From El Tunco to Ometepe

by lwsaville

Having made my way down to El Tunco in El Salvador I proceeded to lollygag about indecisively. Productively I managed to trick myself into blogging at that juncture and would like to continue. My next leg consisted of hot and flat out of the beach and a couple of days in Honduras before hitting the tourist haven of Leon. I rather like to think of Leon as the extremely hot version of Xela. The city was a strange version of what I imagine it to normally be, owing to Semana Santa and the masses traveling to their nearest beach to enjoy the occasion with family and friends. I was finally able to dance a bit of salsa in the town after sitting around in the club watching to find some girl who might know how to dance LA style (predominantly they dance something like Casino in León… quite a different dance). From León I made out for Masatepe and then an overlook of Lake Apoyo on the way to Granada where I met up with Logan and Virginia (Whom I had met earlier when I was sitting around in El Tunco). My plans of visiting the island of Ometepe from a later port were dissuaded by a longer ferry from Granada with my new friends. The island was a welcome respite from my extra long and hot days and the dirt sections were an enjoyable alternative to the soul draining Pan American. The whole vibe of the island is more relaxed and we even had the chance to see quite a few monkeys. 

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Stayed in my tent in this guy’s abandoned comedor and in the strange circumstances that the traveler sometimes finds her/himself, I was actually locked in over the night. Among the poorer of my sleeping experiences, the sweat beading down my body felt as though they were insects and had me edge.

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Salt baking dry in the midday sun. One good thing about the fierce sun around these parts (lots of good things about the sun in general though, perchance our existence?).

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Ah the fan. While once our relationship consisted of passing acquaintance, we’ve quickly (perhaps recklessly) progressed to something more.

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Two kids selling Iguanas for ten dollars a pop. They seem dead but an exmination yields blinking the eyes from time to time. You take one home and fry it up I imagine. Towards the border of Honduras there were kids like these and others filling pot holes in the road as a public service and asking for money.

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The second half of the two-boy selling team.

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Semana Santa sends general waves of irregularity through the fabric of the Latin American static. Bonuses include catching processions such as this on the way back home from dinner (something had to be about to happen with the stoops conspicuously filled with people).

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In Nicaragua I got into eating the plate system meals…. you pick a meat and sides and get a natural fruit drink for a good price.

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Largest cathedral in Central America

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A group of cyclists (and a bus traveler) that I had heard about after the only warmshowers (website of people who offer hospitality for touring cyclists) host for miles flagged me down on the road telling me that four cyclists had left his house that morning. Hadn’t expected to see them but fellow cyclists have a way of showing up from time to time. I bumped into the two girls in the foreground again and the two in the back repeatedly (interestingly they go from place to place volunteering with a special interest in earthships and alternatives. Find them at http://chaingethecycle.org/).

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Another church in León

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The long straight bit of the crumbling old highway from León to Managua. Particularly busy on this windy day as everyone was traveling to and from destinations for enjoying the last weekend of Semana Santa.

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Excellent graffiti on an abandoned building on the way to Masatepe.

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A coke break on Ometepe

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A man watering his horses in Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua)

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Spectacularly interesting howler monkeys on the island of Ometepe. Really fun to watch as they jump around in the trees, often with their offspring clinging on piggy-back style.

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Box of monkeys?

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Virginia and Logan tackling a bit of one of the dirt pieces of the road that encircles the island

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The Ometepe show stealing volcano Concepción. It’s dormant neighbor has a less photogenic appeal.

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Checkers on the ferry to Rivas. This guy is trying like his other friends to oust the reigning champion.

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The famous shot in the Rivas fire station of a large man who makes his bed every night on a pool table.

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Rolling out towards the border with Costa Rica Virginia and I pose for a shot in front of the station.

In this section I’ve been having psychological battles within myself: Having camped much of the way and championing that as a method of experience as well as a method of saving dough, I found myself staying in hotels much of the way. With the sun so fierce it’s been quite difficult to make a hot tent seem appealing and the additional amenities of a shower and a fan tend to win out.

Points:
-Hot and boring

-Semana santa changing everything

-Ometepe as a lovely change: laid back gente and fun dirt roads (leaving my water bag doh)

-Long day to the warmshowers and the police, change of plans to granada and ometepe    shared.

-Logan and Virginia. (Find them and a bit of me (recently) at http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/)

Future plans: the two peninsulas of Costa Rica

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