The difference between a rainforest and a cloudforest is that it’s usually raining in a rain forest, and flat – like the Amazon. A cloud forest is usually on a mountain so high up it’s sits mostly in clouds all day, and gathers moisture from the air without it having to rain. This is Maderas Volcano on the island of Ometepe in Nicaragua. One of the hardest hikes I’ve ever done – hot and humid and 5,000 ft of slippery,  muddy, am I in the Lord of the Rings sequel? fun.  But it was mysterious and beautiful and I couldn’t help but to stop and gawk at all the little things.

Climbing the volcano high into the clouds (and thus into a microclimate) we walked under chandeliers made of dripping moss and ferns.

my $5 lunch – that fish was fresh and delicious

 

The circus was so bad – it was good. And it only cost 85 cents to get in. The circus consisted of a creepy dude on a trapeze, 2 scary clowns, a girl in a skating outfit hanging from a triangle, and a girl in a bikini (with fringe) twirking with what we could gather was her young daughter. Apparently twirking was not invented by Miley Cirus, but has been going on in these parts for centuries.

the trapeze guy (more swinging on a rope than a trapeze) was hitting the roof of the tent on his upswing

I never did see any chickens on the ‘chicken bus’, except for the pollo taco the woman was trying to sell me from the basket on her head.

Here’s a great idea……..

Plastic bottles get stuffed with non-burnable, non-compostable trash, and then used as building materials for a bilingual school.

Benches and tables are made, as well as the foundations for walkways. Realistically it’s too expensive to ship all the garbage off the island to recycle, so why not disperse the landfill mass and use it for building materials? Seriously, why don’t we all do this?!

Lots of difference transportation options. There’s the taxi/minivan, or the chicken bus. On this particular morning, I caught a ride with two Dutch families that had bought a suburban in Guatemala, and a Canadian surfer dude with his lovely German lover – heading back to Costa Rica after getting his passport stamped. The parents were very cool, spoke multitple languages with the kids, and were hip to the world music scene.  When the 9 year old asked me if I knew : ” 50 cent change in your pocket” I didn’t think he was talking about 50 Cent – until the song came on via mom’s ipod over the speakers. Blasting. As I rap dance with the kids in the back seat with our hats all thugged out past palm trees and horse drawn carts at the foot of volcanoes, I relish in the clash of cultures.

bonus transportation slide…….. on the chicken bus to Masaya – getting fancy with a video monitor!! nice.

 

 

 

 

 

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