Today we arrived in Ometepe, an island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, which is formed of two volcanoes called Concepcion and Maderas, which is fairly unusual as it is the largest volcanic island in a freshwater lake in the world.
We left this morning at 5.45am – when my alarm went off I certainly did not want to get up! However I didn’t get as bad a wake up as Roger, who ended up having to fight a scorpion off his bag (and apparently saved the whole hotel). We got a chicken bus from Granada, which is basically an old American school bus which has been converted into a public bus. They have double seats but sometimes are forced to seat three, it becomes that packed. Luckily it wasn’t that busy today, but a few people in the group had to hold babies on the bus for locals! We spent two hours on the chicken bus, but it was quite fast: the drivers apparently race each other to the next stop to get the customers. Lawrence gave his seat to a blind man, despite other people refusing to give up their seat, which was quite sad to see. This prompted Lawrence’s observation of the day:
“Life isn’t fair.”
Our tour guide Marvin said that Nicaraguan life is all about just fending for yourself.
We then spent an hour on the ferry to Ometepe – I hadn’t been feeling too well (I think it was the fruit yesterday) but after a nap I felt fine. As we approached the island we saw the stunning sight of the volcano ahead of us. We then met the families of our home stay: the mother of the family couldn’t speak much English at all but seemed absolutely lovely. We were not sure how to greet one another, so we ended up awkwardly shaking hands and then hugging. I am looking forward to getting to know the family better tomorrow, at breakfast.
The area is lovely – fairly untouched by tourism and what I would expect of a local family. We are right next to the kitchen and although the room is basic, it has mosquito nets and fans and is very clean. The bathroom is clean too, though it is shared between many of us!
This afternoon we visited the Ojo de Agua springs, which were beautiful. Although we only stayed a little while as they became quite cold, they retained a very natural presence and made for some great photos.
This evening we had a group meal cooked by local families and volunteers, which included salad, spicy chicken, rice and fruit. We spent the the remainder of the evening by the bonfire, speaking to a couple of new people we met from another G Adventures tour which is going in the opposite direction to us (from Costa Rica to Guatemala).
Tomorrow we are going on a cultural tour around the island on another relaxing day – it should be great!