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Omotepe Island in Lake Nicaragua

February 8, 2012

Omotepe was fantastic!  It took most of the day to get there because it is a challenge to travel on the island. Tina (with her hiking backpack) and I walked to the bus “station” in Granada. In reality it is a dirt lot with several “chicken buses” sitting there. Chicken buses are prevalent in Central America and are old school buses, usually gaily decorated.  We got on the one that said Rivas and sat for the entire trip. Not always possible!

When we got to Rivas we took a taxi to the small ferry which goes from San Jorge to Moyogalpa on the island. Then we called Monkey Island Hotel, with the help of a taxi driver, to make sure there were rooms as it took about 90 minutes to get there. The answer was yes, so we headed out in the taxi. We were told much of the road was “muy mal” very bad and that was an understatement.  It was paved for about half the way, then turned into a dirt and rock (not gravel) road with huge potholes.  It took twice as long to travel about a third of the distance we had come and was really jarring.

The hostel was in a beautiful setting on a hill overlooking Lake Nicaragua.  It is run by a family and they all work it. We shared a double room with two twin beds and a private bathroom which had a toilet and shower –only cold water which was very cold because of being in the mountains I guess. The sink was out on the “deck”.  Very basic but clean. The fabulous part was the food which was excellent with huge portions, fresh ingredients, made to order and the people. So nice, friendly and helpful – our favorite was Freddy. He and his girlfriend (who worked there also) have an adorable 1 year old named Andrea.

The next day we kayaked along the shore seeing egrets, various other birds I don’t know, and turtles.  On a small island we saw two monkeys which were so cute until we floated about ten feet from them and realized how large they were and how mean. One came out onto a rock on the edge of the island, crouched down, barked and got ready to leap.  We back paddled really fast to move away and he didn’t, but I found out they will bite you and steal anything loose if they can. It was cool to see them in the wild. They are a whole lot bigger than the ones I have seen in the zoo, brown and white, with long tails.

Sunday we climbed to the San Ramon waterfall on Maderas Volcano (extinct).  It was 3 miles of sometimes rough trail and was quite hot. It seemed straight up but obviously wasn’t and is considered a moderate hike, but I am obviously out of shape and had a tough time.  We all three made it and celebrated by getting in the pool at the bottom of the falls and letting the water pound us. We were joined by Maryse from Belgium who was also visiting Omotepe.  That took most of the day and we were wiped when we got back to the hostel. It was ten miles of walking!

Monday I was up at 430am and Maryse and I caught a Chicken Bus to another point on the island, where we then got on a “bus pequeno” (a pick up truck with a railing around the bed). You all crowd on it and stand for the ride.  Like cattle. We also stood all the way from the hostel because the bus was full when we got on it, so the hour plus ride on the rock road was done standing. I spent some time talking with a Nicaraguan man in his sixties who had lived in the US for 22 years and came back to Nicaragua because it is hard for an older person to get a job in the US. Isn’t that the truth?

We took the big ferry from San Jose del Sur (I think) back to San Jorge and then the chicken bus back to Granada.  Maryse went on a different bus to Costa Rica. I went back to Casa Nekko where I was prior to this trip.  Helen (the owner) and I walked around looking for hostels as I have to leave Thursday because she has new guests coming. We found one right around the corner so I pack up and move tomorrow. We also went to a realtor looking for more permanent space and there may be an apartment available Saturday but I have to see it first to decide. I will be grateful to be somewhere of my own but it is harder than I expected and the first apartment I saw is not finished enough to move into at this point.

More on the Spanish lesson in the next post and I will upload photos when I figure out how!!  Still having fun but ready to get down to learning the language.


From → Granada

  1. Harry wheeler permalink

    Sounds like an adventure. I received your Twitter text and went right to the computer. Look like it’s working as expected. Harry


  2. littlecitykitchenco permalink

    Marty – so exciting to hear of all your adventures. Keep writing and sharing with the rest of us. Wishing you well my friend!


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