3 days on Isla de Ometepe

Published: April 25th 2018
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On Wednesday, April 18, after coming back from the Treehouse Hostel, Rebecka and I went on our way to Isla de Ometepe, a big island on Lago Nicaragua. We wanted to take a taxi to the bus station, but in the end the taxi driver made us a quite good price to bring us directly to San Jorge, the place from where the ferry leaves. Since I was hangover and she was tired, we didn’t mind spending a bit more money to have a comfortable ride, for once. ^_^

We took the last ferry, at 5PM, to San José del Sur. The ferry took an eternity, about 1 1/2 hours, and we missed the last bus to Balgue, so we had to take a taxi. Those were super expensive (10$US p.P.), but there was un unofficial taxi that made a good price for us and a Danish couple that wanted to go to a different place on the island, so that, in the end, we only paid 350 C (córdoba = 9€) for both.

We arrived to our hostel (Lazy Crab Hostel) around 8PM and, after our check-in, we met Gwen there. She had spent the day with another French girl she had met on the way to Ometepe, Laure, and she would join us the next to on our hike up the Maderas volcano. Rebecka had decided not to go, because she wasn’t feeling well, so it was just the 3 of us. After buying some bread, cheese, avocado and water for the next day in a small shop around the corner, Rebecka and I went for dinner to a restaurant just in front of our hostel. Since it was a bit expensive, Gwen and Laure preferred to go somewhere else but we were too hungry and tired to go far. We should have joined them, though, because our food was expensive and really not good... :-S Anyway, it was food and that was the essential.

After preparing our sandwichs for the next day, we all went to bed early. I was happy I could sleep, because the guy sleeping in the bunkbed below me had really smelly feet and the whole room smelled bad. Fortunately I had a fan hanging just over me and got fresh air constantly! :-)

The next morning, we wanted to leave at 7AM, but I had some things to discuss with my mom about my insurance and so we only left at 7:30AM. It was a beautiful hike, first across dry forest, then rain forest and, finally, cloud forest. From the rain forest on, the hike got really exhausting and difficult, because it was very humid, even raining a bit in the clouds, everything was wet and very slippery and we had to be very careful were to step. In the beginning, Laure had some difficulties, but then it got better and she became the fastest of us three. We had a lot of fun, slipping in the mud and, fortunately, nobody got seriously injured and we didn’t get lost! :-D Apparently, from time to time (most recently 2 weeks ago), tourists get lost up there in the clouds and actually die on this hike! So it’s recommended to take a guide, but we didn’t. Actually, I really don’t see how someone can get lost there, the path is quite good...

When we arrived at the top, it was still full of clouds and we couldn’t see a thing, only guess that somewhere down below is the lagoon. We were really really lucky and shortly after our arrival, the skies cleared completely and not one cloud was left. This way, we could enjoy the most beautiful landscape ! Something most people who hike up there get never to see, because it’s not visible every day and if it’s visible, then just for 1 or 2 hours. So we were really lucky! :-D

We enjoyed the view for some time and hiked down to the lagoon before hiking back down. It was just as exhausting to go down the volcano as it was to go up, because it was still very slippery and the way across the stones and trees is nothing for people who are not in a good shape.

We finally got back to our hostel at 4PM, so it had been an 8 1/2 hours hike up and down the Maderas volcano. We were completely dirty and exhausted, but we decided to just change shoes and then, with Rebecka, to go to El Pital, a chocolate farm on the island. There we had the best chocolate smoothie ever, raw chocolate mixed with banana ; just devine ! ^_^

El pital also has a nice beach and so we enjoyed spending some time in the water, refreshing our sore muscles, and watching the sunset. There was a French couple that had also been hiking Maderas that day, but they had left when we arrived to the top and so they had missed all the nice view... They were really mad, but Gwen sent them her pictures, so they have at least that. ^_^

Afterwards we went for dinner to a small but very good restaurant where we met Jason again, our teammate from the Treehouse hostel. He and his friends were drinking again and wanted us to join, but we were too tired and went to bed soon after dinner.

The next day, Rebecka and I took a chickenbus to Santo Domingo to get some cash at the ATM (there are only a few ATMs on the island) and then we partially walked partially went by car to Ojo de Agua, a natural pool. It’s filled by running water from a subterranean river that comes from the Maderas volcano and so this water is filled with minerals. It was a very relaxing day, just what we needed to recover from our hike the day before. :-D

At 3:30PM, we left Ojo de Agua and went to El Perú where we watched the sunset and had a beer. The sunset there was really beautiful and we were happy Gwen showed us this place. :-) They are going to open a hostel over there, but it’s still in planning. If I ever go back to Ometepe, I would definitely go back there !

To go back to our hostel, we got a ride from 2 Swiss guys and 1 German girl. They were super nice and we were happy we didn’t have to walk ! :-D

Back in town, we had dinner at a small comedor close to our hostel and, again, went to bed quite early, being super tired after a whole day in the water.

On Saturday morning, Gwen left to San Juan del Sur and Rebecka and I spent the morning at the hostel, relaxing and, I, planning my trip to Costa Rica. At noon, we rented a scooter from our hostel and went to Charco verde, a butterfly park on the other side of the island. It was quite nice, but not worth it’s 5$US, maybe 2 or 3$... Since it’s dry season, most of the forest is dried out and only around the lagoon it’s nice to walk. There is one beach there, but it was very windy that day, so we didn’t go into the water. We stayed there only 1 hour and then left again. We went back to Santo Domingo, because we had seen a vegetarian restaurant with a nice beach there. Unfortunately, the food there was a bit expensive and not good, so it was money badly spent... It was still too windy to go into the water and so we decided to go back to El Pital for another chocolate smoothie. :-)

We stayed there only for half an hour, because we wanted to see the sunset from a place they had indicated us at the hostel. Unfortunately, we didn’t find this place they had told us about, but we found a different, also very nice, place to see the sunset.

Back at our hostel, we cooked some good vegan pasta, had a few beer and spent our last night relaxing in the chill out area of our hostel.

The Lazy Crab hostel was quite nice, big, with lost of nice common areas, but the wifi wasn’t good and it was really really hot in the rooms. It wasn’t the cleanest place, but it was ok. Unfortunately, there were no trash cans anywhere... It was cheap though and the location was ok. Staff could also have been more up to speed, but it was a chilled out place and quite ok for us.

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