|View for our deck each night|
Then we discovered Ometepe Island in Nicaragua, which takes about an hour by ferry boat to get there. Shaped like an hour glass defined by a volcano on each end, it's about half the size of Oahu, Hawaii (but shaped like Maui) on Lake Nicaragua, which is about 1/3 the size of Lake Erie.
|Ometepe is he island in Lake Nicaragua|
|The ferry to Ometepe|
|Mt. Conception--the larger one|
|Volcan Maderas, the smaller inactive one,|
as seen from our kayaks
A road of paving bricks covers a small portion of the perimeter, but the roads are mainly dusty dirt with rocks the size of small Yukon gold potatoes. A number of small resorts line he shoreline here and there, sporting one to 15 rooms. The taxis are mostly four-wheel drive pickup trucks. But you can also flag down a crowded "chicken bus" (which we did) with everyone and their chickens and goats on it.
|Hot, crowded, but fun "chicken bus"|
|Via Verde Farm, Home sweet home for|
|Our common area deck with a killer |
view of Mt. Conception
They slept in a tent the first three years while they built a home and planted trees, shrubs, and crops. We shared a common bath and deck area with a spectacular view of Mt. Conception, especially at sunset. (Check out their website link above for more photos).
|One of the best swimming|
|A nice 3-mile hike to|
a refreshing waterfall
We hiked to a waterfall, kayaked in a fresh water bayou, and played Tarzan and Jane at a crystal clear
|kayaking in a fresh water bayou|
|An Ibex and an Egret from North America|
|Eileen gave us a tour of her farm and|
Jasmine some planting starts and seeds
for her school garden.
|Lunch on a tropical island with chickens underfoot|
|Pinochle, rum, beer, and going "set."|
|Catching the sunset from our kayaks|
We hated to say goodbye to both of them and Ometepe. We're spending our last three full days in a five-room inn at Laguna de Apoyo, which is inside a volcanic crater, about 200 meters from the rim. The crystal-clear fresh water lake is three miles across and 525 feet deep. It's a nice place to just chill, which--for those of you who really know us--is hard for us to do. But we're coping, and the food is amazing.
|Breakfast, lunch, happy hour, and dinner hangout|
at Casa Marimba
This is an extremely poor country, still recovering from years of civil war and a corrupt kleptocracy by the politically-connected ultra wealthy. But the Nicas are very friendly, hospitable, and laid-back; not as reserved as Asians we've met in our travels and living abroad. Although the countryside is somewhat dusty, barren and extremely hot at the end of this dry season, it's still beautiful. Believe it or not, the water, ice cubes and food are relatively safe, and we've had no health problems. And we've felt very personally safe the whole time. See Nicaragua--and especially Ometepe--while you still can, while it still retains its charm. It's Costa Rica 40 years ago.
|Panoramic view from our beach|
|Our last sunset at Laguna de Apoyo|