Day 5: ziplining

Today we rode in a 4wd truck up to Mombacho to go ziplining through a coffee  plantation . It was a great way to see more of the town and the size of the churches amazed us all. For a small town there are so many churches and they are all huge!  The cemetery too was an eye opener for the girls; the tombs were very impressive and they seemed more so because they were all white and almost shone in the bright sunshine. One of the girls asked me how it was that such poor people could afford such grand tombs.  I think the sign over the gate answers that question “Estaremos siempre con el Senor”. Interestingly, we haven’t seen much evidence of nativity scenes, which I had expected, but the churches certainly seem well-frequented as there are always people in them quietly praying.  We have also seen two weddings and a funeral!
So back to zip lining… The truck turned off the main road and we chugged up the hill past coffee plantations, rickety houses made of wood and corrugated iron, others that looked better built of stone,  gardens planted with flowers and vegetables,  the local school and the church. Life is clearly not easy up here but to me it is preferable to the narrow smelly streets around the market where people live on top of each other and the homeless sleep in doorways.
Once at the top we were soon harnessed up and ready to go. Our  guides, Eric and Mario made the wires bounce up and down so that we swung rather than glided down the first two short wires. Shrieks and delighted cries rung out through the canopy as we swung and zipped along. There were also a couple of extras challenges; a shuffle wire  – three at a time “walked” across and back while Eric bounced the wire up and down to try to make us fall off!  There was also a Tarzan swing and, to finish the morning off,  the vertical free fall. This was a 15m controlled “fall”, carefully managed by our two skilled guides.  The giant ants in the trees kept us amused as we waited out turn between wires as did the views through the trees and a poisonous spider pointed out to us by the guides sent some into mild hysteria.  “It´s only a baby,” said Mario “When it´s bigger, it will hurt!” Very reassuring!  Fortunately we didn´t see any more!
The afternoon was spent exploring a little more and doing some planning and preparation. I walked  along to one of the other churches, the Iglesia De Mercedes,  and found that you could climb the bell tower. What an amazing view of the rooftops,  the cathedral standing out tall and proud resplendent in the late afternoon sun, and we could see Mombacho overlooking the town.  There was a funeral going on in the church but as the entrance to the tower was off to one side we could go in without disturbing. From above we could see the funeral carriage which was pulled by a horse and adorned in black finery.

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