Stop Leaning Against the Wall…It’s Wet!

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We have returned from our first trip to Northern Nicaragua where we slept snuggled under two heavy blankets, visited coffee farms and cigar factories, hiked through the Black Jungle (Selva Negra), and talked with a lot of cowboys…real cowboys!

I am overflowing with stories of the wild North. Until I compose my tales, enjoy the slideshow of the city of murals in Esteli, Nicaragua. I think Banksy was writing about Esteli in his quote below.

Imagine a city where graffiti wasn’t illegal, a city where everybody could draw wherever they liked. Where every street was awash with a million colors and little phrases. Where standing at a bus stop was never boring. A city that felt like a party where everyone was invited, not just estate agents and barons of big business. Imagine a city like that and stop leaning against the wall- it’s wet.


Nicaraguan Island Declared World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO

Press Release – Nicaraguan Island Declared World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Last year, Ometepe Island was declared a world Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. With this classification comes assistance and funding for projects that will enhance and protect the fragile and unique ecosystem and bountiful heritage of the island.

“Ometepe Island will become a world example of how human beings can live in harmony with nature and generate economic development without creating a negative impact on the environment.” I am lovin’ that quote. I hope to set an example of how human beings can live in harmony with one another and nature through peaceful co-existence.

Somoto Canyon

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Somoto Canyon was only discovered in 2004 by a group of Czech Republic and Nicaraguan scientists. Ron told me that when he was in Geography class in 4th grade, he cried because he thought everything had already been discovered. To appease Ron’s sorrow, we are headed to Northern Nicaragua tomorrow to discover for ourselves this unique and unusual area.

After this magnificent discovery, Nicaragua declared Somoto Canyon a National Monument and it has great tourist potential. In February, Cory and his friends meandered down the Coco River on inner tubes, through narrow gorges with cliffs extending upwards 120-150 meters. They jumped into deep, refreshing pools and scaled the cliffs searching for bromeliads, orchids, and iguanas that inhabit the crevices.

Although we can’t float the Rio Coco in the wet season due to flash floods (It’s dangerous at this time of the year), we are going to explore Matagalpa, Jinotega, and Esteli. These are the lands of expansive coffee plantations, black pottery production, mountainous terrain, pine forests, and former Contra territory.

I’m reading “The Death of Ben Linder”, and I hope to visit his grave in Matagalpa. I’ll return in a week with new stories, lots of photos, and a greater appreciation for the unique country in which we live. Meanwhile, enjoy Cory’s float trip through Somoto Canyon.

See you in a week!

City of Angels

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Paddling around the corner of our small inlet, we discovered the city of angels. Hundreds of Cattle Egrets, Cormorants, and Great-Tailed Grackles gathered in two trees along the shore to usher in the puesta del sol. It reminded me of the movie, The City of Angels, where the fallen angels clustered every evening to greet the sunset.

In observing their winter ritual, there appeared to be a hierarchy of the species of birds. The Cattle Egrets nested together in the middle of the trees. The Cormorants perched on the thickest branches among the Cattle Egrets and the Great-Tailed Grackles segregated themselves from the mass of Cattle Egrets by perching in the tops of the trees. It was kind of like lunchtime in a southern high school after forced integration.

The chattering was incessant. Fights broke out for the best positions.  Feathers and bird droppings dusted the trees, resembling a freak snowstorm in the tropics. Late comers circled the area and honed in on a branch, only to be shoved off by dozens of flapping wings. Then, the late comers would renew their flight patterns, circle several times, and try another less populated spot.Chaos reigned!

Puesta del Sol

Yet, when the sun slowly drifted toward the horizon, an eerie silence engulfed the crowd of onlookers. We spun the kayak to the west to see why the squawking and chattering halted suddenly. In awe of the spectacular display, we knew one thing for sure. The City of Angels had the best seats in La Paloma. We can’t wait to see what gifts tomorrow’s sunset brings to the City of Angels.