Slow Boat to Ometepe

It has been a few days since my last post, but that is only partially from neglect.  Cameron and I have been on the Isla de Ometepe for the last 3 days and internet connectivity is pretty sparse.  So this is a bit of a catch up post.Image

View from Iglesia de la Merced

We woke up in Granada on Thursday and explored the rest of the city during the morning.  We got a great view of the city from the bell tower of Iglesia de la Merced and wandered through neighborhoods until we got to a restaurant for lunch. More accurately it was a house with a couple tables in the courtyard and a table with food on it.  We both got a big lunch for $2 and then made our way back to the hostel to grab our bags and head to the ferry.  We loaded up and walked through town to the ferry.Image

Granada Parking

And now the ferry.  We got there 10 minutes before it left.  It took twenty minutes to buy our tickets because there were 3 people in front of us.  Then we went through the equivalent of the Nicaraguan TSA.  They opened our bags, stuck there hand in them, and then let us pass through.  They did however confiscate our rum, which made the 5 hour ride on a metal floored ferry a bit rougher than it should have been.  The ferry moved slow, but we got amazing views of the lake, Granada, and Ometepe.

Ferry to Ometepe

We pulled into Altagracia at 6:30 just as the sun had set.  We got an Ometepe taxi, a pickup that was packed with 13 people and all our luggage.  We had the VIP seats in the back of the pickup and drove the bumpy road to the town of Santa Cruz and the hostel Little Morgan’s.  We walked the 200 yards down to the hostel in the dark and were informed that they had no more rooms.  However, they had some open hammocks so we slept in those.  While we were eating and drinking, we got talked into climbing Volcan Concepcion by a group of Irish medical students.  We went to bed and woke up at 4:45 for the hike.

 Volcan Concepcion and Volcan Maderas

Our guide informed us that we didn’t have enough water.  Cameron and I were surprised because we packed 3 liters a piece.  We packed another liter, a lunch, and then hopped on the chicken bus to the trailhead.  We started climbing at 6:15 and soon realized why we needed more water.  The hike is a 6 mile scramble through rainforest, volcanic scree, and ash with 5000 feet of elevation gain.  We were all soaked in sweat.  At each break I would wring out my shirt only to soak it once we started hiking again.

View of Ometepe Half Way Up Concepcion

The top of the mountain was covered in cloud, which we were fine with because it made it a lot cooler. When we were 20 feet from the summit, our guide made sure to tell us not to stand up because we could get blown into the smoking crater.  It took 5 hours to get down and even after 5 liters of water a piece, everyone was exhausted and dehydrated.

On the Edge of the Crater

We got back to the hostel at 5, cooled off in the lake, and went to dinner in town at the Comedor de Santa Cruz.  They had a live Spanish reggae band and ended the night with fire dancing. More catching up soon.

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