Ticuantepe, Nicaragua – Parrots and Star Wars frogs

The Pan Americana passes Lake Managua, second largest lake in Central America, but polluted by the capital’s waste waters. Managua’s advantage is that you don’t have to pass it if you don’t want to go there. None of the colonial buildings of bad quality survived the many earthquakes, therefore Managua’s attractions consist of the lake and some museums. Between Managua and Masaya we turn south to Ticuantepe where the nature reserve El Chocoyero – El Brujo is situated in the rainforest. The seven kilometres long unpaved access road is made from odd black dirt that doesn’t get soggy by the rain and is hardly slippery.

Unfortunately the soil isn’t immune to washouts. They don’t disturb me too much when perpendicular, but I don’t like it when the Unimog crawls with one wheel in a parallel rivulet in absurd declination. And we never know: Will it stay like that or is it getting worse? Turning is not possible on the one-lane road anyway. And then there are the trees that especially hang low with rain. Becoming insensitive, we just pass under the branches. Only an upper arm-thick branch has to go, with it a third of the tree-top. Since the last events we have our own machete with Finish high-performance steel blade handy. That’s more suitable for the soft wood soaked with water than an axe. At least we reach an average speed of 5.6 kph.

At the park entrance we pay each 50 NIO pp for entrance fee and guide, they won’t let us go without one. I respect that one more man has a job, one more family has to eat, but otherwise those guides are useless, because without the racing guide we might have seen more animals, and it is not so difficult to find the right way. However, the main attraction is the Chocoyas, a small kind of parrot that live in small holes in a clay wall at the waterfall El Chocoyero. It is nesting season, so most of them are at home, and there is continuous coming and going. It is raining too heavily to take photos.

There are tenting areas in the park that bear a charge, but in front of the door we can camp on the parking lot without a fee, and with impressive background noises and deep darkness. Cricket and cicada make a tropical concert, but somehow I can’t get anything romantic out of it. The electric buzzing sounds like being in the transformer station of a medium city. What’s romantic there? Howling monkeys defend their territory, their bad mood, and whatever with the loudest noise in the animal world. And then there are also the Star Wars frogs, as we call them. Amazingly enough they sound as they would shoot each other with futuristic laser weapons. Oink, oink, oink-oink-oink, oink-oink. After a while they take a rest, probably to reload. Oink, oink-oink-oink-oink-oink, oink-oink…

Riserva Natural El Chocoyero – El Brujo, N 11°58’46.0’’ W 86°15’26.7’’

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.