I’m an adrenaline junkie. Pure and simple. All rockstars are, one way or another. Sure I get my kicks when I’m on stage but I also get my kicks doing crazy things. From surfing big waves (I mean BIG waves) and back country snowboarding halfway around the world to climbing mountains in some of the most remote locations around and bungee-jumping at several thousand feet from a helicopter, I’ve been there and done that. What follows is a recount of one of these such experiences.
Leon, Nicaragua. I’d been living on the streets for a few weeks now, in a country where bakeries and ice-cream shops are guarded by men with automatic weapons. I had hit a rather low point. I had no money, no job, no way home, nothing. BUT, there was one thing I couldn’t lose. My spirit. I had heard of some incredible volcanoes surrounding the city and decided to hitch a ride over and check them out. Having met a couple of people I managed to get to Cerro Negro (The Black Hill). An active black sand volcano on the border of the town. Impressive as it was I decided something else was needed to turn this into a real adventure. I met some other people who had also ventured out to view the sites and after a little convincing we had a crew who would make the 2 hour climb up the active volcano to sand board down the other side. A few pieces of relatively flat wood was found and some gloves were obtained and so the hike began.
2 hours later we were on the peak looking down a steep, several storey drop to the bottom. The wood was grabbed, gloves donned and on a wing and a prayer I threw myself over the edge. With small black rocks spraying me in the face I hurtled down the side of this mountain at breakneck speed. This was surreal. How often do you get to hurtle down an old lava flow whilst in the background lava boils away, the constant rumble a reminder that it could all be over in an instant. Before long it was over and I was left wondering how to get back to the city when a second group arrived at the base. Not content on my single fix I convinced these people to join me in a full moon run. An hour later we were on our way back up, the sun having set by this stage and the practice rerun, though this time in pitch blackness save the full moon glowing overhead. Never in my life have I experienced something like this. It was incredible and it will be a long time before something else comes close to this unique trip. After all was said and done the people I had just gone down with gave me a lift back to the city and another long night on the streets was spent.