Day 67: Granada - Isla de Ometepe (2)
Moyogalpa Travel Blog› entry 93 of 120 › view all entries
Isla de Ometepe was formed by the lava flows of two volcanoes, Concepción and Madera, of which the Concepción still remains active. The island is largely undeveloped, and is considered an ecological gem. Not sure what the situation is these days, but when I was here in 2003, there weren't even any paved roads, nor were there any major hotels, just small guest houses and hostels.
The ferry crossing took a little over an hour, bringing us to the town of Moyogalpa, the largest settlement on the island. The girl I had been travelling with (can't remember her name, sorry) continued on to the other side of the island, but I decided to stay here in order to be able to make a quick getaway in two days time when I have to travel to Costa Rica.
I quickly checked in to a small hostel in the centre of town and then paid a visit to the little tourist office. As I had only one and a half days here, I wanted to make the most of it. So far I had (almost) managed to climb at least one volcano in every country I'd visited this trip, and I wanted to keep this up. The extinct Madera volcano can be climbed in a day, so I tried to book myself on a tour. The guy at the travel agency told me no tours could be booked from Moyogalpa though, and he advised me to simply show up at the Finca Magdalena, a guest house at the foot of the volcano, early in the morning, as tours depart from there whenever there are enough people.
Well, that was easy enough, so now I needed something to do for today. The island has some great beaches, and the guy advised me to take a bus or hitch-hike to Laguna Charco Verde, the most beautiful of beaches in his opinion.
It struck me that I'd spent half an hour receiving advice from the guy at the tourist office, and he hadn't even made the slightest attempt to sell me anything. I'd fallen in love with this place immediately - and I hadn't even seen anything of the island, so things could only get even better from here.
So I followed his advice and I took a bus out of Moyogalpa to the town of San José del Sur. From here I managed to hitch a ride to the turn off point to Charco Verde a few kilometres further down the road, and I walked the last bit to the beach.
It was wonderful: The beach was deserted, and the only people I met were some locals rounding up their cattle, which was roaming freely everywhere.
I stayed out until the sun had set, and then figured it was time to go back to Moyogalpa. I had no idea what time the next bus would run, if it would at all. But I wasn't worried, it had been easy enough getting a lift to Charco Verde, so I guessed it wouldn't be hard getting back to Moyogalpa again. And I was right. I had been walking on the main island road for about 20 minutes when I was passed by a bus. I waved my arms and the bus stopped, and half an hour later I was back in Moyogalpa, simple as that.
Back in my hostel I met a Canadian guy, Phil, and a German girl, Tania, who were interested in joining me on tomorrow's trip. The three of us went out for a great meal in one of Moyogalpa's nameless local restaurants.