Well, it's official, ladies and gentlemen. Heaven, it turns out, does exist. All those bible camp picture books I read as a child, however, were wrong. There are no winged angels playing harps, nor are their white-robed choirs singing the Alleluia Chorus. I didn't see God personally, nor did I see St. Peter, but given the context, I rather doubt they are old white men with beards. Heaven, it turns out, is right here in Nicaragua, and it looks like this:
This is the Laguna de Apoyo, a crater lake in the heart of an extinct volcano, surrounded by rainforest. I went there this last weekend with two of my roomates, Sirena (from Spain) and Alta (from Holland). Can you guess which one is which?
We stayed at a little posada on the lakeside staffed by the most pleasant people God ever created. I can't describe how wonderful this place is, with it's cute little wooden cabins, beautiful flowers, burbling fountains, hardwood decks, gorgeous restaurant, and super-awesome swimming docks. In fact, I am sort of hesitant to post pictures of it because there is no way on earth that a digital image could capture the way the water absorbed the sunlight and then reflected it back up to the surface in splintery rays of light that looked like they were coming up from the bottom. The water is as clear as tap water, but so deep that it reflects the green from the surrounding vegetation and the blue from the sky and is all aquamarine and lovely. Sigh. I had such a good time.
We went swimming out into the middle of the lake on the first day, (that's me, and see those itsy bitsy little specks off in the distance to the right? Right by the shoreline? Probably not, since they're so tiny, but that's Alta and some Danish guy who decided to join us for our swim. Soooo far out!)
On the second day when it was much nicer (blue skies! in the rainy season!!), we just splashed around on inner tubes and in rafts, jumped off the dock, and then we rowed this inflatable raft out into the lake and promptly capsized it. As none of us could stop laughing long enough to muster the strength to jump back in the damn thing, we had to swim back to shore dragging the silly thing with us. Also, we sat around and read our books, got totally and completely sunburned, drank beers, danced salsa, ate delicious food, took naps, and basically lazed around. ¡Qué vida más rica!
And here, apropos of absolutely nothing, is a picture of the cutest little mushrooms I've ever seen anywhere. The biggest among them is no larger than the eraser on a #2 pencil. Is this a great country or what!