Before leaving on The Journey, I was looking at a good route, places to see, things to do, and by fluke, I saw a video on Facebook just a few weeks before departing, of some people going Volcano Boarding. Volcano Boarding?! Is that right?! That sounds unreal! Looked into where it was, expecting it to be somewhere in South America, but sure enough its just outside of Leon, Nicaragua. Needless to say, Leon, Nicaragua made it into the trip route instantly.
In the previous blog, upon arriving in Nicaragua, and getting settled in Leon, I went around and found a great spot to book the Volcano Boarding tour. Good price, good reviews, good equipment, say no more. Woke up bright and early, went next door to fill up on Gallo Pinto and eggs, and before I could even do my intro to my video … the tour shuttle bus arrive, early! Unheard of in Latin America. Hopped in, we picked up my 3 friends from France, and we all headed off on the bumpy path towards Cerro Negro.
To my knowledge, Leon, Nicaragua is the only place in the world, that currently offers volcano boarding tours so this is a pretty unique experience. A enjoyable 30 minute drive, 5 dollar entrance into the park, and a few more curves we arrived at the dusty parking lot, unloaded the boards and jump suits, and gave me a few minutes to shoot me intro to my video of Volcano Boarding in Leon, Nicaragua. Got my board, got my mechanics jump suit, and got my much needed goggles and started up the path. The hike alone is worth the money for the tour. Its short, but well groomed and winds its way through the metamorphic rock up and onto the edge of the volcano. From there, you can get a view of Honduras in the distance, and as we reached the top of the volcano, you can see the pacific as well. An incredible view, a terrific hike, and we haven’t even done the main thing we came here for!
No pun intended, we jumped into the jump suits, got the bandana over the mouth to protect the teeth, and threw on the goggles. Ready to rock! Literally.
As I had the camera, and was setting up the GoPro, one of the French girls went first. Being only about 5 foot flat, and maybe 90 pounds, she had trouble getting started and shuffled her way down the mountain. As she passed the guide halfway down the volcano, I lined up, ready to take aim at setting a volcano boarding speed record! I got situated on the board, started up the GoPro, and just had my fingers crossed that it would record. I then started to slide left and right and as my speed increased, I started to lose a little control! The path you are supposed to take, veers off to the left, and I had enough speed to blow past that, and actually use it as a jump! I flew over the berm, and felt every bump on the way down as I reach about 65 kph down the side of a volcano!
As I approached the flat bottom of the volcano, I started to approach the French girl in front of me but happily I was on a different path, and started to slow as the slope flattened out.
Travellers Tip: Position yourself at the back of the board, feet inside, and pull back on the ropes. You will fly. Remember, you only do it once, so make it worth it!
What an experience! As I reached the bottom and took off my goggles, I was absolutely thumping with adrenaline. The other girls came puttering down the mountain and we all got together at the bottom. A couple of them had a great experience, and the little one who started out first, not so much. She hadn’t got much speed and had shuffled her way down the mountain. Me? I was completely buzzing!
Volcano Boarding. Just a perfect example of one of the beauties of travelling. Unless you are born in Leon, Nicaragua, you have to get out and explore to get rushes like this! Well worth it.