Where do I begin? How about the cup of coffee and the view from our charming bungalow terrace at the foot of the ocean – a view of rolling soft tides onto a pebble beach filled with kayaks, small sailboats, palm trees and fuchsia bougainvilleas – all the while a light wispy breeze accompanied us. How about the off-roading in the 4×4 on roads that might have been worse than Albania roads yet a real treat seeing the Nicaraguan people in their every day activities. How about the lackadaisical inner tube drift in the warm coastal waters, a prayer at the old wooden Catholic church or a saunter through the busy and colorful square of Masaya – the array of colors are indicative of the political party who won the last election or so I learned? Or how about the trip to see the active Volcan Masaya. Oh yeah that’s the one!
The narrow road lined on both sides with trees lit only by the headlamps from the car took me back to Pierce Brosnan’s eery drive up the mountain to get the Mayor’s mother in law and grandkids in the movie Volcano except without the ash rain. As we got closer to our final destination the black sky turns burnt orange and all of a sudden you realize that is not the moon lighting the sky. Upon arrival the movie changes to a scene straight from Lord of the Rings. The true power of nature grumbling below in a strangely noncommittal-like way as if you just woke a burly man from a deep sleep who hadn’t yet realized that you are responsible for pulling him from his dreams. A place that will make you think twice before sinning again lest you end up down there someday. Two hours of waiting in the car line, $10 for non-residents, an admonishment or two is all it will cost you to take a peek deep into the devil’s lair. Pumpkin orange and sun kissed yellow lava rapidly moving below you. The slightest tinge of sulfur tickling your nostrils.
Perhaps if you were in Masaya on January 5, 2017 you may have caught a gas and steam explosion. Had you been where we were today on April 23, 2001 you might have been one of the visitors who met their maker as Masaya roared spitting fire bombs at her passersby. It was a sudden explosion that day lasting all of two minutes but started brush fires in the area and seriously injured two tourists. Note that volcanologists were out there a mere hour earlier and all was quiet. Now we know why we are required to back our cars in lest Masaya throws another one of her temper tantrums.
That’s it for now. Lots of fiery love from Masaya.