The Americas travel blog

Stone Idols

Off on a 5 part tour of Ometepe. First we visit the petroglyphs. These are located in a farmers field and are now protected by the Nicaraguan Government. These petroglyphs could date back to around 1,000BC and are carved into volcanic rock using a flint chisel by native artists. There is much speculation on the reason for the petroglyphs but there is little information known on why they were carved.

We then go into Altagracia the original indigenous capital of Ometepe. Here the town has the office of a political party and the paintings on the outside of the building show some of the key figures that have supported this party or have inspired their causes. The nearby Catholic Church was built recently but the original church which is next to it is being restored. Within the grounds of the Church are several carved stone idols found on the island and believed to be dated from around 800AD. The local park across the road from the Church is a haven for the youngsters of the town as they are there to get free wifi.

Next to a butterfly sanctuary where we get to see all the butterflies we have already seen in the wild, but up close, so we have more of a chance to capture a photograph. The most spectacular is the Morpho Blue Butterfly. It has a bouncy flight because of its wingspan in relation to its body size and when it stops it folds its wings so its blue colour is hidden and only the camouflage brown with eyespots can be seen. This makes it almost impossible to photograph its beautiful blue.

From the butterfly sanctuary we walk around the lake. The breeze is cool and its a pleasant walk to see some of the flora of Nicaragua and we stop at a lakeside restaurant for lunch a Nicaraguan hamburger!

Finally we call in at a cold water spring pool. The water is lovely and cool and the setting is really nice with tables and chairs with umbrellas poolside. we have a long soak in the fresh water and watch all the young ones swinging from a tarzan rope into the pool. All good fun until a young girl forgets to let go over the water and lands back on the rock edge. Luckily she didn't break anything but she would be sore!

Whilst we were at the petroglyphs today we saw some small holes in the ground in front of them. Our guide tells us that there are baby armadillos in them. He digs around in one of the holes and brings out a tiny 1-2cm long 'thing' that has bands on its back and says it is a baby armadillo. At first we think this is amazing but his story gets a bit questionable when he says this tiny armadillo is a mammal but it lives on insects. Anyway, when we get back to our accommodation and good old wifi, we check and whatever he showed us was definitely not a baby armadillo! Whether it was ignorance on his part or he was trying to deceive us, I'm not sure, but we are not impressed!

Tonight we walk along the lake to the Vegetarian Restaurant. We sit outside under a thatched roof overlooking the lake. There is a lovely breeze and a beautiful sunset and a bit later on some lightning and thunder. The food is very good, I had stir fry vegetables with rice and pineapple and Phil a pasta with tomato and herbs. We had a 1/2 litre carafe of white wine and that all came to A25.00. A beautiful setting and good food. What more do you want!

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