Nicaragua: Ometepe

BYEEEE SAN JUAN DEL SUR. Adios. It’s been fun, but I need to get outta here. A girl can only drink so many glasses of moose juice, and I have reached my limit. On to Ometepe, an island made up of two volcanoes that sit within the largest lake in Nicaragua.
We hop on a chicken bus from San Juan and ride back to Rivas. From there we get a taxi to the port from which the ferry leaves. It only leaves 3 times a day, and we’ve got an hour to kill so we sit down for some lunch. The dock area is pretty horrible. The water looks muddy and brown, and the wind is blowing so hard I get sand in my eyes more than once, so for lunch we sit indoors. We arrange a shuttle bus to pick us up when we arrive on Ometepe for $7. Even though the chicken busses are cheaper, we’d have to switch 3 times and it would take much much longer so we splurge for the shuttle.

Obviously, we meet two other Canadians on the boat ride over, because everyone here is Canadian. They’re from Banff, and have just arrived in Nicaragua to elope. They were married three days ago. I love it.

Our shuttle driver doesn’t speak English, but we communicate that we’d like a cheap accommodation; none of the 6 people in our shuttle have booked anything in advance. He suggests we stay in Santa Cruz, and drives us to a place where dorms are $8, but they only have 5 beds left. The other 4 people in the car are couples and seem to be traveling on a higher budget than us, they don’t stay. Meanwhile, we happily accept the dorms, which have an incredible view of the volcano Conception. Best $8 I ever spent.

I go to shower and when I return the two couples are back. Apparently the only two other hotels they could find were charging $70 a night for a private room. So the poor newly married couple have to share a tiny bed in a room with one fan, four strangers, and some ants on the wall. Primeeee honey moon.

At dinner, we run into some other girls who invite us to go have a couple drinks at the only bar that’s open late in this part of Ometepe, called Little Morgan’s.

Four of us start the walk down to the bar, and to our unpleasant surprise the road is entirely unlit. Ilona and I are sketched out but the other two girls seem fine with it. We seriously consider turning back. Randomly, we pass what looks like someone’s house, where an older couple are sitting on their front step in rocking chairs. The girl from Belgium in our group is pretty fluent in Spanish and I ask her to ask them if it’s safe for us to be out. They say yes, but go fetch a male backpacker staying in their home stay. They ask him to walk us down to the bar. Sorry we just ruined your chill night, man. He’s super nice and happy to do it, but says he’s been in Ometepe for a few days and believes it’s one of the safest places in Nicaragua. We end up getting kind of lost because the road splits off and we go the wrong way, but eventually make it to the hostel bar unharmed.

When we finally arrive, I confirm with the bartender who assures me it’s safe to walk around at night, but obviously doesn’t suggest I do it alone. The other girls and I make a promise to all leave together.

We meet MORE Canadians. Some Québécois, Manitoban, or from Calgary. I will admit there are some Aussies and Brits at the bar too, but the majority of us are Canadian. Such is life in Nicaragua.
On our way home we stop to look at the stars which are absolutely beautiful, because as I mentioned before, there is a significant lack of lighting on the roads.

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