After our volcano adventure in Masaya, outside Granada, we headed down to Rivas and took the boat across Lake Nicaragua to the Isla de Ometepe.
Formed by two volcanoes, Volcán Concepción and Volcán Maderas, Ometepe is the world’s largest volcanic island within a freshwater lake. While Maderas is considered dormant, Concepción is active, its most recent eruption occurring in March 2010.
I seem to have had some bad luck with bikes. Many years ago, while sailing the Stockholm archipelago with my family, we stopped off at the island Utö. My cool older sister didn’t want to wear a helmet so of course neither did I, and my cool dad let us off. Now the peculiarity of Swedish bikes is that they don’t have brakes on the handlebars as in any normal country, and the only way to brake is to backpedal. The problem being that when your feet come off the pedals, well, you’re out of luck, my friend. So on a steep, rocky path down to the beach, my feet slipped off and I thundered through the woods, out of control, finally coming to a stop in as I vaulted off the bike in spectacular fashion and hit my head on a rock. It was my first concussion (followed by several others, involving other exciting adventures like radiators and slippery fire escapes) and it’s one of my great street cred stories. Oh yeah.
But anyway, no injuries were sustained this time and we made it successfully back to the hotel. The next morning, we made our way back across the lake to Rivas on the mainland.
There are so many places along the way that you miss, on any trip, but especially on our whirlwind trip across four countries in two weeks. In Nicaragua, we didn’t go to colonial León or to Managua, we didn’t go surfing off San Juan del Sur, we didn’t go volcano boarding, we didn’t visit the Corn Islands off the Caribbean coast… FOMO*, man! But every location we did see, every day we were travelling, was an experience. It’s not about ticking boxes. And we can always come back and explore more next time, right?
*For those of you not up to speed with the Millennial lingo, FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out.
From Rivas, we took a bus to Peñas Blancas, where we got our exit stamps, ignoring the touts (wearing badges, so looking official) who tried to convince us that we needed to buy some kind of form from them before doing so. Then we walked the 1km across to the next border post (there are also pedi-cabs) and officially entered Costa Rica. From there, we got another bus and continued along the Pan-American Highway, a road that I would spend quite some time on two years later, during my South America trip…
Next up, we’ll be arriving in Costa Rica for our fourth and final country. More volcanoes as well as horse riding, water sliding, and more piña coladas.