Its not too often you can hop a bus into the clouds. But that’s exactly what we did last week as an easy day trip from Granada, riding the bus from the entrance to the Volcan Mombacho Reserve directly to the shrouded top. The top remains semi-permanently in a cloud from the moist air from Lake Nicaragua hitting the steep cliffs of the volcano. This results in what they call a “cloud forest.” I just call it neat and think its fun to walk around in.
They had a lovely path that wound around the main caldera, with vistas looking both ways, into the crater and out across Lake Nicaragua and Granada. If there were no signs to tell you what you were “looking at” however, it wouldn’t matter, since they all looked just like this.
But what all this cloud cover did was make everything look creepy and incredible all at the same time. Even simple trees took on new imagery. It didn’t hurt that the constant cloud cover provided a very moist environment that epiphytes apparently love.
The end point of our hike was a series of “fumadores,” emanations of steam from the earth. Given the conditions, however, these were tough to separate from the rest of the cloud until you were right in its sulfurous path. But from this western edge of the volcano, facing the lake, you could strongly feel the wind pushing up and over the mountain, and any body parts facing the lake collected cloud, like my arm.
All in all, it was a very surreal experience, but fascinating. Here’s a few more pictures to round it out.
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