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Published: April 21st 2011
The Ometepe Ferry Dock.
There wasn't a sign anywhere that indicated this was where the boat would pick us up, but we figured it out.
Sadly, we are leaving Ometepe today. I'm going to miss it. I love the small villages & the farm animals that are abundant everywhere. Especially on the main highway. I am really falling in love with pigs & cows & horses & especially ponies! So cute! I have also fallen in love with Gecko speak. They sound like birds making a long winded cheeeep cheeeep but I just love how they announce their presence in the room. We haven't seen roomate snake in about a day. I guess he doesn't like having company.
There are these blue birds, called Urracas, that make a lot of noise, almost like they're yelling, & actually seem to follow us around when we are out walking. They're beautiful with a big tuft of feathers on the top of their heads & long tails. They seriously seem to follow us when we're walking, it's almost creepy.
But, we have to move on at some point. So we ordered our usual breakfast & packed up. I asked for the tab & as usual it took the guy (with a calculator) about 20 minutes to add it up for us. I just think math is not
adequately taught in schools here. It's kind of nutso. But, for the first time in awhile, his math was correct.
We had to take the hotel shuttle to Moyogalpa because it's Sunday & the buses are not reliable. It tends to be true. Sunday is not really a work day unless you want it to be & that is totally your choice to make in the moment. I kept our shuttle driver busy answering all my questions about the political scene going on here right now. I was reading in the paper about their President, Daniel Ortega, & how his Presidential Mansion has all these guards & they've been closing down public streets & putting up new protective barriers near the mansion. But I didn't understand why. Our driver filled me in & answered all my questions. I got quite an education & I loved it. It's their election year this year & supposedly Ortega wants to stay in office but it isn't technically allowable by law. So I guess we'll see what happens....Too much of that going on in the world right now it seems.
We arrived in Moyogalpa & caught our little ferry. It is probably
Inside the boat.
There were random music videos without sound playing the entire trip. It was nicely distracting.
the slowest moving ferry I've ever been on. At times I would look out the window & wonder if we had just stopped. But, we made it across eventually. Thankfully this ferry is only over an hour & not the 4 or 5 hour trek we'd been on before. We saw Erik & Jo who we met in Caye Caulker & saw again at Barton's Creek. They're heading to Costa Rica to volunteer in a Sloth sanctuary where there are baby Sloths.
We had to take a taxi from the terminal to the highway since the bus thing falls into play here too. But we talked him down from $4 to $2. You just can't accept the first price offered to you as a Gringo. It's definitely been doubled or tripled at least. This taxi driver was such a scammer. Young & working it. He spent the entire drive trying to talk us into paying him to drive us to San Juan Del Sur & listed off a million reasons why. The buses don't run often, they're crowded, our bags aren't safe, people steal from Gringos, it's hot out, the ride will take forever, the buses aren't safe (he kept
repeating that one), they charge Gringos more for the bus on Sundays (whatever). I told him all we do is take buses & we're used to it. Then he went into repeat mode saying all the same things again. It was actually kind of funny. Finally, we arrived to the highway where he exasperatedly dropped us off. We had just missed the bus (we saw it driving away...) so we posted up on the side of the road, sweating, & waited for the next one. Then along came our newest hero. This guy, in a really nice truck, pulls up to us & asks if we're going to SJDS, we say yes, he says get in. Ok! We didn't even consider hitchhiking & were offered it! Love the luck & am now even more in love with Nicaraguans. They are consistently some of the nicest people we have encountered on our whole trip. The guy, Michael, said he was heading to SJDS to pick up some friends & take them to the airport in Managua. Such luck. And his truck had A/C, was super comfy & had a navigation screen that he was playing music videos on the entire trip.
High rolling. On our way down the two lane road (that he was driving 90mph almost the entire time! Scary) we passed the bus that we could have been on & it was absolutely packed with people. He dropped us off next to the beach & said adios!
San Juan del Sur is another beautiful beach town set in a circular bay on the Pacific Ocean. Of course, it is ridiculously hot here, but thank goodness for the ocean. We found a little hostel called Rebecca's Inn that is super cute & homey. $20 a night. Perfect! It's a Sunday so the town is packed with locals & travelers. We promptly found the comedores that Justin & Karen told us about & got some lunch. Huge plates of chicken & pork for less than $2 each. And delicious of course! We promptly took our hot & sweaty selves to the beach after lunch & enjoyed the ocean & the sun. We lasted as long as we could in the blazing sun & then just strolled around town, mostly in the shade. 😉 There are lots & lots of surfers here, local & tourist. I love these little beach towns.
The tables in front of the comedores.
This is all inside & it is soo hot in here, they don't even turn lights on.
They have the most mellow & laidback vibe mixed with the Nicaraguan culture. It's just perfect.
Back at the hostel, hiding from the sun, we played our very first game of cribbage since we left home! I can't believe it's taken us 3 months to play a game of cards, but somehow it has. I blame Geoff's newfound love of reading, which I embrace thoroughly because I also love to read, because otherwise he would definitely need to be entertained otherwise. It was super fun to play cribbage though (probably because I won both games) & now I'm not sure why we've waited so long to play. We've decided to start a tally where the winner gets a prize (yet to be determined) once that person wins the most games (also yet to be determined). There's still plenty of time to figure out those parts of the equation while we sit on buses or boats or roadsides, etc. Marta's little kitchen is just so cozy you want to hang out & play cards. I think that helps too.
Once a discussion of our next meal began I decided that we must make nachos because there is an oven
in our hostel & I love & miss nachos. Nobody makes nachos here like I like them. It may sound like I'm tooting my own horn but I am a nacho conniosseur (I think that's how you spell it..) & proud of it! We bought half a frozen chicken & all the nacho makings, even real cheddar cheese! Yippee! We put the chicken on the stove to boil & went out to watch the sunset. The sunset was lovely of course. When we got back home Marta let me know that she added some onion & garlic to the chicken because "it really needed it." I thanked her & she offered up more veggies for us to use from her fridge. Which was really nice. It's kinda nuts because she uses the same kitchen that we do. That is honestly the craziest thing to me about many of the hostels we've stayed in that the people who run them, live there & often share their kitchen space with the guests. Such a different way to live life. Usually though people aren't quite as generous as Marta & I think she's just like a mother hen type of person who loves
to share & care. Our nachos turned out amazing & we made enough for 5 people of course.
There is the oddest German couple staying here tonight. They just have the weirdest energy. Most people you meet that are traveling are generally, at the least, ok. Some may be weird or annoying (like the teenagers, but that's just because I'm old) but these two were kooky. They were covered in black tattoos, no color to be seen anywhere & they only talked with the 2 Swedish guys staying here. Every time I say Hi or Good Morning or whatever, they just look at me like they are deers in headlights. But, it's not that they don't only dislike us, they don't talk to anyone else, except the Swedes. Who knows. I probably spend too much time thinking about it but it's weird when you are practically roomates with someone for a few days & they don't even say good morning. Common courtesy.
We played some more cribbage & headed to bed to watch Weeds. Why are we addicted to tv suddenly? It's a nice little treat though & now I just want to know what's going to happen
next on the show. Then off to sleep in another exceptionally hot & stuffy room. I have never loved fans as much as I do now, especially fans that rotate. That is an absolute must have. This country is really really hot all the time.
Random sidebar: I just turned to Geoff & said, "it's so funny, I've gotten so used to typing with bugs on the screen," as I'm sitting here typing in the dark on our porch & bugs like things that glow. I usually have some sort of a bug crawling around on the screen if I'm typing at night. Things that just become a part of daily life.
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