Motorbiking Around Ometepe
Day 27: Ometepe, Nicaragua
Ahhhh…sigh of relief to still be alive this morning since last night’s perilous journey. And all we have to show for it are some funny looking bruises on Lindsey´s thumbs and butt. Another tasty breakfast of hot dog bun french toast before we checkout and head off to hike to a waterfall. During breakfast, one of our bunkmates asked if we had been able to take care of our ATM situation, to which we laughed and recounted our tale of ridiculously awesome proportions. After we told her what we had done, she had this really funny look on her face and said, “You know, that’s the most dangerous stretch of road on the whole island? The locals don´t even ride that road at night!”
That would explain why we hadn´t seen any other vehicles. Though not surprising, having just (barely) lived through it, it was still interesting to know anyway! We stowed our packs behind the reception desk—the girls are so very nice!–while we set out for the waterfall, on the motorbike. It was a wonderful, refreshing ride that reminded us of riding back home. The temperature was just right and the sun was perfectly illuminating the volcano as we rode past. It was a decently easy ride, certainly after last night, but we were still a bit sore and the roads still quite bad. After an uneventful ride and only 2 times of getting directions, we finally arrived at the gates of the park where the waterfall is located.
In order to hike to Cascada San Ramon, you have to pay 60 cordobas (US$3) which is apparently for upkeep on the trail leading to the waterfall. It’s marked as a 4km hike and while the trails are quite well-maintained, it’s a pretty tiring and sometimes quite steep hike. You can hire a guide when you buy your admission ticket but it’s not needed at all. We hiked up to the waterfall by ourselves with no problem because the trail is always very clearly marked and thus, very easy to follow.
Along the way you get beautiful views over Lake Nicaragua and the surrounding countryside. There are some cow fields on both sides of the lower trail so you get to enjoy some friendly neighbors while you hike as well. We made it to the top after a very tiring, fast trek and took refreshment beneath the 35 meter cascade of cold water. It makes a little pool of about 2 feet of water at its base which is a nice place for photos and sitting to cool yourself after the long hike. We went from baking in the sun on the trail to standing beneath the falls and then drying out of the rocks nearby just watching the water come down. What a great day and it’s not even noon yet!
After the seemingly shorter hike back down, we rested across the road in an area that looks as if it used to be a very fancy little park on the lake. The water is really high on the lake due to recent storms so the stairs that once led down into the water are now covered with the handrail barely peeking above it. Still, it offers a covered picnic table to rest on before hiking, biking, or riding back to where you came from. The lake is absolutely stunning on a sunny day and if you look down the road with the lake on your left (facing the park´s gates), you can see the little volcano peeking over the treeline in the distance.
We arrived at Finca Magdalena just with enough time to grab one last super-cheap delicious lunch before setting out for Moyogalpa. We had to return the motorcycle and were planning to stay there for a couple of nights until we were ready to move on. Of course, we had to take our big backpacks this time instead of our little daybags.
(This would be a picture of us on the motorcyle with Saben´s pack strapped in front of him on the tank area and Lin wearing hers on what amounts to the smallest dirtbike you can think of)
As we went down the hill toward Balgue, there was a group of young local guys who yelled something at us as we went past about being loco! We had to laugh, because we agreed, but we had no other choice of transporting ourselves and our backpacks so we did what we had to do. But admittedly, it was a pretty fun trip! Back in Moyogalpa we were pretty tired after the hike and spent the rest of the evening lounging about.