Total distance travelled: 38,732.2 kilometres (24,057.27 miles)
It was nursing sore heads and fragile bodies (due to our Xmas shenanigans) that we found ourselves headed for a ferry to Isla de Ometepe on Boxing Day (I’m not sure what the rest of the world calls it, but in Australia this is December 26th).
Finding ourselves flushed with US dollars, but lacking in Cordoba’s, we were met with a ticket lady (yes, it was a lady) near the dock who wasn’t able to change them. Not what our weary heads were too happy to hear.
Thankfully, a fortunately located security guard advised us we could purchase on-board, so we made our way to the ferry, ready for departure.
Eventually we got underway, the rocking motion of the vessel cause for concern with the possibility our stomachs were fragile, but we were ultimately okay.
With no seats free, and me eager to avoid the sun, we found a shaded spot beneath a stairwell near the bow of the vessel.
This was a great spot, albeit windy, until the weather turned. It got so clouded in fact, that both volcanoes (for Isla de Ometepe is formed by not 1, but 2 volcanoes) disappeared from sight.
When the rains came, enough was enough so we spent the rest of the voyage huddled beneath a tiny awning on the side of the ferry.
After what felt an eternity, we neared land and the rain slackened. Then we heard a splash!
Indeed it was, although in this case it was deliberate.
Turns out this is how they tie off the vessel, so it can pivot its way into the dock!
On dry land, we were now faced with the task of finding a bed, at least for tonight, and possibly for a few days.
Our first attempt and then our second, and even our third were met with no success (the first two were full, the third stupidly overpriced).
We spied a place down a side street, however as we wandered towards it, we were hailed by an older gent from his porch. Turns out his home also has rooms for $10.00 US a night.
Basic they were, but they had great wi-fi and a private bathroom. We were sold!
In fact we passed much of our three days on the island there… broken up by repeat visits to a very good pizza shop and occasional food excursions.
We did manage to find a way to live stream the Cricket from back home (that most English and Australian of sports), so it seemed the perfect time to open up those Barbecue Shapes we’d been delivered in Cuba (an Australian savoury snack).
So did we waste our entire time here with a bit of rest and relaxation (much needed after a hectic few days)?
Almost, but not quite…
You see, there was still that damned big mountain, well okay, volcano looming above us, and on our final full day on the island, I thought we should at least try and get a decent picture of it.
From afar, it looked pretty cool, veiled in a complete layer of cloud. But I wanted to get a little closer, so we began to walk.
Eventually the road became dirt, before even ceasing to be a road (it was more a sandy/rocky trail), but we persevered. Surely somewhere up ahead would be a clear, panoramic shot of the volcano!
Initially there’d been a sprinkling of locals about, but as the time we’d traveled lengthened, so too did the time between people sightings.
A small rise gave me a glimpse of an adjacent field which looked to have a fairly clear view of Concepcion, so we quickly clambered over a barbed wire fence to take a peek.
The view was nice, but I still hoped for better, and as such thought an attempt at a tree climb might provide it.
Better again, but still not quite it…
The closer we ventured, the more sandy the trail became, at times branching in other directions, but we maintained our bearing.
As we progressed, the surrounding vegetation actually got thicker and I began to doubt if we’d see anything more at all.
To debunk those thoughts, we did see some things pretty quickly, although it wasn’t the volcano.
Just a few locals hanging around…
Eventually, we decided we’d give ourselves an extra 10 minutes before turning around, although after taking a narrow, partially overgrown side trail we allowed ourselves a 5 minute extension.
Then we emerged into a volcanic field of red.
Obviously at time a place where lava had flowed, it was now dissected by a deep channel (we assumed where rain waters had flowed down from the volcano), this looked like an amazing place to explore.
All thoughts of turning around were forgotten, so we began a new journey along this worn, dry bed.
The rock was jagged and hot, fired with renewed heat from the sun, so we hugged the shade wherever and whenever possible.
It was an incredible trail to follow, with every metre we’d travel, a multitude of geckos would scurry off seeking apparent safety.
We must have startled thousands of the poor creatures!
Eventually got to a point where we could take some more photos and here we also decided enough was enough.
Our short ten minute walk had become a couple of hour trek, and we now needed to take ourselves all the way back!
That we did, feeling it was very well deserved when we poured ourselves a first beer over a belated lunch.
Now we had to do something about the state of our feet…
* Our lodging in Moyagalpa cost us $10.00 US per night for a room at Casa Familiar (basic room with Fan, TV, private bathroom and amazing internet).
* Our self guided volcano discovery trek was unsurprisingly, FREE!