Nicki in Nicaragua

Loyal blog readers know that Nicki is my go-to second photographer. She is an excellent shooter, assistant, and all-day wedding trooper. Summer is Nicki’s vacation time since she teaches photography to high school students during the school year. Even though she was working hard with me this summer, she also made some time for a vacation. She had a friend traveling in Central America, so off to Nicaragua she went to join him. I’ve asked Nicki to write a guest post to share her journey. Enjoy!


Hello everyone! It’s Randi’s favorite sister, Nicki! I just got back from Nicaragua with some pictures I’d like to share and since Randi’s blog is so great I was excited when she asked me to guest post.  I hope you enjoy!

Lets start with some Nicaraguan cuisine, rice and beans, fried egg, salty cheese, avocado, and of course fried plantains.  It’s called “the typical” probably because it’s the most typical breakfast.

Probably my favorite night time picture I’ve ever taken.

Just a cow driven wagon on the road..  sharing is caring.

The truck we were riding in stopped when we turned off the main road and onto a dirt road.  This guy got on.  I guess he was a friend of someone.

We were on our way to go volcano boarding.  It’s just like sled riding, but instead of snow and 20F, it’s igneous rock and around 90F. Camera on the front, a board for El Hoyo on the back.

On our way to volcano boarding, we quick stopped at an active volcano. That smoke is sulfur gas.

One of my favorites…

These are the boards we used to sled down the volcano.

This is my buddy Dave.  He’s a Giants’ fan, but I can forgive him because he spoke Spanish for me during the trip.

The streets of Leon

My favorite hostel, Lazy Bones in Leon. Look at those hammocks.

This was my favorite way to pass the time.

A lot of Nicaraguan confusion. Everyone wants our business for our bus ride across town.

We stayed at a coffee farm (Finca Magdelana) where our accommodations were $3 for the night.


Photo by David Wodka. After afternoons like this, I spent a lot of time searching for the perfect hammock to bring back home with me.

The finca had a pet badger.  His name was “El Diablo”–he was so great.

They also had a raccoon as a pet.  I couldn’t get over it because raccoons are certainly not viewed as pets in the USA.

See me representing the Black and Gold?!!!

The best mango I’ve ever tasted in my life.

Another night time photo… this one was during a lighting storm when the finca lost power.

Just a scorpion I (luckily) found in my hat.

Some grainy, but very very delicious Nicaraguan chocolate.

We were waiting for a “chicken bus.” Basically it’s an old and busted school bus that was shipped to Nicaragua after America was done with it. They cram three times the normal capacity of people in there and you pay about 75 cents. They keep making stops and people keep getting on. Even when you think no one else can fit, they just jam more people in.

While I was visiting Granada, the city celebrated a patron saint festival.  The town had a horse parade.

Some Nicaraguans watching all the horses walk by.  I think there were over a thousand.

We then went to see an active crater in Masaya.

You know the part in the movie Sand Lot  where the kids look into the Beast’s yard and it’s all smokey and scary?  That’s what this crater felt like.

Then we took a flashlight guided tour or the lava tubes.  Photo by…. our guide. Not bad for only having two faint flashlights.

Here’s Pittsburgh from my plane on the way home.  The bright lights on the right upper portion was the Steelers playing the Eagles in preseason.  Vick threw 3 interceptions, we destroyed them, no big deal.

I’m honored to be Randi’s very first guest blogger.  Thanks everyone for reading/looking!!!


I'm Randi Voss, a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I specialize in photographing fun, happy weddings working throughout the wedding day as both a photojournalist and a portraiture artist. Have a look around my blog to see what I've been doing lately, both personally, and professionally, and get to know me better. View the Galleries to see some of my favorite photos. Leave a comment to let me know your thoughts. Sincerely, Randi


  • Rich Dembski

    Don’t judge a persons character by there NFL affiliation.Don’t forget your a Steeler fan and they may just as judgmental.Great photo’s,like to read about your adventure’s.Great job … poppabear.

  • Katia

    Nicki, Thank you so much. You make this trip look so much fun. The country in Panama is just like this and I am so thankful there are people like you enjoying these wonderful places! Please go to Panama with me one day so we can do this all over again and take pictures together. I don’t think I would ever do it if I was visiting family instead of being a tourist. You have no idea how jealous I am of that mango…aren’t they tasty? I miss them! And the platanos and arroz con habichelas OMG yum yum! Randi, that is the dish I want to make for you!!Totally vegan!

  • mike convery

    Fantastic photos, really enjoyed Nicki’s self portrait near the rim of the crater and the night photo when the finca lost power. The latter picture showed light in the foreground, darkness of the jungle in the middle and the light from the setting sun in the background. Nice contrast.

  • Dave

    Wow. Great photo narrative of our trip, well done indeed. I should hire you to photo journal the rest of my trip. I pay 3 plates of rice and beans daily and $3 hammock beds, you in?

  • Jessica Brenner

    Thanks for the blog and the great pictures. David abandoned his blog project pretty quickly after the beginning of his adventures in May and since then we haven’t really been able to “experience” his trip. The beard has to go! Jessica and Marty- David’s parents

  • Christina Montemurro

    There is a lot to love about Nicki. Like, for example, this blog post. I love that Nicki has made this trip to Nicaragua seem like the most amazing adventure and I love being able to pretend that I would also find it to be so, when I know in truth that three minutes in I’d be begging for air conditioning. Regardless it’s so great to be able to vicariously experience this adventure through Nicki’s photos and narrative.

    If I have to pick favorite photos, I’d have to go with the first night photo for the amazing way the colors work together, and the second night photo for its boundless depth.

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