After a long night, I headed down to the lake to get a coffee, charge my camera, and see some of the islands created by the major volcano which graces the country's flag. Below is a picture of a famous church on the city square followed by a picture of my clothes drying method along the city street.
After charging up I saw these girls dressed lavishly and knew it was an ideal photo opportunity. I passed out bracelets and they obliged me the picture seen here.
Walking the few miles to the lake I came across a church and a baseball field where kids were enjoying a Saturday afternoon. Baseball is the hottest sport in the country, even more so than soccer.
The street along the lake had numerous bars and restaurants and seemed like it would have been great spot for a second night in the city, but I had a schedule to keep.
I hailed a cab and made my way to the bus station outside Grenada, hoping to grab a bus to Rivas and then San Jorge where I would take a ferry to La Isla Ometepe. The market was buzzing with activity. I snapped the below shot of a man dragging a live pig around. The pig did not seem to be enjoying the ride.
The bus was an hour wait, and I did not want to sit spinning my wheels so I tried to recruit some people to split a cab with me. No one was willing so I bit the bullet and sank $25 into a 1.5 hour cab ride that probably saved me 1 hr. I arrived at the dock of San Jorge just in time to board the ferry over to Ometepe, a volcanic island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua. I actually had some chicken tacos before leaving, which was a big step for me. I have been a vegetarian for over 1 year, but decided to start eating meat that is organic and farm raised within 200 miles of where sold. It was nothing to write home about, but was happy I did not get sick. Speaking of getting sick, the ferry ride was pretty bumpy. I am ok with speed boats, but boats that go slow and rise and crash on the waves give me problems. I was forced to stand on the top of the ferry in the front, performing my best Titanic impersonation. I made it across but was in rough shape. Here is a shot before I boarded the ferry
I met 2 guys studying in Costa Rica on the boat and we decided to try and find lodging together. We ended up in a room that had 3 beds for $8 each. After dropping our gear, we rented bikes and headed for a beach to do some swimming, trying to alleviate the headache and stomach pains brought on by the ferry.
We rode out on the long strip of beach that was quite impressive as you can see below, and provided some great shots in my opinion. I brought the snorkel gear but the water was too cloudy.
On the ride back we saw this spider monkey chained to a tree. I had seen this on TV numerous times. People chain up monkeys to a tree and tourists provide money, perpetuating the cruelty.
We showered up at the room and headed out to dinner. Below is a shot of my 5 star bed, the brand new model of treadmills about to sweep the US market, and the fried Tilapia ordered for dinner.
It was 9pm when we got back to the room. We had planned on getting up at 4am to try and climb the mountain (10 hr trip) before catching a ferry back to the mainland. I decided to sit out by the street for a few hours snapping shots of the locals.
Thoughts of the day:
My first thought today was about the neighborhoods. Sitting outside our hostel, I saw all the families enjoying the cool breeze. Everyone lived so close together (basically one cement block with doors every 12 feet) that it was hard not to be social. What a contrast from the modern USA where people get in their car, open their garage, go to work, drive back into their garage and back inside.
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