To be honest I had no clue what Volcano boarding was until recently. By recently I mean at the start of my trip when I spent two weeks traveling with Jessica and Dani. They told me that when I made it to Leon I had to go Volcano Boarding. As soon as they explained to me what it was I was petrified, but knew I had to do it.
So what is Volcano boarding? Volcano boarding is kind of like snow boarding except you are doing it on a Volcano. You cannot just do it on any Volcano; it has to have loose gravel and have a slope of a certain angle that will allow you to slide down. In Nicaragua’s case it’s the still active famous Cerro Negro. Things like this are not things I normally do (I am such a chicken), but I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.
After spending a week in Granda being entertained by Traca Traca’s I finally made it to Leon and knew the big day was coming. The good thing is I promised SuperXicana and Marc (travel buddies) that we would do it together. We were supposed to leave Granada together, but instead she went back to Isla de Ometepe with Marc for a few days and then would meet me in Leon. I kind of wanted to go back to Isla de Ometepe too after having a great scandalous night there, but knew I had to move forward. Waiting for SuperXicana and Marc gave me a great excuse to avoid going volcano boarding for a few days. In the mean time I got my teeth cleaned for $9 and enjoyed the many sights Leon has to offer.
They finally made it to Leon and the next morning we went to the tours office. We asked a few questions to make sure we would be safe, they explained to us that it’s safe and that they offer protective gear. The funny thing is of all the protective gear they offer they do not offer a helmet. They also told us we could go down the Volcano full speed standing up on a sand board or sitting on a toboggan. We made our choices (all 3 of us sitting down) and signed up for the 2pm tour.
A little bit after 2pm we were making the hour drive to the volcano. Once we were there we were given a backpack with our gear and our board and started making the hike up the volcano. Turned out to be an exhausting hour hike up loose gravel and rocks. The views though were amazing all around. Once we made it to the top reality hit and I was fucking scared. The slope was fucking huge and steep. The guide gave us instructions on how to manage the board “if you want to go fast lean back, if you want to slow down lean forward, if you want to break put your heals in the gravel”. I thought okay that is easy enough. We put on all our gear and made our way to the edge. I couldn’t believe I was about to do this. I waited for a few people to go and make sure they were not killing themselves.
It was my turn I sat on my board and told the guide I was scared he told me I would be fine and just go. I start scooting the board down little by little until finally I was sliding down. I was screaming “OMG THIS FUN… EEEEEeeee” then the excitement turned into a million thoughts of fear in my head. “HOLY SHIT I AM GOING TO FAST… I NEED TO SLOW DOWN LEAN FORWARD JAIME YOU ARE GOING TO DIE”. I lean forward and nothing I am still going super fucking fast. I am nearing the bottom and feel like I am about to flip forward on this damn board. Next thought is “OKAY JAIME START BREAKING OR YOU ARE GOING TO DIE”. I put my foot down on the gravel to break and BAM. I have no clue what the hell happen I am rolling on my side down the fucking volcano. I can not stop my self I am falling full speed. I am thinking “OMG THIS HURTS A LOT PLEASE STOP ROLLING JAIME” and then after I have no clue how many flips I stop. I get up and am alive but hurting everywhere.
I have gravel in my mouth, nose, ears, nails, hair and all over. I thank god for the gear and start taking it off to access the damage. My leg is bleeding from a few scratches and my shoes bottom is falling off. I then remember I had my camera in my backpack. I take it out and its also covered in gravel and all scratched up. I try turning it on and fuck it doesn’t even open. I try again and it slowly opens. I am upset about the camera but was happy I finished volcano boarding and did it successfully (I was alive so yes successfully).
Looking back I am so happy I did it. It was so worth it and just an awesome experience. I am also happy to inform all of you my camera still works. It is now ghetto and doesn’t allow me to zoom and sometimes I have to turn it off and on a few times to make it work. I don’t mind that at all because I do not want to spend $150 on another point and shoot. Hopefully it last me until I get home and then I can see if I can maybe get a basic DSLR. I am starting to enjoy a lot taking pictures. So have you ever gone Volcano Boarding, how was your experience? Would you ever do it if you haven’t yet?