Ojo de Agua and A Sore Butt

Trip Start Aug 05, 2007
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Trip End Aug 08, 2007


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Flag of Nicaragua  ,
Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I slept hard for 10 hours, but since i went to bed at 8pm, that means i
was up at 6am. i lay in bed and listened to Spanish flutter in and out
of the windows. It took us 14 hours to get here, but today was our full
day and we were going to make it worth our while.

We arose to
smell of salty fish. Breakfast was buffet style, just like dinner. But
now, with the candles burnt out and the morning sun heating everything
up, we could see where we were. to be honest, i don't think there's a
poetic way to describe when you are standing between two volcanoes.
there was no dreamlike ho-hum like when you wake up on a beach and
everything feels like a fantasy. No. This was beautiful, far beyond
what i expected, but it was still two volcanoes that could kill me. The
experience was more humbling than surreal.

After breaky, Suzi,
Nicole and I rented some bikes. The gears didn't really work and they
made high-pitched rusty screams but they worked and we had things to
do. We squealed away from the hostel and onto the only dirt road that
goes around Ometepe.

Dirt roads are hard to bike on anywhere,
but this road had to be the worst I've seen. Oh. that's because they
had chunks of volcano in them. The bumps and dips were killer, and many
a traveler has busted their face on this road. We went bouncing by a
school, and the kids came running up to the fence, yelling hellos and
welcomes. Their uniforms were clean and surprising in tact, blue and
white.

We passed many farms, which surprised me. I didn't think
an island that was composed of two volcanoes would have much land to
spare. Shows how little i know. Something about the chemicals and
minerals in a volcano made the land extra lush for farming, according
to the vast fields of livestock, coffee beans and fruit trees. The
green fields were such a vibrant green they almost reminded me of the
"Ooze" from TMNT as a kid. Pink flowers glowed from every tree. Streams
covered in moss and algae appeared radioactive with colour. I'd say it
felt like an acid trip, but I'd be guessing.

we stopped for
water at a random shop built into a house. A resident parrot resided as
a guard dog and kept a close eye on us. After purchasing much water and
Popsicles, the girl escorted us into her thatched, open air bungalow,
where we lay in hammocks and enjoyed our treats. A chicken came to
check up on us at one point, but we made sure not to cause too much
trouble.

after a painful 40 minutes, the road made a sharp
turn left and there was a beach. Without stopping, we flew down onto
the sand and stripped out of our dirty, sweaty clothes. Except Suzi,
who was into her second week of suffering from a sunburn in Costa Rica.
She layered up the sunscreen and covered her face.

Nicole and
I, however, went splashing into the ocean. I recoiled when i got some
in my mouth. Funnily enough, it didn't taste salty. Oh, right. That's
because Ometepe is in a gigantic lake. I just couldn't get my head
around it. An island, big enough to have volcanoes and farms, is inside
a lake. We were joined by two local boys who did flips and tricks for
us in the water. After, we lay on the beach and tanned, while
Nicaraguan cowboys trotted by us on horses carrying palm leaves.

after
a quick rest, we suited up and hit the road. we had a goal. Not too
much farther down the road was the turn off for Ojo de Agua. the entry
fee was $1. We didn't know what to expect except what Dan the Doctor
had told us about in Costa. He said it was the greatest part of his
trip, and we trusted him. He is a doctor, after all.

We hiked
another 800m into the jungle. Ojo de Agua means Eye of the Water. From
our understanding, it was a pool of cold water blocked off from a
river. it's fresh because the river just pools but keeps flowing. In my
head i pictured a single round pool of water and a few big rocks.

We
pulled into view and had three small heart attacks. it was incredible.
I can't do it much justice except to say that you must go there. Maybe
it was the sunlight, or the water, but it was so clear and so blue,
wafting gently along. The paths long it were cement and stone, and
there wasn't a leaf in the pools. There were stone stairs dropping into
it, and one of the most massive trees I've ever seen erupting from
within in. There were bungalows with hammocks and muskoka chairs for
tanning. There was even a little hut with an older couple to buy food.

First,
we stripped. The humidity plus the effort to move the bikes meant we
were sweating from top to bottom. the water felt magical. it was the
perfect temperature and texture and colour and taste. After squealing
away in the water and efficiently cooling off, we went up to the second
pool where the rope swing was. we tarzaned a few times but were far to
tired to hang on to anything but a beer. Except Suzi, who doesn't
drink.

We made friends with two boys from Israel. Except i
heard them say "Brazil" and started making conversation in the broken
Portuguese i picked up in Mozambique. They stared intently at me.
"Israel?" they questioned. I laughed it off, and explained i was trying
to ask them for bread in a language they didn't speak. It broke the
ice, and we all ordered food and beer (except Suzi) and spread out in
the sun.

As three christian girls, we were oddly interested in
meeting two Jewish boys. We asked them all sorts of questions about
Israel, The Tanach, growing up in such a historical place. A place we
only read about and maybe, at some point, will visit to do a cheesy
tour called "Where Jesus Walked" or "Journey through the Bible". They
countered us with questions about western Christianity, what the "new"
testament says, what we think and infer from the "old" testament. It
was definitely the deepest conversation going on at the Ojo.

We
ate tacos of some sort and i enjoyed some more 50 cent beer. We planned
the rest of our lives and soaked in the sun. We shared stories and took
pictures and enjoyed each minute.

Soon it was time to go and our
asses were unhappy at the thought. We bid adieu to our Israelis and
tumbled our way home. each bump hurt like a charlie-horse and each hill
was harder than the last. Little kids ran along us as we leap-frogged
along, each taking turns to stop and take pictures of the sunset on the
volcano. We arrived home an hour later, looking like we'd been beaten
up by some gang. Twas magnificent.
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