Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Ometepe Island

This time last month... I was on a long ass travelling day crossing into Nicaragua from Costa Rica. It took 8 hours all in. First a bus to the border which took 5 hours and in between we stopped at a city plaza to grab some lunch and something for our Homestay families. I also needed a new set of headphones. Next to a decent conversation on the long bus journeys and some restful sleep (if you can fall asleep to being bumped around - I can!) I love to whack my headphones in and play some tunes whilst I watch the world go by. Then it was a 3-step process through Security and a lot of waiting around in the heat of the day - and sweating buckets. Did I mention the sweating buckets bit !! Luckily I had wet wipes so we could all cool off, frequently. They'd only half stamped Olivia's passport (on purpose?), so she and Rafa had to go back and queue and do it all again... Whilst waiting I changed up some dollars into Cordoba. The rate was spot on at 1 dollar = 26 cordoba (we'd checked the internet prior to entering Nicaragua). 
After making it through, it was a short bus ride to the ferry port where we had an hour's wait for the next one over to Ometepe island. We got totally sandblasted until we found some shelter. Just look at the trees in these pictures. En route, we had seen one of these windmills crashed, smashed and burnt out on the ground. Imagine that coming down on you! 

It was a rather choppy 1 1/2 hour ferry ride but we did meet some nice people and get some great views.

After the final bus journey of the day, a mere 30 minutes later, we arrived at our destination on Ometepe island just in time for the sunset. Playing with the children over a delicious locally cooked dinner, our hosts from Puesta del Sol welcomed us into their village. G Adventures run a homestay Planeterra project here so for the next two nights, we would be splitting up and staying with different families. 

Finally around midnight, once we were settled in our accommodation, Olivia and I both desperately needed (and wanted) a shower. The taps were there but nothing came out. After some mis-matched Spanish and lots of sign language - mostly by me - our hosts showed us the bucket and showed us the sink filled with water and, well,  that was that. I have to tell you, it's been a few years since I've shared my shower with bugs! And this didn't bode well for our hike up the volcano tomorrow where we knew we'd be disgustingly dirty by the end of it.

To be continued...