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Las Isletas

March 18, 2012

WOW is the word to describe Las Isletas. I have heard that this excursion to the 365 small islands in Lake Nicaragua was wonderful, but I couldn’t imagine what was so great about looking at a bunch of land on the lake.  I was wrong, it was beautiful and amazing –like another country out there.

My friends Judy, Kay, Connie and Gordon and their house caretaker, Jose (they are all staying at Casa Gallo) and I chartered a boat to take us on a two-hour tour of the islands. These small islands were made thousands of years ago when Vocan Mombacho exploded. The motorboat had life jackets, a cover/roof and plastic chairs attached to the bottom so that you had support and were up high enough to see. Our captain, Larry, spoke quite a bit of English and he told us many interesting facts about the islands and who lived where as we drove along.

As you leave the shore you don’t actually go immediately into what you would think of as a lake (although it is). It is more like going down a river as there was land or marsh on both sides of the boat and the water was like a road between them. We saw many different kinds of water fowl both in the trees and flying.  There were also some fascinating hanging bird’s nests, probably 2 feet long, up high in the trees.

As we motored more into the lake we found many, many small islands with one house on them. Many of the houses were gorgeous, huge homes, and beautiful landscaping.  We learned many of the prominent Nicaraguan families owned these islands and the Carlos Pellas Chamorro family owns several. Pellas is the owner of, among many other companies, the local quality rum –Flor de Cana.  The Chamorro family crest is on the huge home across the street from my apartment. Violeta Chamorro was the first woman Nicaraguan president, elected at the end of the Nicaraguan civil war and she succeeded the Sandinista president Daniel Ortega. (Ortega is again the President of Nicaragua.)

We stopped next to one island that had two species of monkeys, one was Capuchin and I have forgotten the other. They were hilarious, swinging from branch to branch, hanging by their tails and competing for the bananas that Captain Larry threw to them. One came out on a branch near our boat and Kay handed him a banana.  I am not crazy about monkeys especially after that encounter with the one on Omotepe who was mad at us for getting too close to his island, but these were much smaller and cute.

We also saw women washing clothes in the lake, men fishing with nets, and paddling in dugout canoes. It is a lake for everyday living as well as being scenic.

As we motored back to Granada, we saw a hotel on one island, a restaurant on another and many more houses several of them for sale. Lake Nicaragua is freshwater and is so large it has tides. It also boasts the presence of the bull shark and numerous fish. It is physically closer to the Pacific Ocean and you can actually see the ocean from Omotepe Island, but it drains into the Caribbean Sea by way of the San Juan River. My friend Tina took a boat from Omotepe all the way down the river to the Caribbean.


From → Granada

One Comment
  1. Harry Wheeler permalink

    Glad to have you back on line. I enjoy all your posts.


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