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Published: February 20th 2008
Concepcion Volcano I
As seen arriving on the ferry...
After hanging out in Granada for a couple of days it was back in the Yaris and off to San Jorge, departure point for Isla de Ometepe...
We were warned that the majority of the roads on the island were atrocious so we had mercy on the rental and left it on the mainland for a few days...again no real plans when we arrived at the ferry but the gal working the info booth quickly put together a package deal for a couple of days that included driver and 4x4, english speaking guide and accomodations at a little resort on the water, pretty much took care of everything!
Ometepe is an island in Lake Nicaragua comprised of two volcanoes; Concepcion which is active and Maderas on the southern tip which is dormant. The two land masses are connected via a strip of land called an isthmus which also has a string of resorts and the most popular beach of Santo Domingo. We were staying on the southern edge of Concepcion at a beautiful beach resort called Charco Verde, highly recommended...individual cabins with hammock out front, what more could you ask for?
The ferry landed and we were greeted
by our guide and driver, so we piled in and they took us to Charco Verde so we could check in and dump our gear before heading out on the first day's tour...we were checking out the area around the southern edge of Concepcion, essentially from Moyogalpa to Altagracia (which as it turns out is the only paved road on the island!). Beautiful sites; checked out a church and museum in Altagracia, saw some beautiful statues and learned a ton about the history of the island from our guide Eric... We only had a half day on the first day so headed back to the ranch after Altagracia for a little relaxin' (I picked up a bit of a bug at this time, managed to plow through the days' activities but was pretty much done by dinner unfortunately).
The following day we left just after 8am to tour around the southern part of the island and the Maderas volcano. This is where we got off the paved road and on to one of the crappiest roads I have ever seen, and hopefully will ever see...haha... Without the 4x4 Galloper, there is no way we would have made it! First
stop was the San Ramon waterfall, which involved a 1 km hike through what I believe was called a "dry" rainforest, beautiful. Great hike to a cool waterfall, although as it was the dry season it wasn't flowing as much is it usually does...along the way we came across some cutter ants (very cool!) and even managed to eat a termite...mmm...believe it or not they taste like carrots...haha... The rest of the day was spent slowly exploring the southern and eastern sides of the island, winding up at a coffee plantation where we were able to see petroglyphs...
Just about ready to head back to Charco Verde when we heard the sound I was waiting for...howler monkeys! For those who haven't heard their howl before, I'd say it's a cross between a dog bark and a lion roar, very impressive...we followed our guide into the forest and he was able to track them down, and they turn out to be these cute little guys hanging out in the trees...hard to believe they made all that racket!
Chilled out at the resort for the evening before heading back to San Jorge and then Playa Remanso for a few days....
Peninsula near Charco Verde with the volcanic sand...
Cool island, the volcanoes were impressive, great history, amazing sights, would highly recommend a visit there...
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