Day 26: Ever thought about boarding down an active volcano??

Well.. you can here in Nicaragua! Volcano boarding was developed over 4 years ago on Cerro Negro, a charcoal black cinder volcano standing proudly at an elevation of 728m. Cerro Negro is active, with its last major eruption in 1999 spewing so much ash it covered the town of Leon (where we are staying), 25km away.
We reached the top of Cerro Negro after a 45 min hike, struggling to stand ground amidst ripping winds that almost swept us off our feet. At the top we were rewarded with a peek into the crater before getting our brief tutorial on volcano boarding.

Everybody put on their goggles and protective jumpsuits (volcanic surface is extremely rough and even minimal contact with exposed skin is guaranteed to leave you grazed and bleeding). Together with our specially designed boards (that were really just wooden planks), it was if we were embarking on some sort of freak experiment.

Peering down Cerro Negro, only one thing was racing through my mind – what on earth did we sign up for?? The slope looked way steeper than it did in the brochures. I have no doubts about the advertised possibility of reaching speeds over 80 km/h. Not that I wanted to… my heart was pounding as I waited for the launch…

… and off we went! Kicking up a trail of dusty ash, we slid down, down, and down, tapping our feet left and right to slow down when things felt out of control. The only thing I really remember is all the bits of rocky cinder flying into my face and filling my nostrils and ears. I could hardly breathe. The guide did warn us to refrain from screaming and to keep our mouths shut.

After an exhilarating minute, I reached the bottom. AWESOME! What a sensational ride and how I would’ve loved to repeat it again! We looked like we just worked in a coal mine, our faces covered in black ash. But how cool is that? We just boarded down a volcano! That’s a story for the grandchildren…

Hiking up with our boards
Cerro Negro’s crater
Looking like freaks!
If you enlarge this pic, you can see people at the
bottom of the slope. That’s how high we were.
Yes those tiny dots…

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4 Comments

  1. Bernice says:

    That is SO COOL!!

  2. Rafzana says:

    Wow!!!! I have to agree with Bernice!
    It's so cool you guys boarded down a volcano!!!!

  3. Chiu Siu Mui says:

    Ohhhhh….using that wooden board to slide down the volcano is hilarious!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I'm jealous… I've only boarded down snow!! In comparison that's gay!!
    Your best friend:) b

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