Published: February 26th 2012February 24th 2012
I said my goodbyes to Alfie once again as we dropped him off in Rivas on route to San Jorge. It was me and Mike the Ozzie now in the taxi on our way to San Jorge where you catch the boat to Isla Ometepe... which is an island within Nicaragua made up of 2 volcanoes and is surrounded by a lake. When we arrived we took glance at the water and knew we were in for an interesting ride with it being so choppy due to the strong winds. A guy working for the information place told us there was a boat leaving at 9am but it was a smaller boat and then there was the ferry that was leaving at 9:30am which is a lot bigger and he recommended that one to us due to the conditions. Me and Mike walked towards the dock and could see the smaller boat was there about to leave and the ferry wasn’t in yet...Mike suggested we go on the smaller one which I wasn’t too keen on but thought why not will be an experience either way and it did have a few other travellers on. We boarded the rocking vessel and
paid our £2 equivalent for the hours trip. Before leaving a few guys brought on goods that were to be transported to the island and were tied down by one piece of rope and a guy sitting down leaning against them to stop them from moving too much. When we finally set off and within seconds we were riding some pretty big waves and the 8 or so other people on board had to start grabbing their bags otherwise they were going to fall off the side. I was clinging on to the railings at some points the same as Mike with us not believing what we had let ourselves in for...we definitely got an adrenaline rush or 2 from it. A few occasions when we were going over a wave if you looked at the front of the boat you could see the sun as it was pointing so high then you would drop and your stomach would turn a bit as you went down the wave....it did eventually get a bit calmer 3/4’s of the way through so we knew we were going to make it across ha. After arriving on the island a couple of other travellers
asked where we were going and it happened to be the same hostel so asked if we wanted to join them in the shuttle they had booked so it worked out well. We got to the hostel ‘Little Morgans’ after an hour or so’s drive and managed to grab the last beds available. With it being Pancake Day I had to celebrate so I ordered some from the hostel kitchen...and I must say they were pretty good! Afterwards me and Mike grabbed a beer, sat down and started chatting to a couple of girls at the table...we were talking for a while when Mike asked where one of them was from and she replied Jersey...with Mike knowing I was from Guernsey he got really excited and grabbed my arm to tell me. We all couldn’t believe we had gone half way around the world and bumped into fellow Channel Islanders, it then got a bit stranger when the girl Becky and Lucie mentioned that a guy in a hostel in Granada had met a Ross from Jersey and they had secretly been on a mission to find him since hearing there was another Jersey person around ha. I said I
had been chatting to this guy and did say I was from Guernsey but he must of got muddled which is understandable (sort of..haha)...we all couldn’t believe what had gone on and found it weird that we had met after speaking to the same person a few days before. We all then had a few drinks and spoke about different things from both islands that I’m sure Mike found riveting, with one discussion being which island has the best milk which is clearly Guernsey! The Chelsea game was also on which didn’t go well once again so will leave that there....that was followed by some swimming in the lake, chilling out in hammocks and hanging out in the wooden lookout place. All 4 of us then agreed to hike the Maderas volcano the following day together as it’s the main thing to do on Isla Ometepe so we called it a night with an early start the next day and some tough hiking ahead. We got a good night’s sleep although being located above the bar and the other guy in the room having an alarm set for 5am for no apparent reason...it was the first time I have had
a bed with a mosquito net over it which was strange but seemed to do the trick.
