Lost on a Volcano - Ometepe island, Nicaragua

Lost on a Volcano – Ometepe island, Nicaragua

We banged a Lesbian (lurched left) when we should have hung a Roger (run right). Now we were lost on a volcano, in volcano jungle, nearing sunset. “Lost” in that we didn’t know where we were, though there was only on direction to go really: Down.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BncuUy6wsXM]

Getting lost took a lot of steps. Number one was getting on a ferry to Ometepe Island: the largest freshwater lake in the world. We were told to wait to load last, which left only a little space for us to squeeze our fat bikes into.

Jayne waiting to load, sneaky policeman takes the inside position.

Jayne fit fine, but the a sneaky policeman zipped into the space left for me. The policeman moved over as much as possible, but for the first time in my life I found myself facing a fact: I was too fat.

“The next boat is in an hour, you could just take that one, fatty” the ferry worker said.

“True, but this one is here NOW, why can’t we put the little police moto in the back of that truck” I replied, pointing.

Moments later, 4 men were lifting the police moto into the back of the empty truck and I was squeezing onto the ferry.

Police moto up in the truck, along with a scooter who had also initially been denied aboard.

The two fat kids squeezed onto the ferry. Truck made a great tie-down point.

We stopped for lunch upon offloading, and that’s when the 6.6 earthquake struck off the coast of Nicaragua. Reportedly. We never even noticed it, but our dad told us all about it later. Missing out on all the fun we are.

Jayne is more stable after moving our bags from her seat to the top of her boxes.

Arrived at the Finca! Roberto is fantastic, he even interrupted his lunch to come welcome us to his Finca Tiguilote. His KLR 250 looks tiny up against Jugs and Cricket.

Jayne was a touch Jealous of it’s small size and weight

Roberto set us up in his little guest house.

no camping required! Thanks Roberto!

We had an outdoor shower with beautiful views, and an outhouse that you couldn’t help but staring into… it was ALIVE down there.

Thankfully it was NOT alive in the shower however.

Roberto’s Finca (farm) Tiguilote (name of his farm) was incredible, with everything from Papaya to Banana to Teak growing on it. The volcanic soil is supremely fertile.

Plantations at the Finca

He also introduced us to Alberto, who would later take us under his wing and give us a tour of the lower reaches of Volcan Maderas. We had hoped to climb it, but had set out too late in the day. We settled on petroglyphs and river walks, and had a great wander.

We are deeply indebted to Alberto (left). Muchas Gracias!

Jayne molests hundred year old petroglyphs

The girls frolic and cool off  in the river

After said tour, we happened upon an all too common sight: tourists scraped up from a scooter accident. I offered to use my nursing powers to scrub dirt out of some wounds, and they accepted.

Her protective gear (shown) didn’t quite cover everything.

Surgical scrub to clean the wounds…

“this won’t feel nice”

I didn’t say my nursing powers would be pain free.

The friends loved my “Hero” shirt. The patient just loved when it was over.

The next day we set out a little earlier so we would have time to climb Volcan Maderas. A LITTLE earlier. If we hiked at average speed I figured we would make it down just before sunset.

Jayne, fighting rumbling lungs and hearing it would be 2 more hours, wisely turned back soon after this photo.

The hike was nice, but challenging, getting muddier the higher we climbed.

Mud and slippery logs, oh my.

We also had to battle these deafening beetles.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eROX87d3tdg]

With a posted round trip time of 6-8 hours, I had estimated our turn-back-time should be 2:30pm.

View from near the top

At 2:30, we met folks who said we were really close to the goal of the Laguna, and that people were having sex there. We figured being this close, we really should go check it out. When we arrived 15 minutes later, the couple still going at it somewhere out of view. (turn up your volume for the full experience)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS3AsAF_EfE]

We left those fine folks to do their thing, and headed out from the Laguna around 3:15. We would now have to hurry to beat the sun.

Tread lightly at the laguna

is Roger a Lesbian?

Then there was a “y”. The left option looked more heavily travelled so I chose that one. Soon we were seeing views that we didn’t see on the way up, and not hearing those annoying beetles. By the time we realized we had made a wrong turn it was too late to go back for fear of hiking in the forest in the dark. Those howler monkey’s are scary. Oh dear.

Being lost wasn’t without it’s perks though:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpY2G3lVoSw]

Nice place to rest… but seriously that sun is setting right now.

Ok, that’s enough sunset staring, MOVE IT!

Light began to wane.

“I don’t wanna hike in the dark”

…too bad, the Darkness cometh.

Many hours since brunch, were feeling a little like starvin’ marvin’ on the way down. Error: no snacks in our pockets! Fortunately as we emerged from the Volcano forest, we entered farm land with banana and Mango plantations!

Never before have unripe mangoes tasted so shockingly good.

Then we found people who cultivate those bananas and mangoes. It was now officially dark: 6:30pm. The people who cultivate the bananas and mangoes kindly pointed us lost white folk towards the road. We may have become lost again with the now ample choices of criss-crossing paths in the dark, if it wasn’t for a family going our way. We just hopped in line and followed them the last 15 minutes out to the road.

Thanks for leading us out family!

After a short hitch-hike; we were home! It was night. But we didn’t die on a volcano. So all in all that’s a win!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kg5X6vphzk]

Meeting up with Jayne, who we had texted earlier to say we were taking a “different” route but omitting that we were lost, we went for a recovery dinner at Cafe Campestre. Good food if you’re on the island.

…also good for mid-day rocking chair naps.

The next morning we packed up and head for the ferry. Just as we were leaving, Jayne noticed one of her crash-bar bags had been stolen. A flip through the camera showed that it had been missing since before we even came to the island. Our first theft off the bikes for the trip: a bag of useless-for-you but really-useful-for-me tools, tape and rags. Annoying.

Waiting to load on El Rey, after a 2 hour Phil-delay. Note Jayne’s remaining crash bar bag.

One last error delayed our exit from the Island. I misunderstood “doce y media” (12:30) as “dos y media” (2:30) for the ferry departure time, so we missed the boat. We rode to the other port and took the same ferry we had taken over, the “El Rey”. Turns out the “El Rey” costs half as much, so it all worked out. 2$ each bike and 2$ each person. Ooooh the savings!

Onwards to San Juan del Sur!

Some other nice photo’s from the island:

Volcano butterfly. The advantage of climbing Maderas over Conception (the other island volcano) is that there is nice nature on Maderas.

Rough road to get to Merida for sunset (Jayne skipped the trip), but worth it! Locals treated us with rum and mangoes, the sun and volcano did the rest.

ugh, tourists

For Fran

Take care of Granny’s knees when you’re lost.

Thanks again to Roberto for letting us stay on your beautiful Finca Tiguilote!