|from Granada, we (michael, fredrik & i) decided to head over to the Island of Ometepe on the huge Lago de Nicaragua. we took a boat over to Altagracia and for some reason we decided to travel as the locals do and go 2nd class...not the most comfortable of journies - 4hrs sitting on a metal floor under the deck squashed in with hundreds of people..very hot, smelly and basically minging...not sure why we didnt pay the extra 10p to go first class and have hammocks outside..but all adds to the adventure i suppose! We arrived in Altagracia quite late in the evening and with no buses around we had to hitch a ride into town on the back of a pickup truck... was pretty cool standing on the back of the truck looking up at the stars, although also like being on a rollercoaster as the roads are SO bad and the drivers seem to like to go especially fast when they have people in the back so we had to hold on tight!
The next day we headed to the beach at Santo Domingo where we planned to just chill out for a couple of days...stunning scenery - beautfiul lake surrounded my volcanoes - lots of beach football and swimming in the lake and very very quiet - there are hardly any other travellers here it really feels like we are in the middle of nowhere.
But as ever, plans are changing and we heard about a local music festival that was on the next night in the nearby town of Moyogalpa..so we decided to head there to check out the local Nicaraguan bands...was really really good, lots of locals there and the music was good too....we also discovered the local nicaraguan rum - flor de cana - its delicious even for a non-rum drinker like me and am now addicted....so the night turned pretty drunken and instead of spending the next few days chilling out on the beach, it was spent recovering from rum hangovers watching movies in a hostel!
Leaving Ometepe to head back to the mainland at Rivas was another boat journey i have to write about - the worst yet! The trip over was fine and we'd arrived at Rivas, but the driver just seemed to be taking ages to manage to get the boat parked up on the dock...we were laughing about it for ages, saying how rubbish the captain was but after about an hour it got very annoying as we just wanted to get off the boat...then suddenly everyone on the boat started putting on lifejackets, women started crying and people everywhere were praying and we realised the boat was totally stuck on the rocks and the waves were getting bigger and basically everyone started panicking as we thought we were going to capsize on the rocks...there was one point when i really did think we were gonners and also had an almost hysterical fit on fred...but eventually after another hour or so, we got rescued, another boat came to tow us away and all was well...we got off the boat and headed straight to the nearest bar to calm the nerves with a beer..!