Off the Island: Tasting Flight


“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”― Leonardo da Vinci

 

How true! I love flying. When I was a teenager, I took flying lessons. I regret that I didn’t finish my lessons because we had to make an emergency landing near a corn field. Scared me to death! I’ll leave the piloting in the hands of a fearless and competent person.

But, now that our new La Paloma airport is open, I am thrilled to share photos of my inaugural flight Off the Island: Tasting Flight.

I could have walked to our new airport, but it was a very hot day, so Ron delivered me to the custom’s house on our moto.
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Want to see more? Keep reading.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Cities


Where’s My Backpack Travel Theme this week is Cities. We just returned from traveling through Ecuador for a month and the cities are spectacular. Here are a few of my favorite shots.

We huffed and puffed our way up a ladder to the rooftop upon arriving in Quito. With an altitude of 2,800 meters, we dizzily watched the twinkling lights of the city below and the beacon of light from the Basilica de Voto Nacional.
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More city photos. Don’t leave yet!

The Volcanoes of Nicaragua


While I am traveling through Ecuador for the month of May, enjoy these photos of Nicaragua’s majestic volcanoes.

Please know that I haven’t fallen into a volcano, only off the blogging radar for a month. See you all at the end if the month. I can’t wait to share my travels, photos, comparisons, and thoughts of Ecuador.
Volcano Consiguina
Vulvan Cosiguina More beautiful volcano photos. Keep reading.

Travel Theme: Ready, Set, Glow!


Where’s my backpack? has a weekly travel theme. This week’s travel theme is GLOW and I have the perfect piece for this theme.

El Cerro Negro volcano in Northern Nicaragua is one of Central America’s youngest volcanoes. He ( Spanish El means a masculine volcano) was born in April 1850 and continues to be one of Nicaragua’s most active volcanoes. Currently his status is “restless”. His last major eruption was in 1999.
Eruption Cerro Negro

More glowing photos. Keep reading.

Weekly Photo Challenge: A Bird’s Eye View of Nicaragua


The Weekly Photo Challenge is On Top. Whether you are a bird or a cat on a hot tin roof, the sights above Nicaragua are spectacular.

Come fly with me.Much more to see.Read on.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Four Three-Picture Stories from Ometepe


The Weekly Photo Challenge is: Three  In this challenge we are to tell a story in three pictures, increasing the zoom to hone in on the subject.

Hello World

The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it. ~Arnold H. Glasow 

Keep on reading. There are three more story pictures.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers of Lava


Ometepe Island, Nicaragua has two majestic volcanoes…Concepcion, the active volcano and Maderas, the dormant volcano.  Layers of lava, ash, clouds, and foliage add to the splendor of the ever-changing layers like a kaleidoscope.
kaleidescope explosion

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ruta de Evacuacion


The Great Escape? Thanks to a comment on my blog by Frizztext, I have to add another Weekly Photo Challenge to my interpretation of escape.

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 7.31.48 PMYou see, we have an active volcano in our backyard. Ruta de Evacuacion signs are posted all over the island in case Vulcan Concepcion decides to wake up from her three-year hibernation. Yes! You heard right! It’s only been three years since she erupted. These evacuation signs are hysterical. They are posted in every business, along the roads, and even in the cattle fields.

Ron and I are ready, though! We figure that we can kayak off the island until the coast is clear. When Concepcion erupts, she burps ash. It’s scattered like a thin dusting of dirty snow over everything. The great escape? We’re prepared!

Where ya gonna go when the volcano blows?
ruta de evacuation copy

 

What if she BLOWS?


Moyogalpa, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

March 8th, 2010 started like every other day in Moyogalpa. The symphony of roosters ushered in the day, the March winds howled, and early risers hawked their tortillas throughout the streets. Yet, the beginning of a tranquil, sun drenched day turned dark and ominous when Vulcan Concepcion rumbled, then explosively burped ash and gas plumes 2,100 meters high into the hot, dry, blue sky. Powdery ash blanketed nearby communities like baby powder sprinkled on a new-born.

Boooom in Moyogalpa!

On subsequent days, the volcano gained momentum. On March 12, Washington VAAC, issued a volcanic ash advisory reporting an ash cloud eruption that reached 10,000 ft. By the middle of March, the Nicaraguan geological service INETER described Concepcion as ” practically in a full eruptive stage”, with 34 explosions between March 18-19.

The Nicaraguan government sent army and navy units to Ometepe Island to prepare for evacuation. Yet, strangely, the locals went about their days hawking tortillas, as if this were an everyday occurrence. They swept the ash from their doorsteps with their twig brooms, and waited patiently for the throngs of soldiers to exit their beloved island.

Did they know something we didn’t? Shortly after all the fuss, feeding an army of disaster responders, and stuffing their bellies with homemade tortillas, Concepcion decided enough was enough. Her attention seeking activity had been rewarded, and she lulled herself back into a peaceful slumber. Until the next time!

Vulcan Concepcion is a highly active volcano with a rich historical record of explosive eruptions. The Global Volcanism Program reports a series of 22 eruptions ( mostly ash and gas), since 1974. See report here.

Several Nicaraguan websites promoting tourism mention, “The Concepcion is an active volcano and its most recent eruption took place in 1957.” It’s true that the islanders confirm, “No need to panic. These minor eruptions happen all the time.” Daily life continues uninterrupted, with only a few minor inconveniences, like sweeping the powdery ash from their doorsteps.

Ash from the 2007 eruption.

Am I worried? I’m not obsessed with the anticipation of the next eruption. I have my twig broom ready, a few heavy-duty surgical masks to place over our mouths and noses, and a kayak to make a quick escape, (hopefully before we succumb to deadly gases). What more can I do?

2007 eruption from Moyogalpa

Life goes on as normal. I continue to rake mangoes, harvest fruit, and enjoy a fulfilled and stress-free life on Ometepe Island. Until the next time!