Central America, Nicaragua

36 hours in Ometepe Island Lake Nicaragua- Volcanoes, beaches, bull sharks and ultramarathons

February 10, 2015
Following her to the end of the world on our beach hike on Ometepe Island.

After suffering from dengue fever for a week on a beautiful lakeside hostel I was ready for any opportunity to get out of bed and into the water. We stayed at Laguna de Apoyo but were unable to participate in any lake related activities as I was bed-ridden for 5 straight days suffering from a high fever, terrible headaches, and restlessness throughout most nights. Camille spent all those days next to me and wouldn’t leave (she thought it was unfair for her to enjoy the lake while I was sick). We visited a couple of hospitals in Managua and Granada and after getting some results that the dengue had mostly passed we made our way to Lake Nicarauga (the largest lake in Central America) and stayed on Ometepe Island.

The idea of simply stepping outside of your door leads me to believe that there is adventure, wonder and surprise everywhere. These days our doors tend to be in front of lakes and beaches. When your sick, especially while backpacking, you feel very fortunate for your health. I felt alive being able to explore and not sit around all day in bed. On every corner of the island there were amazing views, livestock running around, and a good mix of tourism and local culture happening. This is why we travel.

This was a tough, choppy hour ride in a smaller local boat (as opposed to the proper ferry we took back). It was choppy, got wet, and had locals screaming.

This was a tough hour ride in a smaller local boat (as opposed to the proper ferry we took back). It was choppy, got wet, and had locals screaming. People were feeling sea-sick but I refused to not smile finally regaining my health.

Getting out of the bottom cabin we went out and saw people taking pictures of our arrival.

Getting out of the bottom cabin we went out and saw people taking pictures of our arrival.

The entire weekend became about looking at beautiful Volcan Concepcion, one of two volcanoes on the island.

The entire weekend became about looking at beautiful Volcano Concepcion, one of two volcanoes on the island.

For at least one day during your stay you'll want to rent a scooter or 4x4 to run around the island and hit more spots. We rode at least 70 km on this little guy.

For one day of our stay we rented a scooter to roam around the island. We rode at least 70 km on this little guy passing cowboys on horses, cows being herded and piglets running across the street.

Our first stop was Ojo de Agua, this clear mineral water pool. It wasn't very crowded Also it had a slackline running across the other end of the pool and a tire rope swing.

Our first stop was Ojo de Agua, this clear mineral water pool. It wasn’t very crowded and a swim was a good break after only 5 km of driving. it had a slack-line running across the other end of the pool and a tire rope swing.

We actually heard some guy busted his head a couple hours after we left after slipping off the slackline.

We actually heard some guy busted his head a couple hours after we left after slipping off the slack-line.

After the pools we went nearly 30 kilometers to Moyogalpa to check out the town and have lunch. Cam had the garlic steak and I had a burger. We ran into a friend we met a few weeks prior on the beach Mark got dengue from.

After the pools we went nearly 30 kilometers to Moyogalpa to check out the town and have lunch. Cam had the garlic steak and I had a burger. We ran into a friend we met a few weeks prior on the beach Mark got dengue from.

We saw trucks full of plantains a couple of times. They were stacked high up!

Back on the road we saw trucks full of plantains a couple of times. They were stacked high up!

The path to get to western most point of the island, Punta Jesus Maria.

After lunch we drove to a beautiful sand bank. This was the path to get to western most point of the island, Punta Jesus Maria.

I followed Camille to end of the world. Actually, just the end of the sandbank.

We took a stroll on the beach and I followed Camille to end of the world. Actually, just the end of the sandbank.

One side of the sand bank with a view of Concepcion.

Behind me was this.

The view in color.

And this time in color.

After this we ended up going back to our hostel since we were far from it and had to return the scooter at 5:30. The next day ended up being really relaxed after sharing the seat of the motor scooter. Fortunately for us we went for a swim in the lake before hearing about all the bull sharks that lived in this freshwater. The weekend we ended up staying here there was an ultra-marathon 100km race and a crazy survival race. The obstacles, the 30 hour time limit and the harsh terrain can give you some insight to how gruesome this was. We decided to skip the race and have a beach day.

Beach day! The next day we walked 7 minutes down from our hostel and onto the beach.

We walked 7 minutes down from our hostel and onto the beach.

Beach day on Omepete was lovely. Kite surfing was happening further up where these horses would pass by. Cowboys gave their horses baths in the lake. Local families dipped in the shallow water. And we simply took pictures.

Beach day on Omepete was lovely. Kite surfing was happening further up where these horses would pass by. Cowboys gave their horses baths in the lake. Local families dipped in the shallow water. And we simply took pictures.

The urgency to visit now is high as there are talks, protests, and business proposals for a canal to be built by the Chinese. Come see this paradise before it’s ruined.

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