Sunday, January 26, 2014

Isle de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Remember the time I said, "we heard the Isle is kind of a pain to get to"...ahh, those were the days of just saying those words and not really experiencing the reality.  Here are all the types of transportation that took us from the beach to Ometepe:
-mini boat
-taxi (equipped with the best 90's jams and booming bass)
-mini bus (just a quick 4 hour trip!)
-ferry (me: "what time does the ferry leave?"  ferry captain: "eh...I don't know, maybe 2pm, but maybe not with the wind, so maybe 4pm but maybe a little earlier if we are ready and the boat is working, but maybe not at all")
-shuttle bus
-20 minute walk up a dark, rock path 

My horse taxi

First mini-boat

We had literally no plan once we got onto the ferry, we got as far as knowing we had to take the ferry, and then beyond that I guess we figured a plan would just create itself and take us somewhere amazing.  It's worked so far so why change it up?  While on our hike we met a Swiss couple who told us about an eco farm they stayed on called El Zopilote.   That's all we knew; no idea really where it was, how long it took to get there or if we could get a bed there.  Perfect combination.  

The ferry and ominous looking volcano 

We made our way off the ferry and just wandered around looking for a bus or a horse or a kayak to take us there.  I saw a beat up yellow bus coming toward us and happened to give it a second glance and saw "El Zopilote" written on the side.  YES!   I ran over and didn't so much ask, but more told the guy that he was going to give us a ride.  After earning our keep, by our I mean Michael did a ton of heavy lifting and I watched the bags, by loading plywood into the back of the van we threw ourselves in and sat on top of the wood for the hour ride to the hostel.  
One last push up the rocky path by headlamp to make it to reception where they told us, sadly, there was no room available.  But, if you remember such famous blog posts as the "Tent on Top of the Bed, Inside the Room" then you will see that we have the ultimate safety net of a tent.  Every smart hostel offers camping for around $3, so into the tent we went!  The hostel was kind enough to give us 2 sheets, so I became nice and familiar with the ground that eve.  It wasn't that bad actually; just rolling over every hour once a side of my body fell asleep.

Our tent hidden in the woods

Upgrading to a cabinita big enough for our hammock! 

El Zopilote is a fully sustainable farm with filtered water (filtered from used shower water), permaculture farming and my personal favorite: compost toilets.  For example: waste water gets irrigated to water the garden, that grows the food they cook and then we eat.  That same water gets filtered again to become drinkable water.  I like staying at places that offer more than just hammocks and cheap drink specials.  

We rented a scooter and toured both sides of the islands; also making it to a natural swimming pool filled with spring water.  *For my Chico babes, it was like Bidwell Park without the drunk college students.  Just drunk Nicaraguans.  I wanted a turn as driver so we took our bike onto the beach so I could go slower and who doesnt want to drive through waves?  Sadly, my driving was short lived because I got scared when playa dogs chased our scooter down the beach.  

Bidwell in Nicaragua

Up next, we may try to head over the border to Costa Rica, or we might end up at the beach again.  It hasn't been decided, but we know whatever the choice it will be just amaaazing :)

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