Today we ventured off the ‘beaten path’ [Waaaay off—well given the rough road and the number of farms it felt like ‘waaay off.’ In reality our destination was only 30 kilometers from Managua] to Chocoyero – El Brujo Natural Reserve, intending to view hundreds of wild green parakeets in their natural habitat—a sandstone cliff side near the lovely 400m El Brujo (The Wizard). The waterfall, is so named because it disappears underground, leaving no trace at the bottom of the fall. We saw the waterfall and the holes
the parakeets had chiseled in the cliff side but not a single parakeet. The only parakeet we saw during our trek through the subtropical rain forest that surrounds the cliff was completely unwilling to pause long enough to be photographed. I didn’t mind too much, since for me, the footpath through the rain forest was much more intriguing than the missing parakeets.
We started with a short visit to the park guide station, where we viewed the preserved remains of all the poisonous snakes we might encounter on our trek. [Nice to know what to look out for.] Then we proceeded on our walk through the subtropical forest. The approach to the path was somewhat forbidding and definitely worth fictionalizing in a novel.
Once inside the verdant cave the temperature cooled considerably, but the humidity rose. Despite dripping with perspiration we weren’t really uncomfortable. Among the fascinating things we encountered were a couple of termite nests; a village of snake burrows [Thankfully no snakes emerged to greet us.]; gorgeous flowers; and the screams of howler monkeys. [The monkeys must have been visiting with the parakeets because we never caught sight of one of those either.]
We enjoyed the walk, despite the absence of parakeets, but I was hot and tired by the time we reached our car. Ulisses suggested we drive to La Laguna Apoyo and have lunch there. I’m very glad we took his suggestion. The Laguna (read lake) is a gorgeous spot where rains and underground springs have filled the crater of a dormant volcano. Public and private beaches dot the otherwise rocky lakeshore which rises sharply from the lake. Small hotels and private homes are scattered along the rim. We chose to eat at ?? Abuela (read Grandma’s) and were thoroughly delighted. I’ve never had fried fish as light, crispy and greaseless as I had today. I am now a huge fan of Nicaraguan cookery as well as their excellent coffee. Still weary from our walk and sated from an excellent meal we decided to return to our hotel.
Tomorrow we head to the Gran Pacifica resort, one of the communities we are considering as an investment and a retirement home. Please leave a comment and tell me about some of the gems you’ve visited, especially those with unusual names.