Today was the shortest transfer of the trip so far and it only took a few hours to get to our next destination – the beautiful volcanic Ometepe island where I’m currently sat on a terrace overlooking the lake. I can’t really see anything as it’s dark but it’s a lovely atmosphere.
This morning we met at 645 ready to get a private minibus the short 75 minute ride to the ferry terminal at San Jorge. We arrived a little early so grabbed some snacks at the little kiosk just outside the dock – I had some sort of closed filled tortilla thing which was greasy but filled a gap and was cheap so I grabbed a few more before making my way onto the boat. When I saw how old the boat was I expected a really rough crossing with how strong the wind was blowing but the crossing itself was actually really nice – heaven compared to the ride out to Roatan in Honduras last week! The journey took maybe 90 minutes and gave us a chance to chat about things while watching the scenery go by.
After disembarking the ferry we all jumped in a couple of minibuses for the short ride to the hotel where, after checking in, we were told all about the various tours that we could take part in. I made use of the free wi-fi (the 4th place we’ve stopped at in a row to offer this facility – I’m sensing a pattern) to read up more on the island and decide what to do. Top of the list was the National Park just up the beach from our hotel so after dumping our bags in the room I wandered with Gina to check it out.
It was a nice walk past a couple of fields and hotels to the National Park and we saw plenty of wildlife on the way. We had trouble getting past at times due to the water level in the lake so had to cut through one of the fields – we found out after getting back that the level of the lake is much higher than normal due to heavy rains in the past year. This fact caused us a bit of a problem when we reached the park as it was partially flooded and we couldn’t walk too far into it before having to turn back, but we were able to see Howler Monkeys which were the thing we set out to see. Just make sure you don’t stand below for too long as we were only alerted to the presence of one above us when it threw poop at us – only missing Gina by a matter of inches!
I planned to swim in the lake for a bit but it started to rain heavily so I read while relaxing on one of the hammocks on the terrace before joining the group for dinner at the hotel restaurant. The food isn’t too great here but it was a great evening – as usual we formed Team Breakaway and had a long evening of drinks, jokes and random iPod karaoke – everything from Children of Bodom to AFI to Blink 182 to Billy Idol and back again. I like this group they’re a fun bunch of people, although I’ll just mention for anybody reading that we didn’t form Team Breakaway out of our lack of willing to integrate or anything – it’s just that as the new people on the tour me, Gary, Kelly and Gina all ended up bonding quickly as the others already had bonded as a group so we’ve done a lot of activities together, along with Mena who we all seem to have a lot in common with.
We’ve decided that tomorrow we’ll rent the kayaks from the sister hotel next door and check out the National Park – if we can’t explore them on foot due to the floods then we’ll explore them by water!