Wednesday, June 19, 2013

La Isla de Ometepe

This past weekend we went to the big island in the middle of the lake called Ometepe. It is made up of two volcanos, one of which is active. 
How cool?! So first we had to get there, which meant a bus, a taxi, and a ferry. So when we got there Saturday night we just got a place to stay, went to dinner, then went out for a little while. Just a small group of us went out and we went to this super colorful and maybe slightly hippie-ish bar/hostel. Rumor is that it's owned by a cult leader who does some pretty sketchy stuff. And then when we were there the power went out and we had candlelight covos for part of the night. I had a ton of fun because I went with some people that I haven't really spent much time with, and so some serious bonding occurred. I also got to see the more human and less coordinator side of Alex which was so fun! He's great. No surprise there. So then we went back to the hostel and slept. 

The next morning Allie and I stayed behind as the others biked or hiked. We talked to Robinson, the hostel guy, and asked for suggestions of amazing things to do on the island for the morning while the others were gone. So we settled it: we would get an amazing breakfast....
And then rent an ATV to ride across the island...
So we strapped our belongings to the front and headed to the other side of the island where the best beaches are. If you check out the map up top: we rode from Moyogalpa on the northwest coast, to Santa Cruz on the eastern coast between the two volcanos. And we saw some of the most amazing sights of my life: 

And Allie driving us: 

So then we checked into a hostel at Santa Cruz and met the bikers for lunch and then headed to the beach. And obviously we played with the ATV on the beach and all the love for crazy driving came back quickly. In about half a second I was fish-tailing and spinning out and jumping and driving through the water. Classic. 
Me riding off across the beach. This doesn't even seem real. 

Then the rest of the hikers arrived to the beach and Graham lived his life per usual: 
Then eventually we decided it was time for dinner. So a group of us decided to walk to Balgüe (also on the map) and found a great restaurant that served amazing non-Nicaraguan food. So I had guacamole and a bruschetta-like salad. Then we headed home and sat around with most of the group and just talked and goofed off. People singing and Allie and I confessing our crushes on one of the guys there. Again, the usual evening.

Then Sunday, another fun packed day! First six of us impulse decided to rent horses for an hour and ride along the beach.
Then we were going to visit a natural cool spring called Ojo de Agua. It was about a 4 km walk though and after riding the horses we were all hot and tired. The rest had already left and were walking, so the six of us decided we would start walking but try to hitchhike at least part of the way. So by some incredible luck, we flagged down the first vehicle with an open cab and ended up in a truck bed with a bunch of Australians who work at a hostel near ours and they were going to Ojo de Agua as well! They were so cool and invited us to hang out with them later too! So so lucky! So our hour and a half walk turned into a 10 min car ride with some really cool people. Here is Akshay with our new bro Jack.  
 Upon arrival, Ojo de Agua was breathtaking. 

So amazing!! Then we got a ride back with our new amigos and got ready for dinner. We obviously walked to Balgüe to the same place again, which was about a 40 min walk. The guacamole alone was worth it though. Then some of us went to Little Morgan's Hostel (where our amigos worked) and hung out for a few hours. Got to hang with the other coordinator Kevin plus a few of the guys I usually kick it with. It was really nice to get to know Alex and Kevin on a personal level this weekend! Kevin is wonderful as well, surprise there. Everyone here is actually pretty great! 

Then Monday was travel home day. Two busses to get back to Moyogalpa, then a ferry to San Jose, then a bus to Rivas, then a bus to Granada, then walk from the bus stop to mi casa. Only like 6 hours of travel, but it actually went by pretty quickly. 

The weekend was clearly a success. Here are a few more photos: 
Me and Allie in the truck headed home from Ojo de Agua. 

Allie and I in front of one of the volcanos. 

Matt Malick and I looking like best friends. He is the one who Allie and I crush on daily. 

And Akshay living the life. 

And lastly- the volcano as we left the island. 

This place rocks. Nicaragua is one of the most beautiful places I've been, easily. 

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