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Thread: Deja' vu

  1. #1

    Default Deja' vu

    Sometime in June 2010 my younger bother and I took a trip to Ometepe. I had been in Nicaragua 5 times before and had never made it out into lake Cocibolca, so I was determined not to miss this opportunity.
    We were staying in a hostel in Managua at the time, so we got up early in the morning and headed down to the micobus station in front of the UCA to get a ride to Granada. The microbus got us in a little closer to the departure time of the ferry then we would have liked, but we figured we could still make it there walking--since I wanted to show my brother a bit of Granada on our way.
    Speedwalking with all of our gear on our backs through the hot Granada streets brought me back to my first stay from Feb-Apr back in '97. My clearest memories from '97 were of sweating myself dry and then feeling like I would pass out walking the streets of Granada.
    I was also able to enjoy the rapidly passing sights, smells, and sounds of the central square and the relatively car-free street down to the dock, but I don't think my brother noticed anything by the heat and his growing rage that I suggested we walk instead of catch a taxi.
    Right before we reached the dock we passed a baseball field on the left and I tried to look across it to where I stayed on the other side 13 years ago. As we got to the dock I thought back to the last time I was there and got hit by a storm that blew an awning down the street and drove rain in the corner hotel at nearly a 180 degree angle--luckily it was a sunny clear day this time.
    We made the ferry with time to spare (since they didn't leave on time) and settled in on the colorful deck under a cloud of chiules--they seemed especially drawn to our boots and backpacks. This (of course) also reminded me of Granada, since no memory of Cocibolca is free of chiules. A friend and I made a competition (back in '97) out of how many we could kill with a clap. We just clear our palms, clap, count the black specs, clear our palms, etc. We would regularly kill upwards of ten chiules a clap; I forget now the record number or who held it.
    Understandably, my brother found a spot a the ferry well clear of me as we headed out across the lake. After about an hour I tracked him down, and we shared the rest of the ride over enjoying the sights. We were blessed with a ferry ride that encompassed day and night, sun and rain--and my bother took some epic pictures that I'll include later.
    A storm passed over us, and while it didn't hit too hard directly over our ferry, we could see it hitting Granada and the sky was amazing. Right after it passed, beams of light shot up in front of us out of lake Cocibolca to the east. It was about 4:30pm and the sun was above and behind us to the west. These lights attracted quite a bit of attention from the passengers, many pictures were taken, and we asked the crew what they were or if they had seen them before. They told us they didn't know what the lights were and had never seen anything like them. I'm guessing they were a strong reflection of sunlight off the lake creating a mirage effect of light--but I have no way to confirm this theory. I kind of enjoy the mystery of the lights, the magic of the unknown.
    We finally got to Ometepe after dark. Most of the other passengers were in groups and they quickly took the taxi-trucks and taxi-microbuses from the dock to the city. Much to my brother's chagrin, I though I'd save us some money and create another memory by having us walk to the city...
    Soy el chele mono.

  2. #2
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deja' vu

    Welcome back.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  3. #3
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deja' vu

    Nice post... and yes Welcome Back
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  4. #4

