We set our sights on Isla Omnetepe, the island, made up of two volcanos, in the middle of massive Lake Nicaragua. We had the pleasure of riding over to the island on rickety old ferry boats that looked like their best days were 50 years behind them. With choppy waters these boats seem like a recipe for sea sickness and they didn't fill us with confidence when they mimed water gushing in and then lined the sides of the boat with tarpaulins.
When we arrived on the island we asked a group of "gringos" where we should go and they directed us to "the most beautiful place in Nicaragua" a little eco farm/hostel, El Zopilote, on the other side of the island. Staying at El Zopilote would be best described as "glamping" which was a fun experience in itself.
We decided to climb Mirador Volcano as the hostel was situated at the base of it and we thought it should be straight forward to just…head up hill. They say it shouldn't be attempted without a guide but we hate the idea of actually learning from our mistakes and chose to go it alone. Along with Felix, a German guy from the hostel, we set off in the morning. The climb started off being muddy, slippery, hot, muggy and uncomfortable until the conditions changed half way up to muddy, slippery, cold, wet and uncomfortable. Finally it was wet, wet, wet and uncomfortable and we were wading, shin deep, down strongly flowing creek beds. The view from the top was no consolation either since it was so foggy, we couldn't even see the crater lake. Somehow, Felix seemed to love the whole experience but we had been caught in the rain on the top of too many volcanos to be quite as enthusiastic.
By the time we got to the bottom again (not where we had expected thanks to the lack of guide) it was hot again and we stopped in at a fish taco place for lunch. Our next task was making our way back to the port town for the night so that we could get an early ferry off the island in the morning. This was another fun challenge as it was a Sunday and the busses were unreliable at best. By the time we were on the streets we were told they were done for the day so we ended up hitching a ride in the back of three separate trucks to get to our destination, Moyagolpe. We were lucky to have asked for advice before getting there because it is very tempting to stay at Hostel Central with its funky colours, up beat vibe and fun music. Although we were warned that it was run by a cult, we couldn't help but check it out and found it very hard to leave as the very quirky staff member said things like "It's the spirit of this place calling you here", "If you find another place, you should still come back for a drink" and "leave your bags here, we'll look after them while you look around."
In the end we had a lovely stay at Yogi's Hostel down the road and, although we were caught in the rain, yet again, we quite enjoyed our stay on the island.