When we arrived in Esteli on a Saturday afternoon we were invited to join an outing to Somoto Canyon for a double birthday celebration the next day. We were delighted to seize the opportunity! Somoto is a small town North of Esteli close to the border with Honduras; on previous trips it had always seemed too much of a challenge to visit.
On Sunday morning at 10am we all clambered into two vehicles, we three travelled with our friend Janie and Christophe, from Switzerland, who works for an NGO elsewhere in Nicaragua. Five other staff members and friends made up the party including the Birthday girl!
Just before midday we arrived at Somoto. We were introduced to Henry, who runs Somoto Canyon Tours and Brian from UK who is supporting the development of the tourist experience.
First we had a convivial celebration lunch with wine supplied by Brian in honour of his own birthday!
Then we were given two options to explore the canyon. Not really knowing what was involved and not feeling up to leaping off rocks we three opted for the easy version! Everyone else took the more challenging route!
We had a wonderful time!
Ready to get wet, equipped with life jackets and a dry bag for cameras, we drove and then walked to the river where a rowing boat was waiting to take us to the canyon. There we each clambered onto, or into, our tube and were towed downstream by a young man. Brian waded and then swam alongside us. The canyon got narrower and the walls rose high above us.
Alan and Brian swam on further to meet the others, they said. Really it was because they wanted to do the jumping. It looked scary – Tricia and Jan sat on a rock and watched everyone jumping off a rock into the water, delighted that we didn’t have to! They all survived! and then they had to swim back to us.
After swimming and tubing back to the boat we all tramped back to the vehicles admiring the views on the way.
Dry and changed we were ready for the next event – the arrival of the Marimba Band for more birthday celebrations!
It was one of the best days out, partly because we hadn’t planned or expected it and, most of the time, had no idea what was going to happen next.
Thanks Janie, Henry, Brian and all the others for making it happen!