Isla de Ometepe

By Em - October 22, 2016

Walking across the border into a new country is always an interesting experience - to watch the change in culture happen so abruptly.

I felt incredibly ignorant when riding on the bus, nearing the border of Nicaragua and seeing a large population of people living in absolute squalor in a makeshift community of tents.  After some research I found a very informative article about the abundant number of African immigrants trying to get to the United States, stuck at the Nicaraguan border.  I had been completely unaware of the issue.  It is so sad to see people waiting in limbo, unable to move forward, unable to work for a living, operating on the mindset of always trying to be somewhere they can be accepted.  It is even more disheartening to feel like no one is trying to find a solution.

I crossed the border into Nicaragua and took a bus to San Juan del Sur, a cool little surf town with a party vibe.  I spent three days getting to know some really wonderful people working at my hostel, and then hopped on a ferry over to Isla de Ometepe.

Despite the near constant rain during my three days on Ometepe, I had some great adventures.  I stayed at a very cool jungle hostel, El Zopilote with some new friends whom I met in San Juan del Sur.

I stayed in a treehouse, Iguana Cabana, and it was absolutely wonderful.

I met a few great people on the island, including a girl from Colorado and guy moving to Colorado in a week.  I think I live in the right state.
The best part of Ometepe was the relaxing jungle getaway with good company: living in an open air treehouse, wandering through the jungle and riding scooters around the island.  

Ometepe is an island created by two volcanos, Concepcion and Maderas, connected in the middle.

My new friend Patrick and I accidentally hiked up Maderas, and saw both Howler monkeys and Capuchin mokeys as well as many spiders, lizards, and butterflies as large as birds.  It rained a lot of the time we were there, but we were still able to get some great views of Concepcion on our hike.

After a few days in Ometepe, I hopped the ferry back to San Juan del Sur, with the intention of heading on to Granada.  However, when I got to town, my Nica family at the Surfing Donkey convinced me to stay a few more days.

I will say, one of the best lessons I've learned when traveling is not to be so committed to a plan that you miss out on spending time with kindred spirits.  So I stayed.  And I have no regrets.

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