OMETEPE.......Es Muy Tranquilo !!
Trip Start Dec 31, 2010
60Trip End Apr 01, 2011
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The journey started around 10:00 am Monday with our driver Rudy picking us up and driving us to the Port of San Jorge, which is about a 30 minute trip north of SJdS. We arrived at the dock, bought our tickets and boarded the ferry" Ometepe # 1".The weather was quite nice, sunny but kinda windy. We left the port headed over to the island, and in a very short time I realized we were in for a rough ride! You seriously have no idea how large this lake is! There were 4-5 foot swells, and the ferry was pitching around like a cork! Lake Nicaragua is the largest lake in Central America. I think it may be just a wee bit smaller than Lake Superior .After about an hour and a quarter we reached the island port of Moyagalpa. I was very happy to finally be there on Ometepe, but sad because my camera packed it in for good just after boarding the ferry. FIGURES?? Arggh!
Once we got off the boat we had a driver from our hotel waiting and we drove around the backside of the volcano Conception. The roads on this island are a true engineering marvel to say the least! The roads are not paved in the conventional manner, no........., they are individual paving stones, and they are ALL hand laid. This island is 274 sq. miles, so you can just imagine the man hours it took to build these roads, and they are in "perfecto" condition.
So after driving for almost a half hour we reached a town called Altagracia, turned right and headed down a dirt road through 168 acres of plantains! Plantains are the # 1 crop on Ometepe and reportedly this little island produces the majority of plantains for export all over Central America!
After what seemed like an eternity(exaggerated slightly) we reached our destination...................
Finca San Juan de la Isla. Sitting right at the base of an active volcano is the most exquisite resort I have seen in Nicaragua. It was "breathtaking".Facing east ,right on the beach (yes this lake has a beach) and a high and low tide !!
After walking around a bit and taking in all the beautiful flowers, birds, trees, etc. Ross and I were taken to our private "Casita" in the jungle. There are four separate casita's and also a lodge on the site. The casita we rented was tucked away in a "jungle like" setting. My first impressions of the Finca when I arrived was "OMG, this is just like Jurassic Park, but no dinosaurs" There were however 40 + species of birds, most I had never seen, and more butterflies than you could imagine.One of the birds I quickly became very interested in is the "blue magpie" It is the Central American version of a cross between a blue jay and a magpie, but with way more personality. These comical little birds have a dozen or more mating/greeting calls, and they were used to people being around.They were so fun to watch that we decided to stay on the finca and bird watch, rather than travel around looking for a site seeing opportunity.
After Ross and I were all settled in, cold drink in hand, and suitcases unpacked I again started whining about my broken camera and what a shame to see all this spectacular scenery, and NO PICTURES!!
I went back to our casita to get something and then I had an Epiphany!! "What if I could find a camera like my broken one, remove my memory card, and put it in the "loaner" camera.Then I could take some pix, and then put it back, hmmmmmm............seems like an impossible idea, but worth a try. So I wait until dinner time and start working the room, looking for someone with a similar camera.Thinking the entire time that my chances were slim at best. I spy a trio of traveler's at a table and move in for some idle "chit chat". I introduce myself and notice almost immediately that one of the group has a camera on the table next to her. I move in closer and focus on the camera case, and then.................much to my surprise........It's a flippin Cyber Shot camera!! Exactly the same as my broken one.............unbelievable!! So I tell the gal my tale of woe, how I have no working camera and here I am on Ometepe with so many fabulous photo op's everywhere, and I tell her my plan about swapping the memory cards and she agrees! Whew! So now I have the card and the camera, and I am running all over the compound snapping pictures like crazy because it is starting to get dark.Then the next day on the ferry back to San Juan del Sur I had almost the same thing happen when the ferry was pulling away from the dock I realized that I didn't have a decent photo of the spectacular Volcan Concepcion, so I casually noticed a couple of young women sitting outside, and again much to my surprise, one of the girls had a Cyber Shot camera, I again told my tale of sad, broken camera, and did the switch once more.Yay!! I now have 53 pictures of Ometepe Island, and I am so thankful for the kindness of others. What a great trip that was! On the way home we stopped in Rivas and I bought a new digital camera, which turns out is actually better than the one we had, so it's all good until our next adventure to the Corn Islands this Saturday. It is really getting late now, and I do have several pictures uploaded on this blog entry.So just click on one of the photos below for a slideshow.I'm back again in a few days, so until then.................."adios"