    Default Re: Deja' vu

    ...I had to get to a class, so I cut off in mid-thought. Here's the rest of the post:
    Before we could start down the trail to the city, we had to pass through a checkpoint, and we were told that they'd have to tax us because our backpacks were too large--even though we saw several people with backpacks like ours pass through in front of us without a tax (C$28 a piece). It sucks to be singled out for a hussle, but there was nothing we could do about it, so we paid the tax and continued on.
    While we were being hussled I could have swore that my friend Tim, his cousin Shawn, and I had been in that exact situation back in 2000--but we never made it to Ometepe. It's the strongest sense of deja' vu I've ever experienced.
    A guide walked with us and pitched an early morning hike up the volcano to us--which we ened up not taking, but we bought him a beer when we got to our choice of hotel (El Castillo). We found a place for a great price with a ceiling fan and a bar/restaurant on the street that happened to have a large screen TV. We dropped our gear in our room, ordered diner at the bar, and watched the NBA championship game between the Lakers and the Celtics. There was something surreal about watching the NBA finale on Ometepe with a couple of drunk Nicaraguans.
    We crashed after dinner and I woke up (as is my norm in Nicaragua) at the crack of dawn; my brother slept in for a few more hours. I took the opportunity to wander around Altagracia. It's a charming quite little town that reminds me of my time in La Concepcion de Masaya, or "La Concha." We only spent a day there, but I think I'd dig an extended stay.
    After walking pretty much every inch of road in Altagracia, I picked up some Rojita and then returned to our hotel. I got there just before the first game of the Mundial (South Africa versus Mexico), which I watched on a small TV with the family that runs the hotel. Ferry ride, late night walk, NBA final, great food, friendly people, early morning walk around misty Altagracia, and now the Mundial? --I was having the time of my life.
    Eventually, my brother rolled out of bed and we ordered omletes for breakfast along with mixed fruit drinks on the rocks (We didn't know this at the time, but we figured later on that this ice was most likely responsible for the next three days that we both spent laid up with fever, diarrea, and gas so terrible I'm sure it could be weaponized--in Managua). Still, the drinks tasted great.
    We missed the bus out of Altagracia to the other side of the Island by only a few seconds, so we chilled in the central park for an hour waiting for the next one. It was freaking hot, so we retreated under the awning of a circular building in middle of the park for shade, and leaned against the pillars that supported the awning. My brother got lost in his earphones, and I had a conversation with a smart kid about art and peotry--specifically Ruben Dario. He told me about one specific Ruben Dario poem entitled "Asul," which I though sounded interesting. The kid was a great conversationalist; he helped me to pass the time without feeling the heat or the wait.
    The bus ride around Volvan Concepcion was beautiful, but also quite hot. We jumped off at San Jose del Sur and took smaller boat back to Granada instead of going all the way to Moyogalpa. This proved entertaining. The little boat belched smoke, listed to port, rode very low in the water, looked like it would come apart at any moment, and had a large hole aft down to the engine where a poor sailer kept having to descend to keep it running. He would emerge covered in oil and soot, and from my seat I could clearly see that the engine compartment was constantly filled with smoke.
    However, we made much better time back to Managua on this boat, and it was much less expensive. My brother somehow managed to sleep on this boat--probably as a result of the oppressive heat and the parasites taking hold. I chatted up the crew and killed a rather large spider that was crawling towards my brother's head.
    We took a big bus back to Managua, but by the time we got there, even I was feeling the effects of the ice-cube parasites. We jumped off the bus as it turned off carratera Masaya and headed toward Huembes, to avoid the crowds. With the last of our energy we hailed a taxi and went to a nice hotel (Hotel Villa Americana) to recuperate.
    It was raining as we jumped off the bus from Granada, and the rain continued well into the night. The roof directly over my head as I lay in my bed at the Villa Americana started leaking and the drops landed squarely in the center of my forehead. I remember laying there in fever enduced exhaustion for several drips thinking about the humor of my situation before I went to the front desk. They told me that had never happened before, and they even seemed to suggest (by their looks) that they doubted that it had happened this time. Still, they came back to the room and helped me to move my bed away from the drip.
    Even with the parasites (or maybe even because of them) Ometepe is both unforgetable and a treasured memory. As with most of the exeriences on this most recent trip to Nicaragua, I only wish I had been able to spend more time there.
    Soy el chele mono.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Deja' vu

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Welcome back.
    Thank you.
    Soy el chele mono.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Deja' vu

    This is a picture of the lights coming out of lake Cocibolca.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Soy el chele mono.

  7. #7
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deja' vu

    Man what an experience and good post to go with it....
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  8. #8
    Papatara mupitara's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deja' vu

    Great Post! Nicely written.
    Papatara, S.A. - Semaforos de Montoya 3c al sur y 1/2c abajo, frente ENIMOSA, Managua, Nicaragua
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  9. #9
    TRN's fiesty redhead catahoula fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Deja' vu

    we figured later on that this ice was most likely responsible for the next three days that we both spent laid up with fever, diarrhea, and gas so terrible I'm sure it could be weaponized
    A fairly common occurrence in Nicaragua to be sure, and one that my hubby Roger has the answer for...Stop It. It's an extract of guava, guacimo, cashew and aceituno.



    For more products and information, you can find our website at http://quintaquijoteproductos.blogsp...medicines.html

    Very nice post, never been to Ometepe before. Can't wait to see more pix!
    Last edited by catahoula fan; 03-15-2011 at 09:13 AM.
    "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

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