you like this article? Then you'll like these: Restoration Of A Colonial Jewel, Searching for Sharks, Selva Negra, A Visit To A Paper Recycling Project, Isla de Ometepe, Gallo Pinto, Nicaragua Project- Politics and Government, San Sebastián Festival, Markets of Masaya and Granada.

By Brendan Mahoney
I am outgoing and honest, I enjoy meeting new people and consider myself an extrovert. I love to travel and especially love Latin America. I'm very...
28 Jan 2009

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