As soon as we heard about the possibility to sandboard down the volcano of Cerro Negro, we put it firmly on our wishlist for our visit to Nicaragua. It turned out to be easy to arrange through an operator in nearby León. After a early and tasty breakfast in our colonial hotel, we are on our way to the northeast. The going is easy at first, but at one point, the driver takes a left turn, and we leave the asphalt behind. We soon drive on a dusty track made of volcanic ash - the forebode of our destination. Cerro Negro - the black mountain. There is always more volcanic ash, and at the same time we also see green trees around us. Volcanic soil is very fertile and Nicaraguans know how to take advantage of that. We find several ox carts on the track, and we stop to let them pass in a dust of ash.
On the way, we stop at a farm to get our sandboards. We decline the offer to have someone carry them up for us. When we finally reach the foot of Cerro Negro, we see a steep slope of blackness. This is where we will come down the volcano - but we first need to get up of course. We leave most of our stuff in the car, and start the hike. We walk on sharp stones and quickly reach a turning point. From here, we can look inside the caldera of Cerro Negro, and also across the landscape of northern Nicaragua. We see patches of solid black soil - lava. When we look into the caldera, we see where this all comes from. Above us, in the distance, is the main crater of the volcano. The landscape here contrasts sharply with the one outside Cerro Negro. It is time for the final hike up.
We have to hold on to our sandboard, because the wind is trying to push it away constantly. We are getting always more excited, as we know that we will soon be sandboarding down. When we reach the highest ridge, we leave our boards behind, and walk to the crater. The soil is hot, and we see smoke rising up from the earth. We enjoy the views, and have our guide explain aboutC Cerro Negro and the other volcanoes on the string of volcanoes that runs through the country. Then, it is time to get on our protective clothes, listen to the explanations - and board down. The lower you lie, the faster you go. After having to get used to it, we quickly learn the fun, get very excited, and are full of adrenaline once we are down. We see others coming down, leaving a trail of dust behind them. Oh, how much we would have loved to do another run!
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Cerro Negro (Nicaragua). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Cerro Negro. Read more about this site.