Nicaragua: Last Day

It’s time to leave Ometepe. Contrary to my sentiment when leaving San Juan Del Sur, I am sad to go today. There’s a ton of things to do here and it’s filled with so much natural beauty that I’m sure I could have spent my entire trip here and been content. Mike and Tyler (pals from Manitoba) have decided to come with me, Taylor, and Alex (pals from Toronto) back to Managua. Ilona has to go back to San Juan Del Sur to start her job, so we all meet for breakfast and head for the ferry together.
It is, hands down, the sketchiest boat ever. On our way here we had a much bigger ferry, and while it was still a choppy ride that made me pretty queasy, I now know that I took it for granted. This is going to be awful. Our new boat is wooden and has holes all over the place. I don’t know much about boats and obviously it wouldn’t exist if it couldn’t handle the waves, but it’s hard to believe by looking at it, that we’ll make it through an hour and a half ride. We almost don’t. I swear…the amount of times I was convinced we were about to capsize…

Nicaragua: Lagunas and Motorbikes

Lately I’ve been waking up early; I don’t even know who I am anymore. Maybe it’s just because there’s so much fun stuff to do and so little time to do it. Excited to start my day! Our plan today is to rent motorcycles and your around the island.

Nicaragua: Bikes, Kayaks, and Angry Monkeys

Somehow, I wake up at 11:30. We’ve made plans to meet some friends around 9 to go kayaking and I panic, assuming we’ve unintentionally ditched them. But jk, I’m delusional and it’s only 7:30am. Now I can go back to sleep. But jk, no I can’t. It appears I am up for the day.
I spend the morning hanging out, reading my book, and admiring the view of the volcano in my backyard. Hard life.

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.

Nicaragua: Giant Jesus

We try for the beach again. It’s still windy. I skip the sunscreen glue this time, and pray I don’t burn. I’ve been so diligent with my UV protection that I’m actually still pasty white, which is not how one should look in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua: Loose Moose

It’s 35 degrees and sunny; we’re going to the beach. The water is a lot nicer here than it was in Las Penitas. It’s got that mystifying teal blue colour, and is much calmer. I’m not a super strong swimmer, so I prefer this. It’s windy as hell on the beach. I am literally covered in sand. It probably doesn’t help that I’m wearing sunscreen, it really might as well be glue, but at least I won’t be burnt and sandy.

Nicaragua: San Juan Del Sur

Breakfast at this little hostel (potentially named Mismo Aqui but I’m not certain) is pretty bomb. We are served a fresh beet/carrot/orange juice blend, with beans, rice, toast, eggs, and a little tomato salad. It’s included in the price of our stay, so I wasn’t expecting much more than toast. Nice little surprise!
Ilona and I check out and walk a few blocks to the bus terminal. It’s just an empty lot with a few parked chicken busses, where men are shouting town names and pointing to different busses.

Nicaragua: Chicken Busses

Worst morning ever. I’m in rough shape. No Bueno. But there’s no time to waste when you’ve only got 2 weeks in a country, so I crawl out of bed. We have breakfast at Playa Roca, and Ilona and I make a very impulsive decision to catch a bus to San Juan Del Sur. Tanner stays, but we will probably meet up with him a week from now when we visit Granada.
It’s a 5 hour journey to San Juan from where we are now in Las Peñitas, and we need to take 3 different busses to get there. We hop on a chicken bus (yellow school bus that crams as many people on as possible, standing room in the aisles if necessary. Some people actually carry chickens, pigs, etc. This is a common form of cheap transportation in Nicaragua. We each pay 14 Cordobas ($0.50) for a 20 minute ride) which takes us back to Leon. Here, we get a taxi to the bus terminal; this costs 25 Cordobas ($0.90) for the two of us.
At the terminal we hop in a van which makes the trip back to Managua; 54 Cordobas ($1.90). We both get crammed into the front seat next to the driver. I spend the entire 2 hour trip with my backpack on my lap because there’s no space anywhere for it in the van. Our driver plays Spanish covers of Abba and helps us take photos of volcanoes in the distance. There are a few close calls…like he almost gets us into a head on collision with an 18 wheeler truck…but he’s cool.

Nicaragua: Las Peñitas 

My toe is so itchy that it actually wakes me. There’s a big hanging bug net above my bed but it has some significantly large holes in it. Defective. Have you ever had a mosquito bite on your toe? An itch on your foot? Is there anything worse?

Nicaragua: Volcano Boarding 

Three of the four people in our room wake up at 8am to be ready to go volcano boarding. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Boarding down a volcano. Though, honestly, it’s a little more like tobogganing. The fourth guy is too hungover to make it; meanwhile I am feeling better than ever about my decision to stick to water last night. We pay $31 American Dollars for the trip. It may seem a little pricey, but I’d heard $150 before I even arrived in Nicaragua, so now it sounds free by comparison.