Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ometepe, Nicaragua

Our first day in our swim suits so we were still very white! haha.

The Beginning of the trip: We flew into San Jose, Costa Rica caught a bus to the city center, then caught a bus to Liberia to meet up with our friends, Kim and Jesse, where we all spent the night in a really cute house in Liberia (covered in flying ants I might add. haha!). The next morning we took a bus to the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, walked across the border, took a taxi to Lake Nicaragua, hopped on a ferry across the lake and finally reached Ometepe Island!!! Thanks to all of our past traveling and Jesse's spanish skills we were able to barter for cheap bus and taxi fares and get to the island in only half a day. Pretty impressive, huh?

Isla de Ometepe:

As soon as we hopped off the ferry we found a place to rent scooters for cheaper than the cost of getting a taxi ride across the island! So, of course we did it!!! We grabbed a few scooters and cruised around the island for a few hours... not a simple task due to the road hazards (cows, horses, pigs, goats... YES. All of these animals chilled in the middle of the road). Nevertheless, it was SO much fun! There's something about riding a scooter on an island in a foreign country that just feels so good. :)

We found a really unique little place to stay a few nights and we ended up loving it! This trip wasn't for wasting time so the very next morning we were up at the crack of dawn to get started on our volcano hike. There are 2 volcanoes on Isla de Ometepe: Maderas and Concepcion. They are both HUGE and pretty difficult hikes. But, since we were closer to the base of Maderas we ended up hiking that one. 

I'm not gonna lie, for a relatively short hike it was intense! Maderas is 4,500 ft. and it was so steep at times that it was pretty much like using a stair stepping machine for a few hours straight. haha. Our bodies definitely felt it for the next few days after that hike. But, all in all... it was VERY much worth it! Hiking through the jungle, seeing lots of wildlife (monkeys, a porcupine, etc.), made it all very cool!

After the hike we were headed back to our hotel when we came across a NICARAGUAN RODEO! We were so excited that we just had to stop and enjoy it for an hour! It was pretty much a mix between a rodeo and bull fighting. The people brought these massive bulls into their home made arena and taunted them until they became aggressive and then they threw someone on it's back to see how long they could stay on. haha. It was pretty cool to see! And, the food! Oh man, was it good! I had the most delicious spicy shredded chicken over a pile of fried plantain chips. It was SO. GOOD. 

Anyway, we loved Nicaragua. It was a little more chill and the people were more friendly than in Costa Rica. But, after our stay we headed back to Costa Rica, made our way down the coast and made it to our next destination which was Quepos (a small town right next to Manuel Antonio). 

Leaving port and heading to Ometepe

On the ferry

Riding our scooters all over Ometepe

Finding cool bugs on the volcano Maderas.

Hiking Maderas

The jungle on Maderas was just incredible!

Crashing a Nicaraguan Rodeo

Our hotel

Our hotel was RIGHT on the beach

The local fisherman pulling in a huge catch

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