A Monkey Tree
Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
147Trip End Apr 28, 2010
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After leaving Granada, John and I made our way to Ometepe Island -- a very large island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, formed by two volcanos. After settling into our hotel in one of the smaller towns on the island, John and I went for a walk in the nearby park of Chaco Verde. We hiked through a nice forest along the lake, and arrived at a beautiful isolated beach. We were distracted, however, by the sound of howler monkeys, so we set off to see if we could find the monkeys themselves. Sure enough, at the end of one trail, we found a monkey tree. There were no fewer than a dozen monkeys climbing around in the tree, swinging, snacking, chattering, and doing the things that monkeys do. They seemed undisturbed by our presence on the trail, so we stuck around to watch them for a while. We could also hear several other monkeys in different directions, and as we were walking back, we found two additional trees with two or three monkeys each
Back at our hotel, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset and swim in the lake.
Thursday morning, we rented a couple of rather questionable mountain bikes, and set out to explore a bit of the island. Our first discovery came rather early on, when we discovered that the road around the outside of the island was not flat, as we had presumed, but instead was primarily uphill. Additionally, after a few miles, when we turned off the main road, everything was dirt roads with lots of ruts and rocks -- more of an off-road adventure than a nice smooth road. We made our way over to a park called Ojos del Agua (Eyes of Water). This place is a natural spring pool. As they described it, itīs a natural hot spring, except itīs not hot. Itīs still created by geothermal energy from the volcanos, it contains all the nice minerals that make the water good for your skin and your health, but itīs room-temperature water. Which is actually quite nice on a hot, humid day after a long bike ride! So we hung out there for a while and rested up before the ride back.
When we returned to our town, we traded in the bikes for a pair of horses, and took a short horseback tour of the village, the beach, and some trails in the area, and watched the sunset again over the lake.