16.01.2006 27 °C
Masaya Volcano, or 'Popogatepe' (mountain that burns) according to the indians, is one of Nicaragua's most interesting and beautiful natural phenomena. One of the craters, Santiago, was showing gaseous activity when we arrived at the national park in the morning. According to the brochure, Masaya volcano was an object of veneration by the indigenous people during the pre-columbian age. They believed the eruptions were signs of anger from the gods and to appease them, they offered small children and maidens as sacrifices. Later, the Spaniards 'baptized' the volcano and placed a cross on the crater lip to exorcise the evil spirits in the 16th century. The last eruption was in 1772. Santiago was formed 80 years later.
It was quite a sight to be so close to the opening of Santiago. We walked up to see the other crater which is now covered with lush vegetations. One can't help but feel insignificant coming face to face with nature like this.
After a healthy dose of sulphur gas, we arrived at the Masaya market for some tourist shopping. In one hour, I managed to buy a pair of $2 earrings made of shell, a wristband, a skillfully-crafted wooden box that shaped like a cat and best of all, a hammock! Just an average quality one. Compared to the $95 high-quality hammock I purchased in Granville Island, Vancouver, this one is well worth it. My most expensive purchase of this trip - $10.
Before going back to the hotel, we stopped at a local market that shaped like a maze, with stores that sell everything from household, clothings, toys etc. The stores were so close to each other that I felt suffocated just trying to get out. Chris was smart to lay down on top of our van and absorbed the nica sun. I would do the same thing next time.
Back to Alhambra, me and Tina went for lunch and then checked out the jewelery vendors. I headed for an internet cafe to download the pictures from my camera. Then we all went for dinner at a spacious but crowded pizzeria. With the right people, even average food can turn into great conversations and good time. By now, we are ready for a little clubbing!
We managed to pick up Omar and Micha on the patio of our hotel, AND Karin who had already retreated to spending the night watching movies. Omar suggested that we should all go pick up Giocondo. The next minute, about ten of us were waiting outside her house. Who could refuse such an invitation?
Our first stop was an empty local bar playing latin pop and reggaeton. Next, El Club, the spot with a moroccan vibe popular with foreigners and cool locals. It felt like nyc here, except the price of drinks were less than half. So we ordered a few caprinia, enjoyed the atmosphere and even danced a little. On our way back, Omar danced along Gioconda's singing on the empty nica streets. What a night.