It was 7am when we all met downstairs for some breakfast and we also had an Irish guy called Damien coming with us as we had organised the hike through the hostel that included a guide. Our guide showed up around 8am and was a local young university student (also good looking it must be said) who does the hike twice a week to earn some extra cash. All 5 of us then started our walk and mission to the top of the volcano in the increasing heat. We walked through a few fields where the guide had to dismantle the fence to let us through and also what seemed like someone’s back garden for the entry fee to climb the volcano. After around 40mins walking we eventually made it into forest and began to climb, the trail started off dry and not too challenging but the further we went up the wetter and muddier it got making it interesting...I lost count the amount of times Mike slipped in the mud and by the time we were a few hours in we
were all covered with Becky in-particular nearly covered head to toe and currently leading the most muddiest person competition. As we kept climbing the more we were surrounded by clouds and there was now no view other than a misty haze amongst the trees, we stopped 3 or 4 time on route to the top although our guide didn’t seem amused as she was some sort of machine...the amount of times we had all slipped I never saw her slip once and she was setting a decent pace out front. We did finally reach the top after around 3hrs of hiking to find the lake within the crater as it is now a dormant volcano and a grassy area which I’m unable to describe too much due to the mist that was around meaning we didn’t really get the view we were hoping for. All of us had a good laugh about it and took some photos with the mist in the background which definitely was taken at the top although you would never tell. After a rest we started making our way down which turned out to be more challenging than the climb due to all the rocks being
slippery and the mud being thick...a lot more slips and shouts between all of us (not including the guide) were exchanged before we made it down to a lookout point which gave us a clear and stunning view of the other larger volcano (Concepción) and the lake either side of it...we were all now satisfied after the slight disappointment at the top to find this amazing view to make the hike worthwhile, it was now the final hurdle ahead of a 40min walk back which we managed to complete without any injuries and sat down for drink to discuss our day’s events and rest our aching limbs.
The next day the Jersey girls were moving on to San Juan del Sur but we may see them again somewhere on the road as they are on a similar route. Myself and Mike decided to pay a visit to the waterfall during the day called Waterfall San Ramon, to get there we had to catch a bus before doing an hours hike. After waiting a while the bus turned up and looked like it could be an ex military truck with it being jacked up quite high and having massive wheels,
we soon discovered the reason was due to the state of the road on route to San Ramon
which had massive holes and a lot of rubble on it so the bus never really got out of 1st
gear and it took us around an hour and a half at walking pace to arrive at San Ramon.
When we got there we began our hike with our legs screaming at us from the previous days walking, we thought it would be best to try and get there as quick as possible then we could spend more time at the waterfall and take it easy coming back down. We managed to get there in around 50mins and were rewarded with a spectacular waterfall and a pool at the bottom which we could jump in to cool down as we were drenched in sweat from the blistering heat. The waterfall was massive and well worth the 50mins hard graft to get to, we then spent 15mins there then made our way down which took a lot less time and was definitely more enjoyable before catching the bus back to the hostel. On our way back we experienced something really strange and random.....when
we were around an hour into our journey back the bus driver stopped the bus for some reason and went over to a pig that was tied to a tree at the side of the road, he then untied it and picked it up...at this stage the pig was squealing extremely loud (not the nicest sound in the world!) and he took it behind the bus...at this point we were wondering what the hell he was doing with the squeals continuing, we definitely thought he may of been killing it back there until we heard something on the roof of the bus and it was him tying the pig to the roof (quite strange) then he jumped back in the bus and off the we went, got to be said its one of the most random things I have ever seen and not quite sure the purpose, maybe one of the restaurants was out of bacon and needed a delivery who knows. We got back to the hostel and relaxed a bit before venturing out for some food....we had heard about another hostel that serves up good pizza so we thought we would try and find it, after walking for
a while with no luck we asked a local and he pointed us up a hill through some fields, we thought it was strange but went with it and eventually found the place with some help from a girl with a torch going to the same place. We sat around watching some fire dancers and had a nice pizza, the place was absolutely packed with everyone enjoying the entertainment but maybe not enjoying the girl doing the fire dancing as she clearly hadn’t shaved her armpit for a while urgh ha! When it came to the time for us to leave we realised we had a problem as there was no connecting road to the place we were at and we would have to go back down the way we came although we had no light and its now pitch black. We asked around and it seemed the only way was to buy a candle each from them and use an empty plastic bottle that is open at the top to make a lamp. Me and Mike found this hilarious as we were trying to navigate ourselves through the jungle in the pitch black, we did make it to the
road alive though after20mins or so and a few trips and falls along the way....all I can say is the candle and a bottle trick is a good invention and highly recommended. We made it to the hostel then crashed out as we were leaving early in the morning to catch the boat back and make our way to Costa Rica and more importantly the beach to rest my legs!
There are more photos below