After a few minutes of instruction in Spanish for those of us who’d never ridden any two-wheeled motorized vehicle before, we were ready to head up a volcano on rented dirt bikes.
We rode as far up as we could and then hiked up to a waterfall. A family of wild horses blocked our trail back. There was no way around them, so I twirled bamboo and encouraged them down the path.
The ride up was steep and sketch, but not nearly as much as the ride down. We almost ate it at the bottom when we hit a mega-patch of sand, but my ballet days swooped into action and balance saved us.
We stayed at a hostel on the side of a volcano and hiked up and down into the crater of it the next morning.
(There might have been a part in there where the two with Marine Corps training left the group at dinner, took a wrong turn at a chain link fence in the dark, and got lost in the jungle a bit before backtracking and eventually finding the hostel…but the night creatures won’t disclose us.)
It was still dark when our flight landed in Managua. Seven of us tetris’d into a cab and ended up on the shore of the expansive Lago de Nicaragua as the black morphed blue above us.
There was a tree of ants and monkeys, and the sun rose across the water.
The beach was a happening place – markets, cars and horses all shared the sand. We caught a ferry to volcano island, squeezing in some shut-eye on the bright white deck.