Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rambling about Isla Ometepe

Full Disclosure: My traveling is faster than my blogging. I am now back at home in cold, cold Wisconsin. I have processed the 1500+ photos I took during the trip down to about 645 "keepers". This will be particularly helpful for these next two blog posts, since there are a bunch of photos of birds and monkeys that I took with my 'good camera' that wouldn't have been available on my iPhone while blogging 'from the trail'. So without further delay... Ometepe: We were awoken again bright and early by a rooster. This was his turf, and he wanted everyone to know it.

Our bikes drew some interest from a fellow hostel guest as well as a guy who later we found out who was the brother of the manager girl (and I say girl because I think the chica running the place was 14). Anyway, this guy who's name I never caught, had the nicest bike I'd seen in Nicaragua, outside of Cesar's bikes.

His bike was a Nashbar road frame from the early 90's, looked pretty good, even made in Japan. I tried to explain that I had a bike of similar vintage also made in Japan back at home. I think he got it. He was fascinated with my touring bike, so I let him ride it. I rode his. We swapped back to our respective bike and he offered to lead us out of town. And we followed til the edge of town, where I had to figure out how to explain to him that we needed breakfast (bear in mind that this is all happening in my very broken Spanish). He seemed disappointed, but lead us to a place just a block back. This was probably the most authentic Nica breakfast we had the whole trip.

Red Nashbar bike guy hung out for a few minutes and we tried to chat, but eventually he took off, not sure if he was planning on coming back after we ate, but we didn't see him as we rolled out of town. We took it pretty slow, and enjoyed the sights on the island.

Stopped for an early lunch at a Natural Vegetarian Restaurant on the beach. Nice view.

We rode across the wind-blasted road paralleling the beach along the narrow part of the island and just across the other side of the isthmus we arrived at the village of Santa Cruz, and got ourselves a couple of rooms at the Hotel/Hostel Santa Cruz. I got a single room for $15 and Valerie's was $25 a night with private bath! It was a pretty nice place too, the room fee and meals all went on a tab that we paid at the end of our two night stay there. We got our things together and rode off down the road towards the kayak rental place just about 2 miles away. It was a very rough road though, and I had to give Valerie an impromptu mountain biking lesson.

When we got there, this little girl couldn't be bothered with us, she was too busy hanging in her hammock watching Dora the Explorer. The Spanish version is the opposite of the US version, Dora mostly speaks in Spanish and throws out the occasional word or phrase in English.

We got ourselves a double kayak for the extra paddle power, as we were facing a mighty headwind coming from the direction of our goal, the Rio Istian. We hugged the shore the whole way and pushed with mighty paddle strokes into the gale. A small storm blew over us along the way, it was so freaking windy that the rain mostly blew over our head as it was blocked by shoreline vegetation. Finally we paddled through the shallow water of the Rio Istian delta getting stuck in the mud a bit, and into the river proper where we saw lots and lots of birds.

It was pretty awesome. We got back in time to ride down the bumpy road back to the hotel/hostel in the fading light. In fact, we had to walk the last 1/4th of a mile or so since biking on a rough road in the dark is a bad idea.

1 comment:

  1. Hey man, great blog and it sounds like you had an amazing adventure.
    BTW, I'm thinking of doing the Transwisconsin this summer and I'd love to ask you a few questions about it, but I can't seem to find your email. Kindly reach out to me if you're willing to chat about it: Thanks,