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A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Isla de Ometepe

Jason has started to catch up with me on his posts. Check out his story here.

We keep talking about taking some time to chill, but can't seem to do it. Again we were up early. When we checked in the previous night the owner told us breakfast was included. Sadly, the staff seemed unaware of this offering. After much cajoling we were able to snag a couple slices of bread, some Tang and a cuppa. Finally we decided this wasn't worth the hassle. We walked into the center of town and found a "Collectiva" cab to San Jorge for the ferry to Isla de Ometepe. A collectiva is a cab that sits around and waits until it has a full load. They take longer, but are WAY cheaper than the ordinary hacks. We were lucky as there was only one other lady going our way. Time and money-wise it was a winner.

Isla de Ometepe is one island formed by two volcanos situated in Lago de Nicaragua, supposedly the largest island in a fresh water body in the world.

We hired a cab for four hours. Jose was our driver. Mick read about petroglyphs on the furthest of the two volcanic land masses. So off we went. The road initially was well-paved and we made good time. Eventually we turned off the main road onto the "neck" between the two mountains.

Jose took us to Albergue Ecologico, which unlike in Honduras, actually existed.

This place was idyllic. Could have stayed for a week.
Six bucks a night, it evoked memories of the Green House at Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka. Good place to write a book.
For a buck a pop we were shown several samples of petroglyphs dating from AD 800 and before.

Yeah, I know, Jason has this pose on HIS Blog. Too bad.

Mick says you can tell when the ancients had discovered hallucenogens by their art. The appearance of curves, arcs and circles instead of geometric patterns heralded the introduction of mind altering substances into the culture. I don't know if this monkey indicated that or it is just a monkey.

This is my artsy-fartsy shot.
Back on the road we were looking for the Museo de Archeologico. We found it alright but it was closed. As is common in the developing world people almost always try to please. Jose, our driver, was determined to find us artifacts. A local Catholic Churchyard contained original statuary. Mick thought they were maybe Nahuatl or Aztec. These were magnificent examples, but standing out in the open exposed to the elements.

We stopped to eat at a nice seaside (OK, lakeside) restaurant. It was a relatively upscale place. We wondered what it must be like for the locals to have a place like this in their midst, yet be unable to afford to bring the family here.

Back on the ferry I was hit with a touch of Smoke Monkey's Revenge. No way was I going to make it all the way to shore without serious consequences. It was the ship's head for me. OK, this may be TMI, but the facility was spartan. No TP. You may or may not know this, but in many cultures (including apparently this one) the left hand is referred to as the "dung hand," used for body functions. The right for eating. An early form of hygiene. Problem is I'm a lefty. Just a barrel of cloudy water was available for personal use. Fortunately I had a small bottle of Sanihands.

We returned to San Juan del Sur, but first another ATM hit. It had dollars! Like a little taste of home. Took out $200. Gave $100 to Jason to get to San Jose, Costa Rica the next day. We were splitting up again. A couple of Jason's friends were flying down to hook up with us in Jaca, CR for the close-out of the trip. He had to meet their flight.

Back in San Juan del Sur, we stopped at a seaside bar, had a beer, flirted with the waitress and watched another Pacific sunset.

La Pura Vida!


J.C. said...

Great shot with the cigar!

Hani said...

I second that.