After meeting US travelers Brooke and Heidi on the Grenada Isletas tour in Nicaragua, I joined them the following day to witness my first ever volcano. Our tour guide picked us up from our hotels in Grenada and we headed to the Masaya Volcano National Park.
Our first taste of any volcano activity was admiring the dark lava rock formations that are scattered across the Masaya Volcano National Park. In the two minutes that we listened to the tour guide educate us on what was in front of us; two skinny light green/yellow snakes flew across the lava rocks. I am PETRIFIED of snakes… every single type of snake (I’m still trying to figure out where this fear comes from). They nearly touches the rocks they were moving at such a rapid pace. Scorpions, spiders, and other critters don’t bother me that much but SNAKES terrify me! Needless to say I was very quick to hop back into the tour van. Even then I was paranoid that one of their stealthy snakes may have snuck into the van.
We then visited the information centre to learn more about the volcanoes in the area as well as the history of the Masaya Volcano. Unfortunately, we had to rely on natural light to see the displays as the earthquakes had affected the electricity supply.
The highlight was standing at ‘The Mouth of Hell’ as seen below:
Unfortunately due the repetitive earthquakes in the area, we weren’t able to do the hike or horse-back ride up to other viewpoints. However, the great smoke and sulfur gases at the ‘Mouth of Hell’ were surreal and mind-blowing to witness. I thought of all those poor women and young children who were sacrificed into ‘The Mouth of Hell’ until Christian missionaries assembled a cross to ward off the witchery and convinced the Nica locals that it was no longer necessary to sacrifice their own people. My imagination began to wonder with this seemingly fictional story that actually happened. Historic facts like these intrigue me.
Earthquakes, aftershocks, volcanoes, snakes and a scorpion sting made my Nicaragua holiday an experience of a life-time. It was great to share the experience with the lovely Brooke and Heidi and I’m glad we didn’t need to make use of the evacuation route.