Sunset ferry to Ometepe is about as good as sunset ferry to Nicoya. This one was enhanced with discussions about computers, science, ecology and god with one older local guy. I was advised to get a wife and have children in the following 2 years :)
Next day we climbed Volcan Concepción. Not the whole way up, but even above the tree line it was quite a hike with it’s own portion of forest, rain and wind. We were taught which plant used to be used as a natural glue (worked surprisingly well), which plant was used as natural repellent (didn’t work for me) and how you can eat termites (surprisingly tasty).
Moyogalpa is a bit of a party place. For the island standards anyway. So staying here partying was fun. Even on Christmas Day. On Christmas Day I also rode a hired bike to Mirador del Diablo and Chaco Verde. On the way back, I saw a sign “Hay Hiello” so I stopped for the home made ice cream. When I understood what the home made ice cream is like, it was too late for polite No. So I had the most strange thing ever: plastic bag full of half frozen something which tasted remotely like cappuccino. I was told to bite the plastic bag and suck. Cost 1 Cordoba for one sack, but I politely returned the third one even though I ordered it in the beginning.
The second week I went to the other side of the island. On the bus. The buses here are as expected. Load music. Old US school bus. The fact that it is full does definitely not mean, that more people should not get on. Quite the contrary. Even better if you are travelling with an uncovered machete, a couple of long girders or a few bags of beans.
Merida was a really nice place, with wonderful access to scenic lake and view on Volcan Concepción. After a little swim and look back, the other Volcan Maderas was also easily seen. An evening there are so many lightning beetles, that I could not believe it at first. One day after sunset swimming and sitting on the shore I realized my swimming suite is strangely blinking. I got a lightning beetle inside. Now I know why lighthouse is considered a phallic symbol.
One day I went kayaking to see the caymans in Rio Isthian. Didn’t see any, but a lot of birds and it was a 3 hour round trip that made my shoulders sore for another day. One day I hiked to the waterfalls. 180 meters fall. Very nice, very crowded. Yes, I did take a shower in them.
Mainly on the influence of the books I have been reading recently (John Gowdy: “Limited Wants, Unlimited Means” and George Orwell: “Coming Up for Air”) I decided I’d like to try fishing for the first time in my life. This is not a standard tourist activity here. Finally a got set up with a local family of fishermen. The asked if I could swim. When I boarded their boat I knew why. One of my responsibilities was to throw the water out of the boat, but it somehow kept coming in. We put 300m of net and 300m of rope in the water. Then we started pulling first the rope and then the net towards the shore. It is really hard work. I have blisters and torn blister all over my hands now. Then I was throwing little net in the big net surrounded portion of the lake to get the fish out. You need a griff for that, so that the little net spins and spreads out. But we got about 30 fish which were sold to the locals in the following 10 minutes. Actually the demand was bigger that that.
The local food is fantastic, as anywhere in Latin America I’ve been so far. But there was a special little shop selling coconut cake. That is some good stuff, really. And costs 1 C$ for one piece (about one Kc).