Nicaragua Day 5-Volcan Mombacho & Granada

On day five we made the trip up the slopes of the 4,409 foot Volcan Mombacho to hike Sendero El Crater, an extinct crater in the cloud forests of Mombacho. The road up was very steep and was one way only with only official transports being allowed up the mountain. Vehicles were either going up or coming down.The road was much to narrow for two way traffic.

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The road up to the top of Mombacho
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The transport vehicle we rode in up to Mombacho’s  Sendero El Crater
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A cute little mangy dog that was hanging out at the bottom of Mombacho. Like most places in Nicaragua, dogs are a part of the landscape.

Coming from the Pacific Northwest, I am very familiar with the temperate rainforests that comprise the coastal range in Oregon and the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. I was struck by how much the tropical rainforest reminded me of those forests yet was so very different. The photos below are meant to illustrate just how lush these forests are

I am no expert on the flora of tropical rainforests but I do appreciate the beauty I saw around me. Many of the trees were so laden with epiphytic plants that they were creaking and groaning under the weight. Many trees that had fallen did so because they had literally tons of plants growing on them and could no longer support the weight. The picture below is an example of a tree covered in epiphytic plants.

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While we were up on the mountain we were able to observe some bird-banding and Bill Volkert got to free a Wood Thrush from a mist net in order for it to be banded.

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Bill Volkert freeing a Wood Thrush from mist netting so it can be tagged
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A captured and banded Purple-throated Mountain-gem
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Bill Volkert gets ready to release a Mountain Elaenea
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I got to release a Mountain Elaenea too!
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A view from the trail across the Sendero El Crater. The drop from our trail was a long way down…we couldn’t even see the bottom
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The sign at the top of Mombacho

When we left Volcan Mombato, we returned to Granada for lunch and tehn a few of us went down to Lake Nicaragua and drove along the beach looking for birds.

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The first birds we saw were Cattle Egrets in a field across from the lake and I was able to get a quick picture of one before they flew off.
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This Great Egret posed nicely in the waves of the Lake Nicaragua shoreline
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It was an afternoon of white herons and egrets, including this Snowy Egret sticking a landing
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And the theme of white continues with this juvenile Little Blue Heron
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Another look at the Little Blue Heron
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A Little Blue Heron with a nice catch
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Another Snowy Egret fishing
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A spotted Sandpiper that really threw us for awhile due to its very yellow legs that did not quite line up with its plumage

There was a lot of action down on the beach that was not bird related.

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A man bicycles down the beach with some vegetation of some sort
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This horse was running free on the beach. You can see trash all around it. Nicaragua was covered in trash, it was everywhere!
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Cattle being led to the lake to drink
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More cattle drinking accompanied by their handler
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The Bougainvillea surrounding the pool at the Colonial Hotel in Granada that we stayed at
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A closer look at the Bougainvillea

The following pictures show the market in the town center in Granada in the evening.

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The beautiful church that was in the center of Granada just a couple of blocks from our hotel. The picture was taken at dusk.






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