Isla de Ometepe

9 03 2008

Posted by: Laura

I had only been running for ten minutes. My route began at our hotel, located directly on the shores of Lake Nicaragua.  As I ran down the narrow strip of beach, I carefully dodged two “attack” geese guarding their egg that lay under a nearby tree. I had watched them chase off anyone who dared to trespass on their section of beach, especially small children. I then turned onto a wooded dirt trail that led me inland and past a lagoon, then up a small peninsula that jutted out of the southern part of the island. As the trail rose, I admired the view of the lake below me in the afternoon sun. The lake is so large that I kept forgetting it was a lake and not the ocean. Some of the fish had forgotten this too because when the lake was attached to the ocean by a stream, some of them swam up the stream and adapted to the freshwater habitat. This is the only freshwater lake in the world with sharks. Which is why I decided to go for a run, instead of a swim.

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I suddenly saw two howler monkeys sitting on the trail twenty feet in front of me. We stared at each other, neither of us wanting to make the first move. I had never been so close to a wild monkey before. They slowly retreated, climbing into the mangrove trees on the side of the trail. I looked into the tree which is about my height and saw about 8 more monkeys, including one baby clinging to its mother´s back.

I watched them for a few minutes, then continued on my run. About 10 minutes later, running along the dirt trail on the other side of the lagoon, I startled a group of five white cranes, which I stopped to watch as they took flight.

As I was about to run another loop, I found Chris on the beach taking pictures and decided it was more important to show him the monkeys than finish my run. Chris hurried up the trail in his flip flops. We found the monkeys in the same spot, but they had climbed a little higher into the trees. They watched Chris take their pictures with cautious disintrest.  We sat and watched them for about twenty minutes.

As the sun was about to set, we hiked to another lookout point, Mirador Diablo (Devil´s Lookout), to get a good view of the volcano, which sits in the middle of the island. We saw more monkeys as we hiked up the steep trail to the lookout point. The only thing we didn´t get pictures of were the vampire bats that lived on the porch outside of our room.  Every night we walked in and out of the room, we would see them hanging updside down above our heads before darting off. 

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All the pictures were taken in less than 2 hours time: all the animals, beach, trail, and sunset pics, which goes to show both the diversity of the Island and the ease with which you can see everything. 

After visiting the somewhat run down town of Leon, the much nicer colonial town of Granada, and the higlight of Nicaragua–Isla de Ometepe– we´re heading to Costa Rica.

Click here for Pictures 

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2 responses

11 03 2008
Causey

Wow! Awesome story! And great pictures! :-)) Thanks for the update! Glad y’all are having fun, and moving along with your adventure. … We’re fine. Michael is improving, getting stronger and feeling better everyday. Thank God! :-)) gg –
Love, Causey :-))

11 03 2008
Kim

Ok, I’m officially insanely jealous of yall!!! Taking a break from my miserable existence as a first year law student to read about your amazing adventures was not a good idea! But seriously, I’m so glad yall are having fun and that this trip is living up to everything you expected. Keep the updates coming…especially when you get to the places that I nearly cried about when Chris told me yall would be visiting 🙂

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