Hiking essentials: Kindle and Valium

Hello, it’s us, the hiking couple again. Only that from know we should come up with new attributes to define us because we are done with hiking. For a while. Or at least hiking volcanoes. “Temples in Asia”- limit has been reached and we need to look for new ways to spend our days.

The laziness (or total lack of) planning our steps further than next day has led to some inefficiencies during our travels. Now this meant four nights in León. León is a nice enough place but after you have toured all the cathedrals, done tens of takes on the popular blogger-pose known as “look what I dropped” and ate all the bagels at El Desayunazo- restaurant there is not that much to do. In order to kill a Sunday we opted in getting a hungover from Saturday’s drinking and watched way too many Game of Thrones-episodes.

leoncathedral
leonrichie
leonrichie2
leonheini

Most people come to León for the volcano boarding adrenaline experience. Our minds still thought also that we love hiking and thus we signed up for an overnight trek to El Hoyo, “The Hole” which included the volcano boarding, climbing up another volcano and camping there and swimming in a crater lake. Sounds like a piece of cake after all the kilometers and climbing we have done so far, let’s go!

Volcano boarding was something I almost did not want to do with my injured shoulder. I’d rather not roll down a rocky volcano slope with a dislocated shoulder, it’s just not something I would call fun. But after talking to a lot of people it became obvious that you can come down really, really, really slow. If you want to (and sometimes even if you didn’t).

And now I can say it’s not scary or dangerous at all! Unless you clock 70km/h. When you get to the bottom of the slope, you just want to go again, and faster.

When all the other groups headed back to León to start drinking, we picked up our backbags carrying 10 litres of water and food (which included a massive pumpkin, damn that thing must have weighed tons!) and set off for our second volcano climb. Hiking in Nicaragua is quite different to Guatemala in one aspect – heat. When it’s at least 30 degrees it’s not that fun to climb up carrying all your water for the next days. Luckily I was the one carrying Day 1 lunch so I got rid of couple of kilos right away!

Best part about this hike was our camping location. Beautiful area with beautiful views. If you don’t mind couple of horses and cows who might come in to your tent or even being trampled by cows (as had happened to one British teens group earlier) it’s a perfect setting.

 Our spot for the night

Our spot for the night

 Sunrise at the top

Sunrise at the top

 Company at the top

Company at the top

Since we are already somewhat experienced trekkers and have accumulated some equipment in terms of boots, pants and poles, it’s time to move on to some expert recommendations on what to bring with you on a hike. For us the first tips are a Kindle and Valium if your body does not think waking up at 6am and hiking all day is enough reasons to go to sleep. Not in every man’s backpack you say? Well, there’s a lot of free time during these hikes, especially if you are fast and reach the campsites early. Instead of being social and getting to know your fellow hikers, a Kindle will always offer something to do. And help you (me) to reach your reading goal for the year. And where wouldn’t you bring Valium really? Just joking, maybe.

 Dinner preparations

Dinner preparations

The next day we woke up to some delighting sounds of nature – 18-year-old British girls screaming “wake up, wake up” at 4am – and watched the sunrise over the Lake Xolotlán.

sunrise
 Not bad

Not bad

Descent and walk to the crater lake for a swim wasn’t as easy as I thought and running into the lake was a welcomed break after 3 sweaty hours in the jungle and sun.

 On our way down, lake waiting for us

On our way down, lake waiting for us

 Finally here!

Finally here!

In summary, this was a nice hike but nothing I would call a “must-do” and hiking in the heat is just not something I like very much. We have packed our hiking gear to the bottom or our bags and doubt it’ll be taken out in a while. Time to do what I do best which is:

A)    Reading at the beach
B)    Reading in a hammock
C)    Reading at the pool side
D)    Checking our budget (we are under budget, yay!)