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Isla de Ometepe

NICARAGUA | Tuesday, 4 March 2008 | Views [3292]

10 - 12 hours to climb the one on the left, 8 - 10 for the one on the right.  Up for it?

10 - 12 hours to climb the one on the left, 8 - 10 for the one on the right. Up for it?

A small island made up of two volcanoes in the middle of a big, freshwater lake that contains bull sharks - it sounds a bit surreal right?

I couldn't miss the opportunity to see this place, my mistake was heading for the beach area called Santo Domingo.  With few shops, mostly package tour guests staying in overpriced hotels, a beach and lots of dirt tracks it wasn't what i wanted right now.  It also seems I'm the only guest who wants to hike up one of the volcanoes, a tour or a guide from the hotel isn't an option for me.  It takes me 45 minutes non-stop cycling just to get to where a trail starts and there's no handy English speaking guides just waiting for a gringo like me to turn-up, so i end up trying to cycle up the thing myself.  My bike unusually doesn't have a basket and it generously has at least oh, 3 working gears.  It' a tough attempt to say the least.

Ometepe is an unusual setting, you are never from from being able to see one of the volcanoes.  A short distance from the hotels shows a more rural, what you might expect Nicaraguan scene.  The island doesn't have the beggars of some places, but it does have some of the poverty.  It has lots of ramshackle huts, families living off the land and lots of children who are fortunate enough to be able to go to school.  It was as school bus that usually bumped me around the island on it's generally unsealed, dirt roads, or spewed dust into my face as i attempted to walk/cycle around the place.

I'm a little disappointed with my choice of where to stay and as a result of what i then didand saw (which wasn't a great deal).  Ometepe is an interesting little place though, worth seeing for sure.

Tags: island, trekking, volcano


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