Ali's Found A Penguin!August 11, 2017 in Nicaragua ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C
Guest Find Penguins Post – featuring Ali (Jo's sister)!
As Jo and Phil have been busy working in Leon for the past two and a half months and I’ve been out to visit, I thought I ought to write a guest spot for their travel blog. My three weeks in Nicaragua have been characterised by volcanoes (which is the norm here!) and Caribbean Islands.
The volcanoes began with a two day hike to El Hoyo with Quetzaltrekkers and Jo and Phil as the tour guides. And I have to tell you all here just how incredibly impressed I was with how fantastic they are in their volunteering role; I was particularly proud of my sister! Not only did she amaze me with her fitness and strength (everyone carries 8 litres of water each up the volcanoes as well as tents and food etc etc and Jo just skipped up. Even with my much lighter pack (still the 8 litres of water but not much else) I was having to stop every few minutes or so for a rest) but also her total professionalism, problem solving and ability to just take everything in her stride. When three of the clients discovered their tent didn’t have a fly sheet, Jo just instantly sorted things by putting the three girls in a big tent with me and she and Phil sleeping fly-less. She may have lay awake half the night waiting to be rained on but the clients would never have known she was anything but totally calm! Sadly, I didn’t get to sample their campfire cooking skills as I was recovering from a bit of ‘Nica-belly’ but I heard good things!
I got to do a second hike with Jo and Phil guiding again a couple of days later, fortunately feeling totally well this time. Telica was amazing – you actually stand right at the edge of a crater and camp just a few 100 metres away! The sulphur and smoke even cleared for just long enough for us to see lava at the bottom while we waited for sunrise. To follow that with a breakfast of s’mores (the torrential rain the night before had meant no campfire so we cooked ‘em up in the morning instead) and a lovely hike back down the mountain was perfect.
Happily for me, as volunteers, Jo and Phil get to take holiday so they knocked off for 10 days and we headed out to the Corn Islands. Proper tropical island paradise! For my last month at work, as inspiration to keep us all going until the end of term, we had a picture up on our wall of a hammock strung between two palm trees. On the Corn Islands, I spent a lot of time in, pretty much, exactly that picture! I’m looking forward to adding a photograph to the wall next to it to make my colleagues jealous. Phil’s written about what we did so I won’t say more than I loved the sea, the sand, the food, the people and the general laid-back lifestyle we enjoyed for 9 days. Bliss.
I’m off home in a couple of days’ time and Jo and Phil have another week of hiking volcanoes before getting back in Elvis and continuing their epic journey. I feel really lucky to have been able to join them for this little bit of their adventure and really glad I got to see them thriving in their volunteer roles as Nicaraguan tour guides. Thank you so much for your hospitality and for entertaining me, Jo and Phil. Ali xxRead more