Ometepe Island: one moto, two volcanoes, and many monkeys and magpies



From Lake Nicaragua, created by the wonder of twin volcanoes connected by a low isthmus, rises the majestic island of Ometepe. Its hour glass shape measures 276 kilometers and is filled with a rich archeological and cultural background, incredibly fertile soil and lively forests that enjoy a high biodiversity.  For obvious reasons, the island has always represented a paradisiacal destination. We can’t agree more. 
Volcan Conception is the northwest half of the island. It has the shape of a perfectly cylindrical cone and is still considered an active volcano.  It reaches an altitude of 1610 meters and is considered the world’s highest lake island. The southeast half of the island consists of Volcan Maderas, which has a crater lake, supports a diverse rainforest environment, and reaches 1394 meters.  Much of this part of the island is now a nature reserve. 

Getting the van on the ferry to go to Ometepe was like playing Tetris, level 10. Go husband go!!!

Much of the terrain was too rough for Sprinter to traverse over, so Tree and I rented Beef Cake, Sprinter’s illegitimate son.  I sat on the back and held on for dear life as Tree and Beef Cake tested each others’ boundaries. In the end, I believe they established a mutual respect, and my butt only had two or three bruises to show for it. Not bad…
An indigena woman doing laundry in the lake, reminding us of what slower and sustainable living looks like. Maybe because I was raised in Los Angeles with a Maytag, I find this scene…challenging. Could I do it? Someday I’d like to try living off the land– you know, cooking over a wood fire, doing laundry in the river, eating food from my own organic garden. It’s incredible to think how inept I am at surviving without the trappings of civilization compared to the young woman in this photo.  Anybody want to take bets on how long I’d last in the wild? How about Kiki?
Tree is always looking for internet so he can work on Outdoorplay. It has been a major surprise that the internet now appears to be everywhere. This sign pointed straight into the forest! The other helpful sign, evidently for the Gringos, is pointing out the direction to run should the volcano erupt. 
We rode our moto to Finca Magdalena to check out the organic and sustainable farming cooperative. The grounds were gorgeous, an absolute feast for the eyes. Everywhere we looked there were varying hues of green leafiness peppered with sunset pink and orange orchids, tropical fruits, and brave blue magpies. The cacophony of howler monkey and jungle birds added to the mystique. From the Finca which also serves as a hostel, you can take a 1km walk to see the ancient petroglyhps, or you can make the long hike to the lagoon located at the top of Volcan Maderas. According to the islanders, the area is inhabited by fairies and other supernatural spirits. Or, if you’re like Tree and I, you can not go anywhere and drink cold beer in the comfy hammocks instead. 
We finished our day off with a swim at the sinkhole called Ojo de Agua (Eye of the Water).

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    WOW!

  2. Interesting that getting online is easier than you originally.
    When you get done with your trip it would be interesting for you to blog about internet access 🙂
    Beautiful scenery btw……..

  3. Oops – could you insert "thought" where it makes the most sense in my previous comment – thanks 🙂

  4. Auntie Coco says:

    I love this sort of lifestyle!!! For a while I lived in the mountains without any of the modern conveniences. Every month I dragged the water pump under a calvert illegally transfering water to my property after piecing together 30 ' of pvc pipe to run the water to my tank. It was not as easy as this sounds, if one of the pipes decided not to stay together(did I mentio the 30' was not level, or straight!), anyway, I would have to get in the creek, thigh high, and prime the pump! That was just one utility…oh yeah, this had to be done at night because in ojai california its illegal to transfer water.
    I loved not having a t.v.( or a "stevie guide", as you used to think your name was when you were 2 or 3), and having to light a kerosene lamp when it got dark, no light switches for me!!!!and yes, I even had a washboard!!!! love auntie Monica

  5. you guys really take some good photos. Thanks for sharing. I signed up for the email. cheers

  6. yay, the photos look amazing

  7. Walter Burkhardt says:

    Awsome guys! you sound like your having another LTD trip. My kids just flew over the Grand with a Helicopter (talking about LTD) they were super impressed.
    Just a question on the 276km, is there a decimal point, squared; anything else missi…

  8. Mick – Hey buddy, the best most remote internet I've had in the last 2 years was at your house! By the way, how is the running water project coming?

    Lach – Are you back in Australia now? When you come back to Central A. plan a trip to the boom wave. I think you would shred it there.

    Water – Always LTD! I'm coming back to HR in a couple weeks. Lets have dinner.

    TREE

  9. Madena Bennett says:

    The Magpie-Jay is beautiful!! Lucky you!! Have you started a life-list?? or at least a trip list for the birds you've seen?

  10. Veronica says:

    Tetris !!!!!!!!!

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