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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Cold Chicken

We crammed ourselves into a series of chicken buses (also carrying chickens, naturally, in addition to people, not to mention dogs, bicycles, construction materials, fish, and plantains) as we headed south from Jiquilillo. Eight or nine hours later, we arrived on the shore of Lake Nicaragua in time to catch a ferry over to Ometepe Island, an island impressively formed by two volcanoes rising from the lake.

Many people are attracted to Ometepe by the opportunity to relax and explore nature and a good many others are lured by the opportunity to reach the crater of one active volcano and the crater lake of one dormant volcano. Aside from the fact that we had planned to visit here in 2009 and never made it, I am not embarassed to say that our keen interest to visit Ometepe was based largely on the promise of fresh baked bread and homemade peanut butter and nutella. Yep, to satisfy a craving. We had been given the inside scoop from other travelers in Jiquilillo that a certain 'finca' offered these tasty treats. They had actually ended up staying five weeks! Wow, I thought, that must be some seriously good bread.

We spent two nights at El Zopilote, sharing a rustic hut with some cute little lizards and some terrifying bugs the size of small cats. We met some lovely ladies from Australia and together we spent some time on the deserted beach and climbed Maderas Volcano (the dormant one with the crater lake. Yes, the smaller of the two, but need I remind you that we previously climbed eight volcanoes...?).

When we weren't eating peanut butter sandwhiches, we enjoyed the fine dining experience offered by the family across the dirt road. It took a couple minutes for my brain to do the translation on the first night when the nice woman told us that she didn't have any 'cold chicken' and that our meals would take 'some time' to prepare but as she walked behind the house and the chickens scattered, it all came together. I was greatful that she turned up the music just a touch.

Although we had originally planned to stay on the island for one more night, we decided to roll with the punches when we naively assumed that Sunday buses would run on the same schedule as every other day. Because the ferry terminal ended up being the end of the line for the bus we had boarded, we decided to head across the lake and spend some time in Granada instead. We spent our last day in Nicaragua wandering the streets of this colonial town, taking in some culture...and eating ice cream.