Swimming in a Nicaraguan Lake

Of course it was not just any lake. This lake was home to Ometepe Island, a volcanic island that had not one, but two volcanoes, attached at the hip, okay maybe the toes.

The Journey

It wasn’t easy to get there. Imagine leaving Granada early in the morning and hoping on an old school bus painted in rainbow colours. At first it seems okay, pretty full, but this should be expected from cheap ($2) transportation (read: not for tourists). Slowly but surely it gets more and more  crowded. At one point a young (very) pregnant girl gets on with a backpack. They are called Chicken Buses, presumably because they are suppose to have chickens on board. No chickens here, just lots of people. No place to sit, she just stands there. She is quite far away from me, but I just cannot handle that no one is getting up for her. I become that awkward self-righteous tourist and I don’t really care. She sits down and says absolutely nothing. Women holding children are standing too, know one cares. Definitely every person for themselves here. Get on earlier if you want a seat. Two hours later we arrive in Rivas and hop into a cab. Nothing is difficult, since we are targeted as tourists right away- everyone knows we want to go to the island. Where else?

Another dollar and we are at the ferry. Some tourist fee, of course, and the ferry ticket, pop some Gravol and I am good to go. By go I mean I pass straight out on the boat, and don’t wake up again until we get there. Bet it was beautiful.

Ometepe from the boat

This is where it became a different kind of challenging. We have a car pick us up. We are staying at a cool airbnb ‘finca’ (ranch) guesthouse. But it’s an hour and a half away and only accessible by 4×4. If I had not just been up in the Jamaican mountains I would say that was the bumpiest ride I have ever had. Lucky the Gravol had not worn off.

The Prize

Finca

After a hard days travel we are so relieved to be in such a beautiful place. I mean, they even had parrots!

Parrot

What was even more amazing is the little beach just 10 minutes away. Even this short walk over was pretty unique.

pigs

Virtually private, save the small outdoor restaurant and  a couple locals that stop by here and there.

beach

The owner of the restaurant is this laid back guy (how could you not be in a place like this?) originally from Barcelona.

restauranr

He tells us the specials (fresh caught fish) and we order without thinking twice. It is grilled and served to us. I want to believe I caught it myself.

fish

A bottle of wine later, we are in the water overcome by the amazing view surrounding us. How often do you go for a dip in a lake with a volcano in the background.

volcano

Just as the sun sets a small group of American kayakers come in from a day of kayaking. These are the first tourists we have seen here. Apparently this restaurant also doubles as a kayak tour shop. As the sun is almost gone, we realize it is time to head back. No streetlights here, of course.

Only one thought lingers on our minds:

How could we have thought that one day here would be enough? 

sunset

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