The recommendations for staying on the island of Ometape (Isla de Ometepe) were overwhelming. I originally planned to spend more time in Costa Rica, but with stories of pot-holed ridden roads, higher costs and lots of rain I was easily convinced to take in the majestic beauty of this island sitting gracefully under two volcanoes. Getting to the island required simple but careful logistical planning. Many boats take passengers to the island from just outside Rivas not far from the Costa Rican border. But the ferry that could take my motorcycle had a limited number of departures daily. My new Canadian father-daughter riding team, Linda and Jan (pronounced Yan) accompanied me to the ferry landing. They too were planning on heading to the islands, only a few days later.
By 3:30 I was on the ferry and heading to the tiny island named Ometepe from the language of the indigenous “Chorotegans”, the original people of Nicaragua, meaning “the place of two hills.” The two hills in this case are steep and scenic volcanoes. I wouldn't have the time to climb any of this legendary peaks, but cruising across the Lago de Nicaragua and watching them grow in size as we approached the tiny port town of Moyogalpa was extraordinary.
I follow a dirt road, through a farm and land nearby the lake and the Laguna Charco Verde – Green Lagoon. For $10 I negotiate a nice cabin with a fan and proceed to have one of my nicest evenings under the tranquil setting of the volcano and a magnificent sunset. Interestingly enough, I find nearly a dozen other travelers from nearly every continent (Australia, Asia, Europe and America) staying at Charco Verde, too. Martin, a colorful vagabond traveler with a guitar strapped to his back entertains us as we deplete the restaurant of all their bottled beer. AS the crowd moves to cans I decide to call it an evening. But not too soon until I have my chance at belting a couple Allan Karl originals for the eager crowd of travelers.
I wish I could spend more time here. The price is excellent, scenery perfect and the hotel offers the use of kayaks, bicycles and hiking trails to the lagoon and nearby volcanoes and waterfalls are just a short distance away. If you go to Nicaragua don't miss a chance to spend a week on this island — you'll have no regrets!
Photos: (1) Doc tied up for the 1 hour ferry ride for San Joge to Isla de Ometepe; (2) the volcanoes of Isla de Ometepe; (3) a familiar scene in Nicaragua; (4) gorgeous sunset from Charco Verde; (5) The beach front and grounds of Charco Verde on Isla de Ometepe in Lake Nicaragua; (6) traveler friends met at Charco Verde, guitar player Martin is leaning on the top box.