In both of my visits to La Mariposa Spanish School and EcoHotel I’ve managed to luck out with a night hike 🙂 They are not part of the usual activity timetable and are scheduled when there is enough interest and willing guides available.
2 years ago we hiked through the pineapple farms to a lookout from which we could see the lights of Managua.
Despite being an unbelievably windy evening, we lit a bonfire and the guides broke out biscuits and marshmallows (which we toasted in the fire) to make the North American classic – s’mores. Along the way there and back, both the local guide and Philip Careless (who knows everything there is to know about things that skitter around at night) were finding critters to show us and explained a little about the night life along our journey. It was awesome fun!
This time, we did a short hike into the Cañada Honda – a new 140 acre private reserve established by La Mariposa and their associated NGO, Asociación Tierra, to prevent deforestation and provide a safe haven for wildlife. The goal was to see the red glow from the very active Masaya Volcano, the lights of Masaya city, and to do a bit of stargazing.
Unfortunately, it was a full moon…
This meant that a) the glow from the Masaya Volcano was somewhat overshadowed by the very bright light from the moon, and b) it was quite difficult to give a tour of the night sky given we could only see the very brightest stars.
Still – it was a fun time and I didn’t do too badly with my night sky tour even though I’m a southern hemisphere astronomer and therefore not completely familiar with the sky I was seeing.
It was also incredibly windy for the first time in weeks. Must coincide with night hikes…