Adios, Ometepe; Hola, San Juan del Sur
We’re not in
Kansas Ometepe anymore!! Mark and I woke at 5 A.M. last Tuesday morning. Mark walked to the kitchen sink, turned on the faucet, and for the second day in a row – no water. He marched back into the bedroom and announced “We’re outta here like Vladamir” (Philly Sports Talk Radio Reference?) We had agreed the day before that if the tank didn’t fill overnight, we’d pack our bags and head somewhere else.
So, by 9 AM, we had packed our bags, straightened up the house as much as can be expected without water, found and paid Mario the landlord, dropped off the keys, and hopped a ferry off the island. On the mainland, after a brief price negotiation in Spanish, we hopped the first cab towards the beach to spend a week on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast before leaving for a visit to the States.
Without a doubt, our 3 1/2 weeks in Ometepe was a unique experience. I will always think of it as something like traveling through time and space to live in a dust bowl somewhere in the Great Plains back in the 1850s. (Not a historically accurate reference, but hopefully it gets the point across.) We both give Huge Kudos to all of the people making a life on Ometepe, especially those expatriates who could have picked anywhere at all to settle. Instead, they chose the route of hard work under remarkably difficult, often physically demanding conditions.
And at this point in our lives, that’s definitely not the path for us. 🙂
It wasn’t a surprise to me that there was no water on Tuesday morning. Most days that we had water were preceded by nights where we could hear water flowing from the lake into, and often over, the tank that sat about 20 feet above ground in the backyard.
Throughout Monday night, into Tuesday morning, my sleep was interspersed with moments of awakening where I listened attentively for that glorious sound of swooshing water. But, like too many previous nights, it never came.
There were many inspiring things about our stay in Ometepe. Many areas of the island are beautifully picturesque even during the height of the dry season. The native Ometepeans (?), as well as the many expatriates we met were delightful, happy and helpful people.
And, the cost of living is extremely reasonable. Unfortunately, the infrastructure is severely lacking especially when compared to our previous destinations in Central America.
Trying out Ometepe for a month rather than going straight to San Juan del Sur was a spontaneous decision, and you don’t always get the result you want with spontaneity. But, in keeping with our theme in previous posts, Ometepe as a destination may not have been what we were hoping for but the journey was well worth it. It conjured up a full breadth of emotions from anticipation to anxiety, determination to disillusionment, excitement to exasperation and many more.
Stop number five on our eighteen month (so far) Central American excursion is the trendy, bustling surfing hotspot San Juan del Sur, with remnants still of the small fishing village it used to be. So far, it has been fantastic. We will update you on the details in our next Blog but these pictures may be enough to give you a sense of why we’re so delighted with what we’ve encountered here.