Note: This is a condensed version of the pictures I took with some added narrative. The rest of the pics can be viewed in the album The Trip 2013 – Granada to Ometepe. Each picture can be clicked to see a larger version and comment / like.
After leaving the beautiful island of Rotan we made our way to the Nicaraguan border. Along the way we had to make a slight detor:
I hope no one was on there when it went down! Eventually we made it to the border.
A few more hours on the road and we stopped at a truck stop to play on the swings
Finally we reached the small colonial town of Granada.
Our hotel was a little odd, it had a central fountain that was infested with turtles
We spent the afternoon exploring the town. Our guide took us to a place staffed by deaf and dumb people..
Here we discovered where hammocks come from..
That evening we ate in the garden cafe
Afterwards we went to shisha bar and enjoyed some of the flavoured tobacco
while we were there a number of street performers turned up and started showing off their skills
The following day we decided to go Kayaking on lake Nicaragua, the largest lake in Central America
We stopped at a coupple of small islands while kayaking around. Apparently you can buy one of these islands if you have a million or so lieing about.
I really enjoyed the kayaking as our guide took us to places that boats cant reach as they are too clogged with weeds and lilies. That made it feel special and infinitely more interesting than kayaking I have done in the past.
In the afternoon we took a trip down to the smelly, noisy market in Granada.
The following day we drove a short way to the ferry that was due to take us to the island in the middle of the lake called Ometepe.
The ferry was one of the most rickety boats I have ever had the pleasure of riding. We had the unfortunate luck of sitting right next to the engine hole which meant that I was continually being splashed by water that a local was hand-pumping out of the engine.
On the island we stayed with local families in a home-stay. Our family was really nice and cooked us some lovely food however they didnt speak any English and I dont speak any Spanish so conversation was severely limited.
In the afternoon / evening we visited a natural swimming pool on the island.
I had a great time in the cool water and we stayed there messing about until it went dark.
The next day we woke early (5am) and made our way to the base of the largest of the two volcanoes on the island, Concepcion.
This was the first hike of the trip and the first hour or so it seemed like it was going to be a peice of cake
But then it started getting steeper and steeper.
Eventually after several hours, sweaty and tired, we reached the 1000m mark.
After a short break we took off up the remaining 610m leaving some people behind who didnt want to scale the rest.
Those people that stayed behind were very wise as the steep jungle path soon turned into even steeper volcanic rock and shale that tore into our gloves and boots.
After a few more hours of intense climbing we finally reached the 1610m summit of the volcano.
Although it was so cloudy we couldnt see anything I was incredibly happy to finally reach the summit
We could only stay at the top for 15 minutes due to the high levels of toxic gas, just enough time to bring back a classic:
The way down was tough and sketchy, most of the time the entire volcano was covered in thick cloud however on the way down the fog parted and we were offered incredible views of the island, lake, mainland Nicaragua and even the Pacific ocean beyond.
Needless to say it was a tough hike, it took us 11 hours in total. Near the bottom it started raining heavily. We sheltered under a large Sabre tree at the base of the volcano when we heard an almighty crack from above us. I turned around just in time to see a massive branch from the tree come crashing down not a meter from me. Our guide was understandably nervous after that as we hightailed it out of there.
For days after the hike I could barely walk my legs were so sore. I had shredded the pair of gloves I had been given and torn large holes in my shoes thanks to the sharp volcanic rocks. Despite all that however im glad we did it, it was a great challenge and im happy I managed to overcome it.