Granada and Isla de Ometepe round out our time in Nicaragua
07/21/2014 - 07/30/2014
We spent a day seeing Granada's architecture and learning more about Nicaragua's revolutionary history. Friends we met while studying at La Mariposa, Ruth and Erico, took us on a lovely tour of the city and the nearby Isletas. Granada is probably one of the most beautiful colonial towns in Nicaragua. There is a long standing rivalry between Leon and Granda on which locale is best so I won't offend anyone by choosing a favorite. Though the number of tourists seemed more obvious in Granada, I felt more of a cultural vibe in Leon.
A prison in Granada during the Samoza regime, Fuertza la Polvora.
ISLA DE OMETEPE
View from a hammock after an amazing hike near Volcan Maderas on Isla de Omepete.
Next, we were off to Ometepe, located in Latin America's largest fresh water lake (it resembles an ocean). The island has numerous farms and we stayed for the first part of our week-long trip at a hostel that is also a permaculture farm owned by two Italians from Tuscany. Thanks to them we had some of the best food in Nicaragua. Also, and I am happy to report that the Island had several well-maintained composting toilets and that they are not stinky. In fact, I preferred them more than latrines.
We spent a good part of a day on a hike and it was a wonderful adventure even if we did not make it to the top of Volcan Maderas. After paying a property owner a few Cordobas to pass by her house to get on the trail, we set off to see a diverse array of trees, hear all kinds of birds and get some well needed exercise. Toward the end of the hike we stumbled on what seemed like a scene from "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom": vultures eating a monkey. You can see the poor thing on the bottom center of the photo below.
Ometepe was an ideal send off for our Nicaraguan chapter. We met wonderful people (thanks to Paulette from La Mariposa we were introduced to a couple from the US who are setting up a veterinary practice and let us hang our hammocks on their porch overlooking the lake surrounded by countless butterflies), enjoyed sleeping in our hammocks, taking hikes and eating tasty food.
Adios Ometepe! I hope to see you again.