Touring the isletas
Mark and I decided to take a break last week ( “A break from what, exactly??”, the oldest of my eleven brothers in law might ask 🙂 ) and do a bit of the “tourist” thing. Originally we were going to go to Laguna Apoya, but at the last minute, decide instead to do a tour of the Islets of Lake Nicaragua.
Our guide Ramon, from No Rush Tours, picked us up downtown and drove us to the ponga boats. From there, it was a leisurely trip through small islands and mangroves that looked remarkably similar to some of the out islands in the Florida Keys.
There are still some indigenous people living on the islets, and most make their living from fishing. I was surprised to see that means nets, exclusively, hand thrown by (usually) a single guy standing in boats that seem to be a cross between a canoe and a rowboat. Tough to imagine bringing the fish up and not tipping over!
We got up close to the monkeys on Monkey island. I’ve heard different stories about them, but the one that rings most true is that a veterinarian from Managua was going to build a small house there and put his pet monkeys on the island. But, he died before doing any building. Now, the monkeys are stuck on an island that has only one small mango tree as a source of food, and they rely on tourist to toss things onto the island for them.(We gave them the coconuts leftover from our fresh coconut milk drink.) It seems that there is occasionally some local outrage on the inhumanity of having the monkeys stuck there with no regular source of food, but no one has been willing to step in to place them somewhere more suitable.
We also stopped at a fort that was built to protect the city from the pirates. What a shock to hear Sir Francis Drake in the list of pirates they were protecting the city from, but reality is he was trying to loot another country’s wealth –he may have been a hero in England, but here, he was a pirate.
And, if anyone is in the market for some real estate, one of the houses featured on House Hunters International is on one of the isletas, and still available. It comes with a basketball court and space for a swimming pool…I know just the couple to take care of it for you!