Even after only three days in Nicaragua, it is by far the best country I`ve visited in Central America. It`s cheap, friendly and looks far better than both Costa Rica and Panama did (people and countryside). After leaving San Jose slightly later than we had hoped to, we were forced to spend our first night in Rivers, what was described as a dirty crossing town, but turned out to be very pleasant, with exeption to our hotel room.
We left early the next day to the Isle de Ometepe, a small island with two volcanoes in the middle of a very large lake. The setting was spectacular but as always it started to rain and after organising a hike up one of the volcanoes for the next day, we started playing cards with a rule that the loser buys the drinks. This continued for a while until we decided we had drunk enough if we were going to have to get up by half five the next morning. We then decided to bet using all our now obsolete Costa Rican coins. When this had finished we had one thing left to bet: our dignity. The forfeit was that the loser had to switch off the TV and sit down and pretend to watch it, while wearing boxers. Typically I lost, despite winning most of the previous rounds and went to get ready for my humiliation. Not before the lock for our room broke while I was still inside and the only exit was out through a small window into a narrow passageway. Honourable, I did my forfeit, changed back and talked to the hostel owner about our broken lock. We at least managed to break the original lock so we could open the door, but who else was to replace it than the one man who was watching TV when I performed my forfeit. Shameful.
Forgetting the embarasment of the previous night, we woke up early to take one of the volcanoes. It started of easy enough, but then the rain set in, we entered the clouds and before we knew it, we were scrambling up muddy slopes to the top before decending into the crater, which is now a lake. Shrouded in cloud, it all looked as if we were looking out into a sea of nothingness. There were even metal poles with rocks resembling skulls besides the lake. When it was time to decend the volcano, we assumed that it would be far easier than climbing up was. What we failed to realise is that the path would become even more muddy and it was after many near injuries and loosing Duncan twice along the way that we finally returned back.