Mike and Jodi's Central American Journey 2009 travel blog

white faced monkeys

through the banana plantation to the pool

Approaching Ometepe


Cows get a drink while women do the laundry

We left rainy, miserable Monteverde early in a hotel van. Costa Rica has one good road, the Pan American highway. For the rest, they´re like our green roads so it´s always an adventure when you drive anywhere.

4 hours later we approach the border to Nicaragua where we´re left by the van and surrounded by men wanting us to exchange our colones for cordovas. We´re in luck as there´s not much of a line up to pick up our visas and stamp our passports. Next we walk across the border, hand in the visas, have our stamps checked and carry on. Here is where our luck runs out as there´s a long line up for the final checkpoint. Then the fellow decides to go on lunch but JOhn convinces him to let our group through first.

That´s done and we pile 4 guys in one taxi and 5 of us in the other and RACE down the road. The taxis were racing and I closed my eyes.

We arrived in Rivas, stopped at ATMS and carried on to the port of Gorge to catch the ferry to Ometepe. The water is very rough and it´s an interesting 1.5 hours. On the other side we meet another van who takes us over more very interesting roads, stopping for goats, cows, bikes and whatever else is on the road to our hotel in Santo Domingo.

The hotel is very cute and Manuel welcomes us and memorizes all our names. WOw. We basically spent the rest of the day ¨getting the beers in¨and checking the place out while we enjoyed the HEAT!

After a great dinner, nice conversation we went to bed early in our 2nd story room with a iny bathroom, port hole for a window and slept like babies with the surf from lake Ometepe pounding outside.

The next day we had a nice early breakfast and went to visit the monkeys the farmer across the street feeds. We had a nice chat with him. He feeds his horses bananas! Ometepe is the largest freshwater lake in the world and is self sufficient. About 40,000 people, 2 hospitals, plenty of schools, monkeys, plenty of green parrots and two volcanos. It´s gorgeous. The people are VERY nice and most of them never leave the island. They export bananas, coffee, plantain, and have plenty of cows, pigs and chickens.

A bunch of us went for a long walk to see the petroglyphs. The walk there and back was just as interesting as the site itself. Back to the hotel to have Manuel serve us lunch, cool off and then we walked the road in the other direction to a swimming hole. That was beautiful. A little girl named Stephanie opened the gate for us and we walked through a banana plantation to get to the pool which was created by damming a stream and building concrete walls. It was with more green parrotss in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by lush jungle and cost $2. They even served beer.

That night at dinner we discussed the possibility of changing the itinerary and staying in OMetepe. Apparently John could get fired for that so, unfortunately we have to leave. ON to Granada tomorrow!

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