Ometepe Island with the fab 5 and the monkeys
Trip Start Aug 03, 2007
88Trip End Aug 01, 2008
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We made it. Once there, we boarded the bus with the plan to go to a beach area called Santo Domingo but changed our minds after meeting a fellow named Jeff from Seattle. He and another couple from France were on their way to Charco Verde, a nature reserve on the island. Since he seemed to be a wise traveler and I had some interest in that area of the island, we decided to change plans and follow them. We are so glad we did! They were a fun crew to spend a couple days with.
A bit about our friends: Jeff is traveling in Central America after having been in Venezuela with his choir from Seattle who goes to countries to learn more about them (mostly countries who are not in great relations with the U.S
Ometepe Island was a peaceful change from mainland Nicaragua. The place we stayed, Charco Verde, consisted of a restaurant and housing and thatīs it! It is right on the lake and beautiful. The lake is not the best color but warm and refreshing regardless! A couple minutes from our housing is a walking trail through a forest area and this is where we encountered the howler monkeys. We stumbled upon them, at least 15 or so in the trees. It was amazing and the closest I have ever been to monkeys in the wild. They did not seem bothered by us as long as we kept a reasonable distance
The island is also famous for thousands of year old petroglyphs which are drawings carved into rocks depicting humans, animals, birds, and geometric shapes, especially spirals. We couldn'tīt find out too much more about them as there was no written information about them and our tour guides, sweet as they were, couldn'tīt tell us much more then what we could see. About our "tour guides"...they were actually a group of 4 kids. The oldest was supposedly 20 years old however she seemed to have a cognitive disability (perhaps mental retardation) so she seemed to us to be younger. The others were about 7-14 years old. We stumbled upon them when we got dropped off the bus and started hiking to find petroglyphs. They live in some of the nearby homes and wanted to accompany us. We had a lot of fun with them as they were playful, friendly, and seemed to enjoy being with us. It was so typical...the girls wanted to be in the photos we were taking and be near us while walking, and the boys were more shy and climbed trees and messed around with each other
We walked a lot that day because it was a Sunday and there was about 1 bus running on the whole island that was rarely near us. We rewarded ourselves with a swim in the pool formed by natural spring water. They even had a rope swing for good olī swinging fun
Before leaving Ometepe we heard about the category 5 Hurricane Feliz headed for Central America. At first I felt a little panicked as the weather.com map showed this gigantic storm headed towards Nicaragua. Fortunately it was moving north and we were headed south so we were out of harms way, however unfortunately the destruction it would cause meant people were going to be devastated. After spending a month in Central America and seeing the types of housing that exists in small rural communities, we have a better understanding for what a hurricane do, and how it can literally devastate an area. We definitely saw that in the U.S. with Katrina and it seems like it happens here all the time. Thank you for thinking of us and praying for our safety!