It's only 3 days in and I'm losing track of time. That's a good thing! You know you're on vacation when you don't know what day it is. Wednesday, right? Who knows?

Yesterday, we had a busy day. We started off halfway up a volcano called Mombacho dangling from harnesses digging up our butts...how do you say "wedgie" en Espanol? No se. Anyway, it was a beautiful day for a beautiful trip into a beautiful jungle. The nature reserve where the zipline place is in the middle of a coffee plantation. As we zipped through the air, we were surrounded by fields of baby beans and workers clearing the fields. Harvest is in Nov. and Dec. and the Nicaraguan coffee will arrive on your table sometime in, well, I have no idea. I didn't ask that question. But I'm buying some before I leave, so it will arrive on MY table sometime in July!

Ziplining was far cooler than I thought it would be. And I am not a fan of heights. Interesting thought...Scott, my brother-in-law on the trip with us, and I had an interesting debate about faith last night. Not religious faith, just faith in general. We talked about how people are hesitant to have faith in something religious, but we will have faith in an airplane pilot who might be a drunken wife-beater who suddenly hates the world. Or we just faithfully believe that the guy coming toward us in the car in the other lane won't suddenly swerve into our lane and smash us. Or, we put our faith in 4 nice guides with limited English ability, 2 miles of cable made by who knows who, nylon harnesses made by the lowest bidder and stretched out by the butts of countless foreign tourists zipping before us. And I put Annie and Grady on the lines and faithfully say, "Adios! Have fun!" Just an amusing conversation about faith.

Anyhoooooo....the ziplining rocked. Grady was all excited while getting harnessed up. Annie kind of had a look on her face that looked like she should also be asking for a final meal as she was being strapped up. I was just trying to make sure my daddy parts didn't get wrapped up in a hook or rope. Mission accomplished!

We took a truck ride higher up the volcano. Grady was jittery. Annie was green. The jungle is really pretty. A lot of folks don't come down here in the rainy season because of the, well, you know, the rain. But the rain makes everything green and it doesn't rain every day. When it does, it seems to be at night and it doesn't last long. So, if you come, consider rainy season. Oh, it's also cheaper. 

WARNING! Helicopter moms skip the next section! You can go make sure your kids are playing quietly on the front porch or something...and then pick out their clothes for the day!

We walked to the top of the first platform and got the safety lesson. Much nicer than the 2-hr tutorial we would have had to do in the States. And you know what I DIDN'T have to do? Sign 10 waivers! Here's the spiel: "We hook you up. You slide. Don't be stupid and put your fingers in front of the pulley. Adios!" They hooked Annie and Grady up in a tandem slide with a guide and took off! We were concerned about Annie, but she did great. After the first ride, she wanted to go alone. She even did the upside down ride where you basically hang upside down, slide down at 25 MPH and reconsider all the bad choices you ever made in your life...all while reconsidering that "faith" thing!

Annie's face went from terror to joy with each new slide. There were 11 different lines we got to go on. The guides were great and took good care of everyone. They slid behind us and made videos and took pictures. They kindly shook the crap out of the line while we were on it to heighten the experience...did I mention my fear of heights?

I highly recommend the ziplining tour anytime you get a chance. Especially in a beautiful jungle surrounded by hard-working coffee farmers and a family of howler monkeys! Yep...we saw about 6 of them in the trees. 

After that, a truck took us to the top of the volcano, which doesn't have much of a top anymore. The top blew off a couple thousand years ago and now there's a great big, steamy hole. The volcano is supposedly dormant, but judging by the egg-smelling fumes coming out of a big hole at 175 degrees, maybe I misunderstand the meaning of the word, "dormant."

We went on a tour with Rodolfo. We didn't see many critters, probably because they are scared off by the tourists. We did see a sloth up in a tree and it was the only real animal we saw. Slow, furry, likes to nap. Pretty good life, eh?

I got my exercise for the week as I got to carry Annie on my back most of the way back up the hill. Fortunately, it was 15 degrees cooler than the city with a nice, lake-breeze. Plus the canopy shaded us and I was able to tote her without having a heart attack. Whew.

Last night, more swimming and I bought dinner for myself from a street vendor while Scott made dinner for everyone else. I had what is called a "fritas"...see photo above...which is a dish served with chicken, pork or beef with fried plaintains, a cabbage salad-like cole slaw-all served in a couple banana leaves. Enough food for a nice, filling dinner for about $3. And it was delicious. Best of all, it was my first attempt at "street food" and so far, I don't have the trots! So far...so good.

That's it...I'm tired of writing. I think we're going to a cigar factory here soon and make some cigars by hand. I have special permission from our nice landlord to smoke a cigar by her pool while we're here! I won't go inside...I promise! 

Pictures are posted! 

Ciao...The Fullers

6/18/2012 11:10:44 am

The zip lining looks spectacular - can't believe you did the upside down deal - I would have peed my pants. I am dying to read how the father and son cigar smoking went. I am predicting that the mother/daughter smoking will be tonight. Impressed with the iron stomach eating the street food. Now that is impressive.

6/20/2012 02:07:31 am

Thomas - I love reading these posts! Thank you for taking us on vacation with you.

In regards to your faith example, my husband (during his sermons) sometimes uses examples similar to those you mentioned... he will talk about how everyday we go to a doctor that we don't really know, get a piece of paper that we can't read, take to a pharmacist that has no clue who we are, get some pills, take them ... no questions asked... that's faith ... or his quick easy example, when we walk up to a chair, no one turns it upside down, pats it, pushes on the legs, makes sure it's sturdy - nope, we have faith it's going to hold our behinds up !

Have fun... going to read the next day!


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