Ometepe Island and another Volcano hike
Granada Travel Blog› entry 67 of 80 › view all entries
Finally moved on to escape Granada's grasp , catching a ferry to the volcanic island of Ometepe which is situated in the middle of the vast Lake Nicaragua and is apparently the largest freshwater island in the world. Enjoyable 4-hour ferry ride from Granada to get to Ometepe with views of the two volcanoes as you approach the island and a picture postcard sunset just before we docked. Stayed at a hotel for one night in Altagracia, the little town where we arrived at the port , as it was too late to get a bus to Merida where we were planning on staying. Not a lot to warrant hanging around in Altagracia , however , so we got up early and caught the first bus down to Merida , which is in the southwest of the island , on Tuesday morning.
This turned into a harder trek than I was expecting, especially as we were planning a more restful day before taking on the Maderas climb the following day .... definitely further than the 3km it was supposed to be to get there (some "latin american distances" being quoted me thinks) and all uphill in the searing Ometepe heat. After about 90 minutes hiking it was a relief to finally reach the waterfall , which was somewhat lacking in water but just about had enough to take a cold natural shower underneath it to cool down. On Thursday myself and the two guys with whom I came from Granada , Bill and Martin , took on the 7-hour round trip to the summit of Volcano Maderas. This turned out to be the hardest volcano climb I have undertaken so far (this is my 4th volcano in Central America) due to the unrelenting gradient (no nice plateaued sections for easier walking) and the heat and humidity which leaves you literally drenched in sweat from the start at 7.
On Friday the other guys left for the Corn Islands which are quite a journey across to the other side of Nicaragua on the caribbean coast , whilst I decided to stay one more day in Merida for some more mountain biking before heading onwards to Costa Rica.
- potholed , bumpy and covered in a volcanic dirt which blows up into great dusty clouds every time a bus or truck comes past ... luckily you do tend to encounter more animals and locals on mountain bikes than vehicles ... but still by the time I got back to the hostel I was knackered and filthy dirty. Ometepe has been a really wonderful stopover but it´s become time to move on again so Saturday morning I was up early to go to Costa Rica.