As I understand it, “goin’ muddin'” means taking your truck and driving it off-road through really muddy land. Apparently, for some people, this is an exceptionally good time. I don’t happen to be one of those people. I just can’t figure out what about that experience is appealing.
But on a trip to Miraflor Nature Reserve, I did it anyways. But I forgot the car part. I just took myself, sans car, muddin’. I slipped up and down muddy hills. I made tracks through long muddy stretches. I got stuck in mud that threatened to suction off my shoes. I splattered mud all over myself. And yeah, I still don’t get the whole “muddin'” thing.
So why did I do it you ask? Well, there’s not really a simple answer. You see, Miraflor has been on my list of places in Nicaragua I want to visit since we decided Nicaragua made the cut. Miraflor is a unique place in that it’s not an actual park or government reserve, but rather a collection of private land that the owners have collectively decided to open up to visitors—by hosting homestays, by opening small guesthouses, and by providing guide services. The land itself is supposedly some of the most beautiful in the country—home to orchids, butterflies, waterfalls, and cloud forest. I, unfortunately, can’t really confirm this, because we went in rainy season and this is one place where rainy season isn’t just an afternoon thunderstorm but a somewhat prohibitive rain, rain, and more rain season. It’s wet. Like soaking wet. And all the dirt is mud. And all the waterfalls are dirty, muddy waterfalls. And it’s cold (up in the mountains and all). And the showers—if there are any at all—are cold water only. So visiting in the rainy season is a wet, cold, muddy experience.
So again, why did I do it? Well, um, because no one told me it would be that muddy. Because I was hopeful that it wouldn’t be that bad. Because I’m stubborn. Because, damn it, I wanted to go to a Miraflor and I was here now in the rainy season and I don’t know if I’ll ever be here in the dry season, and I wasn’t just going to sit on my butt and not do it, you know. So I did it. And I got wet. And muddy. Very, very muddy. And I didn’t have the time of my life. But I did have an okay time. And I didn’t melt. And eventually I got clean…I think…though I can’t completely vouch for inside my ears.