Tuesday, 26th August
Another lazyish morning followed by coffee, eggs, hash browns and toast before I arranged a guide to take me up to a viewpoint halfway up the Maderas volcano, the dormant one of the two. I opted to only go to the viewpoint and not to the top as the latter meant a 6-7 hour round trip through hot dense jungle with the only salvation a freshwater lake at the top. This was tempting but I knew that my body would not thank me for the climb so the viewpoint it was to be. My hostel arranged a guide for me, 15 year-old ‘Norben’ who lives with his family next to the hostel. This is a way for them to make some extra cash and I gave him US$10 for his time. The hike was pleasant, with magnificacnt scenery to take in along with ‘not that easy spot’ wildlife, mainly birds but I did see one snake, a small green snake that dashed across our paths. We could also hear the howler monkeys in the distance with their ferocious cries. I won’t lie, at points in the hike I did wonder when we would get there as my legs and lungs were starting to pack in. At this point I was so glad that I did not undertake the full ascent of the volcano. I think this travelling has made me less fit if anything although it was a step climb to be fair and I was trying to keep up with a 15 year old.
Once at the viewpoint I could see the whole island to the north, with a stunning view across to the Volcan Concepcion, the active one of the two, from the side of the Volcan Maderas, with the lake all around. After taking the obligatory photos of the view we began the descent, thankfully much easier than the way up and got back to our hostel within three hours of leaving. The rest of the day was spent at the ‘Hostel Santa Cruz’, our base, reading and relaxing and sheltering from the rain that swept over us in the evening accompanied by a spectacular display of lightning.