IN WHICH LADY LUCK IS ON OUR SIDE FOR ONCE, AND WE GET BACK ON SCHEDULE (LIKE A BOSS). LEON TO OMETEPE (NICARAGUA)

Adventures continued (sorry for the delay, we both have back at home depression!): after the volcano boarding we arrived back at the hostel looking like black and white minstrels, we were so covered in ash. Had a quick chill in a hammock and a mojito before going to find the bloke who was sorting our car hire out, only to find that we couldn’t get one from Leon to drop off at the border and would have to go all the way to Managua for one. This wasn’t really an option as it would have taken forever and we were already half a day behind schedule! Instead the hostel man sorted us a shuttle to the ferry port and said we had to leave NOW in order to make it to San Juan del Sur in time for the last ferry to Ometepe at 5:30! Susan had time to grab a quick shower while Jill was packing up, and we were again bundled into a van with seats down the side for the next leg. Despite our rush we of course made time to stop off for some road boozes and stretched out on the long seating (Jill firmly pressed up at the front end while Susan had fun luxuriating in leaning against the back door and scaring Jill (what with her fear of falling out of car doors, at her time of life and with her knees) enjoying a few cold ones and delighting our eyes with he gorgeous volcano dappled scenery along the route. We had sewious weservations (Paul Bawwon) about making the ferry, as the roads were horrendous and our bloke was driving like a nana (despite Susan banging on the window yelling “Vamos! Rapido! Rapido!”) and we had pretty much written it off as a failure and started rejigging our proposed trajectory when we arrived at the port shortly after six. To our amazement though, the ferry still hadn’t left, and our van screeched into the landing spot beeping its horn and yelling at the ferry men, and we made it on board just as they were pulling up the gang plank to shouts of ” Chicas! Chicas! Vamos!”.

The ferry ride itself was absolutely gorgeous! We parked ourselves on the front deck, opened our last two beers and relaxed enjoying the amazing view of a hazy sunset over Lake Nicaragua and the spectacular twin volcanoes of Ometepe. It really made all the day’s stress worthwhile and we couldn’t believe our luck and that we had actually made it! Our smiles have never been wider.

We’d decided on a hotel in Chaco Verde, a beachy place between the two volcanoes, so grabbed some more beers from a kiosk and jumped in a taxi. It took about 45 minutes to go the 10 miles down the road due to them being tiny cobbled tracks, having to circumnavigate volcanoes and more impressively, we had to stop as a tree had fallen blocking the road and within fifteen minutes the driver and a load of local lads had set about it with their machetes and cleared us a path. Susan offered to help, informing them she was a qualified lumberjack, but they were adamant that it was ‘mens work’. The comaradary of the whole thing was lovely, and the more we saw of the island (lots of poky little bars by the roadside and always something going on even in the middle of nowhere) the more we loved it!

Our hotel was lovely and right on the lake (complete with swan shaped towels and a complimentary gecko) and after a much needed shower and nap, we found a nice little beach bar for mojitos and fresh (but fiddly) fish for dinner before walking back having a paddle in the lake. Our luxury room even had a little TV and a DVD player so we settled in to watch the 1 DVD provided, curiously titled “Resident Elvis”. To our dismay it was neither Resident Evil or anything about Elvis, but some forgettable romantic comedy. Being the troopers that we are we still watched it and then fell asleep to the sound of the waves lapping against the lakeshore. Tomorrow – we try to touch some monkeys!

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