Four Hotels and an Arachnid
Trip Start Jan 01, 2010
14Trip End May 12, 2010
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Where I stayed
Hospedaje Buena Vista
Technically two separate islands joined by a narrow isthmus, each end has its very own majestic volcano jutting into the air from the otherwise flat surroundings like a curious gopher on the prairies, or a chilled male nipple. As you travel around the island the incredible views change continuously - sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes both, reminded me a little of stalking the Olsen twins. Our first stop was down in the southeast corner at a place called Merida, where we had heard good things about Hacienda Merida. As it turned out, while it certainly had a lot of good points (good food, big hammocks, a wealth of info, wifi) we found we couldn’t live with the downsides. We had a nice top floor room built and decorated with apparent care and featuring a big deck, and at least 80% of the room screened in to protect against Ometepe’s significant insect population. Don’t get me wrong, the 80% part was great, no bugs made it through that way, it was just the other 20% of open space along the roof, in the bathroom and, strangely, into the neighbouring room that became a problem
In addition, we hadn’t seen walls this thin since we were paying $2/night on the Annapurna circuit – could be an environmentally conscious decision to limit the consumption of natural resources, if one was inclined to pass out benefit of the doubt, not my strong suit (that, of course, would be Spades). Nonetheless, we soon learned that paper-thin walls don’t mix well with large groups of jolly Danes feeling the need to share their most intimate hopes, dreams and hiccups until deep into the night. So, first thing in the morning we packed up our bags and our new collection of cherished memories, and headed up the road on the lookout for greener pastures
As luck would have it, Hotel Omaja not only had an available room (we had our choice of the them all, in fact) but it also had a deck with a view, a hammock and, best of all, walls that extended all the way to the roof. We whiled away a couple days sitting on the deck watching the circling vultures by day and giant frogs headed who knows where by night. We were pleasantly surprised by the presence of a TV which allowed me to watch Sergio Busquets shame himself, his Barcelona teammates and the entire sport of soccer with his ridiculous fake injuries and nauseating cowardice. Alas, this scenario was not to last either as we eventually learned that the entire place was booked up for the weekend by rich Managuans coming for a fishing tournament. On the road again.
This time we actually crossed the island to Playa Santa Domingo, the most popular tourist area on Ometepe, traversing some of the worst roads we’d seen since the Great Super Highway Experiments of Cambodia. Long, pretty beach, although kind of windy and grubby when compared with the beautiful white sand beaches of Mexico or Costa Rica. Another good hangout spot, though, and all was progressing nicely until about 12:30am when Laynni suddenly came fully awake with a startled yelp, violently slapping at her arms and back then, by the time I got the light turned on, she had settled into a frightening fit of rocking and whimpering
Um, got it. I won’t go into detail regarding the hysterical and emasculating beating that followed, only that my flip flop played a starring role and eventually our uninvited guest stopped moving. We spent the rest of the night sleeping, fitfully, as you might imagine, under a sheet with more disturbing stains than you’d find on a Sunday morning on Gary Busey’s leather recliner. It also recently occurred to me that there was yet another victim in all this, my beloved Etnies, since for sandals created with a dream of providing passive, peaceful forms of protection and comfort, those flip flops have tasted a shocking amount of violence and death over the past few months
Moving again, as per the plan, though, nothing to do with girly bug fears, or insect-related night terrors. Honest.
Charco Verde (Green Lagoon), and Finca Venecia – down to the southwest corner now, and yet another laid back place to hangout, although it filled to the brim for a couple days thanks to yet another of the seemingly endless stream of random Latin American holidays, and we met up with Grant and Debbie for the third time in Nicaragua which, in the scheme of our transitory lifestyles, represents a level of commitment that in the real world might be akin to first cousins, or maybe two guys catching genital warts from the same girl.
With the exception of a short jaunt to Ojo de Agua (Eye of Water), a popular swimming hole (especially when the thermostat’s pushing 40°) near Playa Santo Domingo, we have gone to great lengths to do very little in the way of popular activities on Ometepe, citing heat (hiking), heat and bad roads (biking), heat and arguments (kayaking), and heat, mud and “are you frickin’ crazy?” (8 hour summit of a volcano), I did venture out for a little one hour stroll around the Chaco Verde peninsula (Laynni bowed out with yet another valid excuse – heat and “weak limbs”)
All right, that’s about it for Ometepe, and nearly it for Nicaragua, since with just a few days left we are mostly hanging out, relaxing and “playing out the string” (a phrase Laynni hates, insisting she’s read it used in reference to lewd and unhygienic anal maneuvres).
I also hope to keep updating fast and furious for the next bit, wrapping up Nicaragua with some final thoughts on Granada (for the second time), Masaya and Laguna de Apoyo, before spending four days in New York city with Andie and her boyfriend, Marv.