We rise early today, as we have our walk/hike through the plantations at the foot of Mombacho, arranged for an early start to avoid the heat.
We are brought coffee and a delicious spice cake in our casita at 6:30, then go down for breakfast at about 7:20. Or rather, I go down and order a simple breakfast for both of us. Smoothies for both, yoghurt, fruit and granola for Daisy, oatmeal for me.
Even then, we find it hard to get away bang on 8:00 but I think we really are away by 8:15. Our guide is Eduardo,who actually works at the resort.
We start off by looking at the lagoon, which is warmed by hot springs. Then we go for a short hike through the dense woods below the cloud forest around to the other side of the lagoon. We see termite nests, birds (but far fewer than on the water) and some amazing butterflys. We also see a large rodent, aguote, that Eduardo assures us tastes delicious; like a cross between rabbit and pork. It’s just as well we are walking this trail quite early; it must get well steamy in the hottest part of the day.
On the other side we can see the hot springy part of the lagoon and sense that the water is incredibly hot. People swim and kayak there at times, but currently the water is too hot for swimming and too shallow for kayaking. The fault of El Nino, we are told.
We meet some of the farmer’s security folk down there with guns and machetes. We don’t argue with them. Nor, mercifully, do they seem to want to argue with us. Eduardo explains that we are invited and welcome visitors. They give him some alternative trail advice for future reference.
Then we head uphill a bit, towards the plantain and cocoa plantations. This uphill bit is the hardest part of the walk, especially where there are long stretches without shade, but it is all beautiful.
We see the plantations, then hike back down, with some difficulty as the stony trail seems a bit more slippery when you are hiking down it. A good discussion about Nicaragua’s revolutionary history and remaining political problems makes that part of the hike pass quickly. Then a celebratory soft drink while waiting for our boat in a shady pavilion at the end of the walk.
It was a super hike; not quite as photogenic as the boat trip but in many ways more atmospheric and wonderfully peaceful.
Back early enough to shower and take lunch; I started with a chayote greek salad while Daisy started with a red bean hummus. Then Daisy had the Jicaro burger (which was basically a cheeseburger) while I tried some garlic prawn tacos. Good shrimp, as everyone seems to say about Nicaragua.
Then a restful afternoon; short siesta, writing, playing with photos and reading.
- carrot soup for Daisy;
- quesillo (a type of cheese) tortilla with sour cream for me;
- Spicy shrimps with brown rice for Daisy;
- Fish (I had asked for guacote, which I think it was, as it was earthy, but I was told it was tilapia again);
- chocolate cake for Daisy, passion fruit sorbet for/me.
We were both tired and ready to sleep early.