Trip Start Feb 04, 2008
21Trip End Jul 03, 2008
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After a long day travelling from San Jose we arrived on the island of Ometepe. This is and island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, comprises of two volcano peaks that are so close they join together to form the island. One peak "Concepcion" is active and last erupted in November of last year. We stayed at the foot of Maderas, the inactive peak at Monkey Island Hotel where we decided to sit out the festival of Semana Santa, "Holy Week". Its notoriously difficult to travel during this period.
Upon arrival at the port of Moyagalpa, we were told the last bus on the island was departing, so we were crammed on, standing amongst crates of beer, coke and rucksacks. Upon enquiring the length of the 16km journey, we were told it would take 2 and half hours!!! We thought he had misunderstood our question and just carried on standing
Upon arrival we were met by Angel pronounced "anhell" since the G is silent in spanish. He showed us to our room which was a concrete affair, but had a bathroom and double bed with mosquito net. Food was good and the whole family that managed the place were very welcoming.
Next day we could see the place in the light of day, with the volcano behind us, a small path led down to a quiet beach. The lake is pretty big so you get waves on the beach, but when you step in its fresh water which is a little odd.
Day two started fairly abruptly with a large black scorpion on the inside of our mosquito net. After smashing it to pieces with a copy of Look magazine, we decided to have a relaxing breakfast and head for the beach. We met a number of nice people who were also staying, an Irish couple from Cork, Paul and Niamh who we hung out with alot
After a few days of vegetating in hammocks and on the beach we decided to go horse riding. On the morning we were set to leave the horses arrived. 5 rather large horses and one mintature horse, which i thought was going to be someones short straw. It turned out this was a recently born foal, who has to remain with the mother, so i took to two wheels and prepared myself for a long slog up the mountain chasing galloping horses. The reality however was somewhat different. Amy's horse regularly did u-turns due to some very sensitive steering, and would often stop to munch on the plentiful grass which lined the paths. My more than obedient bike, left the others for dust. When arriving at the waterfall trail, i was told it was not possible to cycle so i had to trade in my two wheels for two feet. I still managed to keep ahead of the game, although the path was easily navigable by bike, im not sure the locals are familiar with mountain biking
Next on the itenary was canoeing! We were joined by Paul and Niamh and an American couple and decided to canoe to the mysterious Monkey Island. After and hour or so of paddling against the current whilst Amy took photos (due to severe pain from sitting on a horse), i managed to match the speed of the other couples and we were greeted by monkies shaking thier fists at us whilst we paddled in for a closer look. We didnt land on the island since were we told that some female tourists were recently torn to shreds after attempting to stroke the little monkeys. Word on the street is that the lake is home to some rather large freshwater bull sharks, up to three metres in length. During our return journey, i was bombarded by shrieks of fear from Amy as she pointed out a piece of drift wood. After convincing her, that our mutual death was not iminent, we paddled back to shore.
We stopped at the local church on the way back for lunch, where our american friends had chicken the day before
As the week draw to a close, we decided to hit the road. There is only so much sitting in hammocks and down the beach you can do. Monday morning we headed for the bus stop. On any trip across the island you share you trip with various pigs, chickens horses and cows, its a fairly simple way of life here. It was off to Granada! An old Colonial town on the shores of Lake Nicaragua.
Bye for now.
Richard and Amy