Thursday, 1 August 2013

Ometepe Island

In the middle of lake Nicaragua, the lake is more like a sea because of its size.

This is where we went

We caught the ferry just in time, an anxious local was busting his nuts to get us on the boat for no real reason and creating some confusion with the loading guys which was a little frustrating, he said we have to pay him $10 US .... we say what for? loading ...HA nup, then it went down to $5 then $1, with the confusion and stuffing around he caused I should have got $1 from him....HELPERS are NOT helpers.

Once we ignored him and loaded with the guys organising things everything went smooth, we were second to last on so Maya was right at the ramp, the cars were packed on as tight as sardines in a can but it all worked.

Reaching the island we headed off to our recommended accommodation, arriving there was a 500 meter climb to the hostel with our moto and gear being left down by the road ... wrong, that ain’t gonna happen, too hot to walk up with all the clobber and no way were leaving Maya down by the street to who knows what.

We carried on and found another place, not to bad, secure parking, clean room shared with two Canadians so we checked in stayed there for the two nights, given we had plenty of time left we took the luggage of and circumnavigated one end of the island which is formed by two Volcans, most of the road is unpaved and rough in places with some mud thrown in so an interesting ride.

The being loaded with watermelons, we had to squeeze around the outside


The road was narrow in places and just wide enough for the trucks

Only a few km before the hostel and just after we hit pavement again we stopped at a small cafe and had a great coffee and relax...then back to the hostel to get cleaned up for tea. 

On our return we had some butterflies playing to the camera, Ellen managed to get a closeup

Day 2, time to check out the other side and circumnavigate the second volcano, the first part of the cobbled road is great condition then it turns into shingle and rock again, we followed the main cobbled section to the end to find we had to ride up a creek bed for 1km before getting back on to the main dirt road.

Ellen hoped off in a few places to help me out which was great, less work to handle the mighty Mayan.

Once back on the main dirt road it was plain sailing for the most other than some rocky lumpy sections but by all account way smoother than the previous day.

We stopped at Altagracia for some lunch, in the town centro there is a cool volcano model of Ometepe Island

We then carried on back to the hostel to get swimming gear and head back to the natural pools, we swam for a while and relaxed.

We headed back to the hostel as I wanted to get some ride reports out however the wifi was dead, a cafe some 5 km away still had wifi so we opted to go there for a coffee, on opening our email we had other pressing stuff to get sorted so once again ride reports went to the back of the line .... which is why you are reading this a week out instead of two - three days.

While at the cafe we met a couple from Turkey living in Costa Rica, Can wanted to know about riding in CA so we had a chat for an hour or so. 

The weather had caved in so we set off back to the hostel getting a little wet on the way back, mum nature was leasing hell fury on the Volcan with flashes of lightning lighting up the sky like a football stadium at night, spectacular to say the least.

Back safely at the hostel we had just ordered tea, there was an epic flash of lightning followed by a heart stopping thump of thunder, the lights went bright then dead then came back on at about 1/4 strength for 5 minutes then dead, total dark, total silence and total defiance, the bar staff grabbed torches, cellphones, candles and anything that would glow in the dark.

I made it back to our room, grabbed out sonim phone with a big LED light on it and our headtorch which was freshly charged luckily.

As tea was being cooked on gas it was still all go so we had tea with a candle and my headtorch in the restaurant so that was something new.

Looking out across the island was spooky with not a light to be seen, it was an early night which was needed anyway. 

Our final morning arrives after an unusual night of lights on lights off, I switched all the lights off so that took care of that but both fans were left on in the hope the power comes back on, it did at one stage for around 20 seconds ... the fans started up WOHHOH ... bizt gone.

So our final morning we packed up, the volcan had popped its head out of the cloud for us and unveiled a beauty of epic proportions so out with the camera it was, what a treat to see it so clear.

Heading off to the ferry was funny, it seemed to be a “take your cattle and horses for a walk“ day so our plenty of time got skinnier quite quickly although we still had plenty of time. 

A different view of the volcan was offered from here and the scars were unreal, the camera can not do it justice.

Parking in the middle of the airport runway ... as ya do 

A closeup of the scars

Leaving the island we headed back to Granada as Ellen had left her shorts there, we also had some repairs to do to gloves, zips and walking polls so a fixit session again.

Slightly more relaxed fitting things in on this ferry 

Maya tied up

Bye bye Ometepe

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