I sat down to write last night, afraid that I’d forget things, but, I fell asleep with my hands on the keyboard. So, here we are this morning.
Right now I’m sitting at my breakfast table overlooking Lake Nicaragua and wishing I’d arranged to stay on Isla de Ometepe for longer.
The island is beautiful with volcanoes rising out of the water, fresh water beaches, and bright colorful birds that land right next to you like you’re old friends.
The first day that I was on the island it rained A LOT.
There weren’t a lot of things that I could do without the risk of getting myself and all of my belongings soaked and potentially stranded.
So, I wrote and read by the beach and made my way under shelter when necessary.
I felt fine with that even though I knew it meant I’d miss out on doing a few of the things I’d planned.
Now that it’s passed I realize the day was exactly as it needed to be.
The things I’d had planned to do on the island included hiking a volcano, renting a horse, going to the swimming hole, and kayaking the river.
As it turns out it’s not terribly safe to kayak or to hike without a guide and with having to change hotels in ometepe to a more expensive one, guides were no longer in my budget.
I was mostly disappointed about not kayaking, but, that’s OK.
I woke up early yesterday morning and made my way to rent a horse.
It’s only $5/hour and you can ride them up the beach.
But, when I got to the horse rental place it was obvious that the horses were old and some were injured.
I decided to just walk to Ojo De Agua which is a swimming hole made from fresh water springs.
I’d met a couple of guys from Colorado who said it’d be a long walk from my hotel, but, that I could do it if I gave myself enough time. But, they’d recommend I rent a bike.
I didn’t want to rent a bike just to ride to the swimming hole and figured it wouldn’t be so bad to walk.
As I was walking I started to get nervous because I didn’t really know how long it would take and I wasn’t quite sure where it was located.
What if I walked for hours and didn’t end up there at all and had to just turn around and walk back?
So, I decided to hitchhike .
I haven’t felt unsafe since being on Ometepe, but, I wanted to be smart.
I hitched a ride from a truck that I could just hop in the back, thinking that if anything went wrong I could just jump out.
It ended up being two westerners who stopped and they were headed to Ojo de Agua as well.
The best part, is that one of the guys was from North Carolina as well!
It worked out because they gave me a ride and I was able to speak Spanish to ask directions for all of us to get there and to talk to the guy at the gate. (I never in my life thought that I’d be the one who spoke the most Spanish in a group.)
The ride in the back of their truck may be one of my favorite experiences here so far.
There’s railing all the way around the bed so that you can stand up and hold on.
I stood up and felt the wind through my hair and got to watch all of the beautiful scenery fly by.
Once we got there I split off because I wanted to enjoy the place alone.
But, I quickly ran into two girls who I met at my hostel the first night on the island and then Sarah and her friends from the ferry showed up as well. It ended up being nice to talk in English with folks for a bit and to have someone to do handstands in the water with me.
There was a rope swing and a slack line over the water as well which was really fun.
I spent hours there just swimming and reading and drinking coco and rum out of the coconuts.
If for no other reason, I wish I was staying longer on the island to go back to Ojo de Agua.
I wanted to leave in time to walk and get back before dark, otherwise, I may have never left.
Along the road a man on a motorcycle stopped and asked where I was headed and if I wanted a ride.
I turned him down because I wasn’t sure about riding a motorcycle and thought the walk may be nice.
Pretty soon after letting him leave I regretted my decision. It was hot and I’d forgotten how long of a trip it was.
As I was considering hitchhiking again he showed back up.
He said that he thought I may change my mind and he was right.
I hopped on the back of the motorcycle, realized I didn’t have a helmet, and accepted that this was what I’d done.
It ended up being a really nice ride actually.
After I returned to my hotel I spent the next two hours swimming in Lake Nicaragua.
Following that I had dinner on the patio and met a woman who started a non-profit here.
Her name is Wilma and she’s from the Netherlands. She’s been coming here every year for five years helping women to start businesses.
I would very much like to be her when I grow up.
Today, Kevin is picking me up in just a moment to take me to the ferry where I will make my way back to San Jorge and then hopefully meet Bosco and make my way back to Granada where I’m going to stay for the remainder of my trip!
Now, for an endless stream of photos.
(Rainbow over Lake Nicaragua)
(A lady offered to take my photo.)
(I felt obligated to take a photo of my feet in a hammock.)
(Breakfast, all of this is only $5!)
(Ojo de Agua)