Friday, January 23, 2015

A Visit from Friends Part 3 | Campo Alegria, San Juan de Orient & Masaya Volcano

Day 6 was a sick day for the Butlers (that's us), but our friends managed to make it to our pre-booked tour at Isla Ometepe. If you know them, please ask to see the photos, because they're gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

Day 7 we left the guesthouse we had rented at Campo Alegria and as we did John and Jeremy took some pictures of the farm. From our understanding it's a sugar plantation (?) and Jeremy and Emily were checking out the equipment and loving the farm landscape there. It's in their blood. The place is stunning.

We made our way to San Juan de Orient, a lovely artisan pottery village. 

Jeremy caught a came of futbol and became a local hero.

Lilian saw a chicken she wanted to follow, so we followed a chicken.

The chicken lived beside a woman that made clay vases the size of Lilian and she let her play with the clay, which was amazing. Nevermind Playdoh, this is how you educate your children.

Then Jeremy shared his water with some kids and that made him the coolest guy alive. 

On our way home we made it to Masaya. Technically we had arrived too late to be allowed in and we thought we could make the night tour, but we learned that you need to make reservations if you want a night tour (whoops) and got allowed in for a short time, anyway. Cue us gawking at Masaya Volcano at sunset. Glorious.

Life around the house. Jeremy built this while the kids were sleeping. Because when you're a parent you don't know what to do with yourself when kids are sleeping. It's true. 

This is Lilian pouting. She pouts now. 

The next day we stopped by the orphanage (the one that we have friends at) and played with the kids for an hour or two. 

And then got ice cream. 

That night, John and Jeremy also visited Masaya Volcano to do the night tour properly and came home with some crazy stories - something about a guy named Danny that ended up hitching a ride with them, something else about a motorcycle they pulled out of a ditch, a talkative man from Saskatchewan and pictures of lava. It sounded like the kind of adventure you have when you're in your twenties and your kids aren't with you. Ask them about it. Also John's pictures are so good that he is saving them for his blog, so I'll post the link when they're available. Photographers, am I right?

The end.

A Visit from Friends Part 2 | Mombacho Volcano & San Juan del Sur

Our next adventure on day 4 was out to Mombacho Volcano, where we opted to drive our own vehicle up the volcano (we had rented an SUV, totally recommend it!). You can read a full review on how to Mombacho right, at this TripAdvisor review I wrote. It's pretty thorough! 

But, because it IS a volcano, the attendants at the entrance did a full inspection of our car and noticed that we had a bit of a leaky tire - which meant we got to go exploring to find a "Vulcanization", which is a garage, except also a house where people live. A lot of signage in Nicaragua is via scrap tire (and why not?) so we followed some direction down the road and found the home of Danny Jr, a 9 year old who filled our tires for C$26, which is about $1 USD. His mom came out to check on things and told us he was "her little worker" with a smile full of pride. If our kids ever choose to quip about chores, I'll be reminding them of Danny Jr.

Once we had air in our tires we went up Mombacho - halfway is a plantation for Cafe Las Flores, Nicaragua's equivalent to Starbucks, which offers a farm tour (didn't take it), and a canopy tour (totally rocked it). You can see some pictures from the canopy tour at our instagram.

Day 5 we went to San Juan del Sur, because it's totally worth the 3 hour drive, gorgeous en-route scenery and all.

Once we got there we set up camp & the babies got right to owning the beach. Below is a photo of Everlea's crawl marks - a baby equivalent to footprints. There was lots of mud-play and baby Jude even got a mouthful of sand, thanks to baby Everlea's bullying antics. Poor Jude. 

There's sort of a free-for-all hippie camp I mentioned in another post that we just sort of jumped on board to. BYOH. 

And because we decided to stay overnight in a town we thought was nearby (it totally was a 2 hour drive away... but worth it), we got to see sunset at Maderas Beach. Crazy beautiful.