Isla de Ometepe, 24-25 May 2008

We left Granada considerably lighter – 15kg to be precise, all packaged and sent Nicaraguan Express Post all the way to Belgrave Road.  We had enough of carrying around Guatemalan bedspreads and huipiles for now!  Cathal was disappointed to still be carrying almost 9kg of Coke bottles that the post office refused to take. 

 Port business welcomes travellers!

Two buses and a boat ride after leaving Granada we found ourselves on Isla de Ometepe, on Lago de Nicaragua.  Nahuatl speaking colonists came here because their legends foretold an island with two (ome) islands (tepetl).  And this is still why people come to this island – two picturesque volcanoes joined by a narrow spit of land.  Nevermind the risks – Volcan Conception, on the more developed side of the island, is active today.  It has been showing signs of activity since 2005, in fact you can no longer climb to the crater at the summit without a special permit due to the noxious gases being emitted.  However, the last time it looked like eruping, the government sent boats to rescue everyone, but nobody evacuated!  Volcan Maderas is small, safer and easier to climb.  We elected to climb neither, which may come as a surprise! 

 Isla de Ometepe from the boat

 On the boat to Ometepe

On the recommendation of a French chap we met on the boat, we headed accross the island on the bus, arriving 90 minutes later at Santa Cruz.  From here we hiked a hot and humid 1km up the hill to Aubergue El Parvenir.  The trek was worth it – we were rewarded with a lovely place to stay, complete with hammocks, cool beers and a perfect view of Volcan Conception and the bay to the east. 

 Volcan Conception at sunset

 Breakfast al fresco

Ometepe is not a place for arachnaphobics – the 8 legged creatures are everywhere!  In some places the webs cover trees and shrubs completey with their lacy webs.  After dinner we spotted a rather large member of the species trotting accross the deck…

We mainly relaxed on our 24 hour visit, taking a short (again hot!) walk to look at Petroglyphs, carvings in volcanic stone made hundreds of years ago. 

Some more photos below:

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