Monday, June 03, 2013

Back to Calgary

Got a taxi to the airport around 4:00am. Got checked in and waited.

Nothing exciting happened today. All I really have to say is that going through US customs and baggage at Houston was a royal pain the ass. It took soooo long. It's a good thing I had an almost 4 hour layover or I would've missed my flight. It ended up that my flight to Calgary got delayed by couple of hours as well, so didn't get back to Calgary until about 7:15pm.

Tracy picked me up, we went out for supper, and then I went home and crashed!

And that wraps up my 34 day trip to Honduras and Nicaragua.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Off to Managua - Almost finished. :-(

Tried to sleep in a bit, as there's nothing planned for today. We are catching a shuttle to Managua at 11:30am.

We had breakfast then just hung around the hostel for the morning.

The shuttle was uneventful. It dropped us off at the Tika bus station in Managua, which has a hotel and where dad had a reservation. Our first air conditioning of the whole trip, brrrr was it cold when you're not used to it!

We headed out to find something to eat for lunch. Most of the places were closed, but we did find one place that was selling food "buffet-style", you picked what you wanted, she'd scoop it on a plate. You could then sit down in a open-air table area and they'll bring it to you, and get your drinks for you. We had white rice and another rice dish, kind of like chicken fried rice, then a chicken thing with some sort of creamy alfredo-type sauce that had a bit of kick to it (this was amazingly delicious!) and some beef ribs. It was all very good and very cheap, as it was a local restaurant, not a tourist one.

We walked back to the hotel and did nothing for the rest of the day.

Went to bed kind of early, as I have to get up at 3:30am or so to get to the airport.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Isla de Ometepe

Up early, 5:15 to pack and get ready for our 6:00am pickup for the Isla de Ometepe tour. It was about a one hour drive south through Rivas to San Jorge to catch the ferry to Moyogalpa, about 1-1.5 hours, where our guide, Erik, met us.

First we had some breakfast then we went to La Punta de Jesus Maria, a sand point filled with lots and lots of shells that you wouldn't expect to see in a lake. However, this lake was part of the ocean at one point, but got cut off from the ocean due to volcanic activity. It has slowly lost its salinity, and apparently has a lot of unique fish species because of this, including shark and sawfish. The sand point may have been connected to the mainland at one point as well.

Then to Charco Verde, a natural reserve with a green lagoon (because of the algae) and lots of flora and fauna. It was a very overcast day, so the colors didn't really come out, unfortunately. We saw half a dozen howler monkeys. It was hard to get clear shots of them through the foliage. Also saw plenty of birds.

Then to see petroglyphs, which are up to 5000 years old. Then we headed for lunch at a resort along a huge stretch of beach. Lunch was not good at all, both dad and I agreed.

Then we headed to a natural springs (Ojo de Agua). Our guide told us they were neither hot nor cold, but just right. I jumped and near froze to death! It was cold to me!

The morning started off very cloudy and both volcanoes were completely obscured and it even drizzled a bit on us. As the day wore on, the clouds somewhat cleared from the volcanoes, allowing some decent pictures. The bigger volcano is ConcepciĆ³n and is still active. The smaller one is Maderas and is now extinct.

Back to the ferry about 3:45 and back to our hostel after 6:00pm.

I really liked Ometepe. It would have been awesome to stay a few days and rent a motorbike and explore the island. Lots and lots of backpackers around. This is the first place I've been in either Honduras or Nicaragua that would make me consider another trip to Nicaragua.

Around 7:30, we headed to O'Shea's Irish Pub again, as we really liked the food we had last night. Danielle and Alice showed up randomly, so sat with us.

Back to the hostel about 10:00, did some journal stuff and then to bed.