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Published: February 5th 2017
We had heard many great things about Ometepe, an island in lake Nicaragua formed by two active volcanoes. With this in mind we set aside just under two weeks to see it before heading down to Costa Rica.
On the ferry over to Ometepe we met some people going to little Morgan's hostel, and having been recommended it before too, we decided to join them. I wish we hadn't! On first impressions it was a cool laid back hostel, with a tree house so you can enjoy views of the lake above the canopy. We were staying in the base of the tree house so it felt like our own exclusive seating area.
The dorms also looked cool, with built in beds with mosquito net doors. We later realised that these were spider city! The roof of each of these beds was covered in spiders and spiders webs. Thank goodness I didn't have one of these! They were so bad one of the boys in our room put his hammock up and slept in that instead.
After being awoken by the pet turkeys and chickens at dawn - which wasn't favourable, I opened my locker to see that a mouse -
presumably attracted by the pet ducks, turkeys and chickens just outside our room, had climbed in to my locker, nibbled 3 good sized holes in my bag and gone to the toilet all over my stuff. As you can imagine I wasn't best pleased by this - goodbye expensive day bag. Luckily I should be able to patch it enough to finish this trip, but then it'll have to be binned. On telling the staff I was simply told 'oh that's never happened before', no apology or free night for having my bag ruined and full of mouse wee.
Trying to resurrect our impression of Ometepe we headed out to Ojo de Agua. One problem with Ometepe is that it's fairly spread out, and getting around is either difficult or very expensive. We walked the 1.5hrs to Ojo de Agua and were very pleased to be greeted by the nice cool pool and refreshing coconuts there! After relaxing by/in the pool for the afternoon and enjoying coco locos, luckily we got out to the road just before a bus came past - and caught a lift back. The buses here are the most packed chicken buses I've experienced yet, and that's saying something!
The next night we moved to a different hostel up the road - much cleaner and no mice, but there were big spiders here! The Island definitely has a very high concentration of spiders - everywhere you look is covered in cobweb from the restaurants to the barbed wire to the trees.
We wanted to visit a waterfall on the side of one of the volcanoes, which is a main attraction here, but no buses headed there and taxis were over $20, plus the entry and 3hr hike, and trying to get back! Instead we tried heading out to a beach by moyogalpa, but the public transport here isn't very frequent, and the information is conflicting. Once we finally got to moyogalpa we were told the next bus, which was to the beach, was also the last bus going back to our side of the island, so we wouldn't be able to get back! With this in mind we decided to skip the beach and after getting some food catch the bus back to the hostel. Once on the bus and half way home we were told that there were in fact two more buses running for the next two hours.
Frustrated with the island's inaccessibility we decided to call it quits and head out to the coast to San Juan del Sur for a couple of days of relaxing instead. We found a couple of friends to come with us too, Colin and Katrina, so it should be even more fun.
San Juan del sur is the most touristy place we've been for a while, and whilst this means it's slightly more expensive, it is a nice change. There is a lot going on here, with friendly people to swap travel advice with, a lot of food variety, beaches, bars and different shops. Just what I needed after Ometepe.
Next stop - Costa Rica 😊 I'm very excited to get there, and we're taking Colin, Katrina and Andy along with us too.
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