Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh My God, Where Do I Start. Ometepe? Why Not...

Hello my posies, my poppets, my precious petunias! I am back in Managua now, after one of the most splendid weeks of vacation I've ever had. When last I updated, Moxita the Amazing Fifi Poodle and I had just picked up our friend Varunski from el aeropuerto and were preparing to take off for the wilds of Nicaragua. Oh, I was so happy - it felt completely wonderful to have two of my greatest friends down here with me. So we spent an evening giggling and trading stories and catching up, and the next morning, backpacks packed, off we strode to the bus station.

It was election day, and Nicaragua was preparing for all sorts of hooliganism and shenanigans, so it was oddly quiet in the streets, and there were cops everywhere. Poor us. We'd spent the evening before trying to get a beer, but all the bars were closed. We even got racially profiled, as one of them saw Varunski with two gringas and got immediately suspicious. "Hey, little brown guy," he called. "Come over here and show me your identification papers." EEK! With some quick talking we managed to get off the hook. "No hablo espaƱol!" Varunski kept repeating, and eventually the cop believed him.

The trip to Ometepe, a volcanic island in the middle of enormous Lake Nicaragua was absolutely beautiful. Here we are on the ferry, looking happy.

Want to know why we look so happy? It's cause on account of that gorgeous volcano. Yaaaaaay, volcanoes! There are two on the island, only one of which is active, but it hasn't erupted properly in about fifty years. Mostly all they get recently is earthquakes and spewing ash, though neither one happened while we were there.

Ometepe was spectacular. We climbed volcanoes (ow, ow, ow), rented bikes of dubious quality to ride about the island and explore the harder-to-get-to-spots. We swam in crystal-clear natural spring pools of aquamarine waters, and stayed at a hostel that had a pet donkey named Fiona, hammocks, and some of the friendliest tourists around. Also, copious quantities of surprisingly excellent vegetarian food.

I wish I could show you all the pictures we took, but some 500 might take a while to load so I'll just show you a few highlights.
On our bike ride to the swimming hole we stopped to leap with joy at the sight of that gorgeous mountain in the background.

Moxita was particularly excited because she lives in the Netherlands and hasn't seen anything higher than two meters in a few years now.

And the swimming hole... God, how can words even capture how unspeakably lovely, how peaceful, how clear and precious that spot is?

So I know, it looks like all we did the whole time was jump around madly, which is sort of true. But we also spent golden sunset hours sitting around and drinking beer and rum, which I consider valuable time. Also, we had impromptu Spanish language lessons throughout our travels. Moxita, for example, learned that the expression "Mucho gusto" can be applied to many situations. Really, it means "much pleasure," and it's used in the same way that we say "pleased to meet you." Do you like the food, Moxita? "Pleased to meet you!" she'd say, and people would smile. Varunski got by by saying "Donde una cerveza" in every situation, which also made people smile. I mean, really. Is there anything more charming than a cute Trinidadian running around saying "where the beer, where the beer?" No there is not. I have many many more stories that I promise I'll share later. For example, Moxita and the Taxi Driver is a great story, as is our lesson about The Suggestion of Reality, but I'm out of time, so I'll sum up in this way:

After three days it was time to go. We hopped a ride in the back of a pick-up truck back to Managua (bouncy bouncy bouncy) where we took a bus up to the mountains of northern Nicaragua, but that's another story for another day. For now I'll say goodbye and run to catch up on the rest of the stuff I need to finish up today before I take off for a trip to the Atlantic Coast and Corn Islands. Yay! Hasta luego!


Anonymous said...

Looks like you guys had a blast!! I love living vicariously through you!!

clergywm said...

My dear daughter,
All this in the name of research??? Can I work on a dissertation too?!?
I'm glad that you had a great time.
Captain Mommypants

Kate said... that first breath of oxygen after being underwater for a really long time......sweet bliss....thank you for coming home.

What a wonderful vacation, which I am sure is full of unforgettable memories and funny stories. Aren't friends just about the best thing ever??

Lahrynn said...

Mucho gusto! :)

Renny said...

Yay! I'm glad you're back! Love the photos :) Man, you're getting tan.
Hey, I'm going interview Miguel Aleman's son tomorrow. Craziness! I'll let you know how it goes.

judy_watts said...

awwww, i miss you guys! = )

Cheasty said...

aw, thanks, guys! i'm glad you're still here and reading. so much more to tell you!

Bull City Running Co. said...

i'm a little behind on my reading, but just have to say "wow, you have an impressive vertical".

Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

those are some AWESOME pictures! i look forward to reading more about your travels! :)

Jenna said...

I've got some catching up to do in Cheastyland! I LOVE your jumping pictures. Totally captures the joy. Looking forward to reading more...
Happy Thanksgiving!