The Island of Ometepe is a candidate to become one of the seven wonders of the World. It is a huge island with 2 volcanoes on it in the middle of Lake Nicaragua/Cocibolca which is one of the largest lakes in the world (also happens to have freshwater sharks!). On this island, there is kayaking, hiking, a waterfall, etc, etc as far as outdoor experiences to enjoy God's beautiful creation. And it just so happens that for the 24 hours I was on the island...it rained about 23.99 of them...:( Pero, todo es bueno.
Saturday morning at 5:00 am my friend Melisa and I set out with her friend, Angela, for Rivas, a town in southern Nicaragua where we would catch the ferry to Ometepe. On the way, we saw plantain farms, cattle farms, and papaya farms...it was soo beautiful! This was a new area of the country for me, so of course I loved the drive...especially since Melisa was driving my car so I didnt have to worry about it:) When we got to the Port, Melisa had to drive my car onto the ferry where there was all kinds of people and commotion and vehicles...it was pretty crazy for a bit. But after we got on the ferry and started out, we found a place to sit on the top level and let the calm ride rock us all to sleep...especially since we had woken up so early!
After about an hour, we unloaded off the ferry on the Island and set out for our big adventure...it was the first time to Ometepe for all 3 of us and we were PUMPED! Where we docked was in Moyogolpa which is next to the big volcano, Concepcion and so we started driving to the other volcano, Maderas, so that we could go on the 2 hour hike and see San Ramon, the famous waterfall. About every 30 minutes, as we drove through tiny towns/communities/Cochise sized villages Melisa would slow down as we drove through town and saw a person, she would roll down her window and say, "Sr./Sra., donde es San Ramon?" Then the person would point forward and say "Por alla!" THIS my friends, is a Nicaraguan mapa:) After about 10 stops on the maps and 2.5 hours on a dirt road, we arrived at the entrance of the waterfall...I was sooooooooooo excited to get to do some physical activity and to explore and to see MONKEYS and especially to see the waterfall! We walked up to pay to enter the park...and were told it was closed....muy, muy, muy triste...:( However, we took a few pictures of what was there and then turned around...for another 2.5 hour drive...on a dirt road...in the boonies of an island in the middle of a lake...
At this point is when it started raining. I mean really raining. After about half an hour of driving we stopped for lunch at Villa Santa Domingo. It just so happened that right next to this random place we stopped was a tree...with MONKEYS!!!! There were about 5-10 (It was hard to keep track because they were monkeying around so much...hehehe:)) and we wathced them for a bit and took pictures...I was soooooooooooooo excited:) Then we each ate fried fish at the restaurant...as in the whole fish...as in we even ate the tails! Yep, thats what they do here! Right as we paid and were walking to our car, the bottom fell out of the sky...literally. At this point it was pouring. I mean POURING. We decided we better head out though so we wouldnt get stuck on the dirt road since it didnt show any signs of the rain stopping. Unfortunately that meant driving right past the other 2 destinations on our list for the weekend:(
Once back on the main road that was paved, well sort of...I mean, there were patches of pavement dispersed among the holes in the road, anyway we stopped at a place called Charco Verde where there is a green lagoon, kayaking, etc. etc. fun stuff. Except it was still raining. We finally went on about a 5 minute walk in the rain to the lagoon, just so we could say we had done it...plus, lets be honest, it really is fun to walk in the rain:) Eventually we gave up and just drove back to Moyogolpa to the hotel...where it was still raining. After about a 2 hour nap (the perfect rainy day activity I suppose...and the only one on Ometepe..) we got dressed and went out for dinner and to hang out in Moyogolpa.
This morning we started our trip back at 5:00 am again, and didnt make it back to the port until about 11:00..ay, ay, ay. Oh on the ferry though, there were 2 really large trucks with plantain leaves on them. On the back of one of the trucks was a small 2 ft by 4 ft (about?) crate with a gunny sack inside it...inside the gunny sack was a pig...that was tied in with hay string...Mom, now dont you feel like we really were high class all those years with the make shift cage with the tarp in the back of the pickup for the lambs?? :)
We took a different route home though and drove through an area of hills that were COVERED in pineapple farms! It was sooo neat! Every few kilometers (have I mentioned that is how distance is measured here?) there was a fruit stand. We stopped at one that had about 10 different types of fruits so that I could buy some pineapple and zapote (a funny looking fruit...I know its not very descriptive, but that is all I know about it). The guy also had coconuts that were peeled and then he chopped a hole in the top and stuck a straw in it...so we each had one of those, and it was so good! THEN, when we finished we gave the coconuts back to him and he chopped them in half and scooped the coconut meat so we could eat it...muy rico! I was so excited and Melisa couldn't believe it was my first ever coconut...not everyone is lucky enough to live in tropical fruit land:)
I had such a good time though because Melisa is soooo stinking hilarious:) We have so much fun together and she is honestly such a great Spanish coach for me...as was Angela, who didnt speak English but honestly understood every word I said so when I didnt know a Spanish word I could say it in English and she could tell me what it was in Spanish. It made for a very fun weekend of Espanol learning as about 70% of the weekend was in Spanish!
One of my favorite things was that we saw lots of gringos on the Island. Ever since I bought that dried coconut in the shape of a monkey that sits on my desk and says "soy Nica" that is what everyone at work has been saying with me, especially Melisa and I...so every time we saw a gringo this weekend I would roll my eyes and we would say something about stinking gringos and then we'd say, "Que alevia no soy gringo, soy Nica!" (Translated, what a relief I am Nicaraguan and not a gringa:) lol Its fun:)
Oh and just now as I was waiting at the smelly internet store and decided to go have some cafe con leche y pastel zanahoria (carrot cake!) at the coffee house here at the mall that is my favorite...when I went they guy who was waiting on me was the same one who is always there...and he was definitely hitting me (remember how oblivious I am to these things???) but I couldnt really understand what all he said...he either told me I had really beautiful or really ugly eyes at one point, but I was blushing I know so I didnt say "what?" I suppose sometimes ignorance is bliss...except he WAS kind of cute....:)
When we got back this afternoon we were all tired, but really thankful about our big adventure...we figure we have some funny stories...that will be a lot more funny in a few days once we are done being sad we didnt see everything...lol I am very thankful though for a safe weekend to enjoy more of God's beautiful creation and good, new friends!