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Thread: Omnetepe: The Island Grows On You

  1. #1

    Default Omnetepe: The Island Grows On You

    We've seen some interesting stories of adaptation, loss and survival of the fittest since we arrived on the ferry at San Jose the night before last.

    The ferry costs C$420 for a car plus C$50 per person,, plus C$12 each for bikes. There is then tax of 70 cords for the vehicle and 9 cords each for the bikes. To this is applied the 15% VAT,, so C$549 to bring your car over. There is also a "voluntary Contribution" of $1 each for foreigners only,, but you can't get on the ferry without paying it.

    I assume it wlll be he same going back,, but you know what they say about assume. Taxi's are expensive,, so you will save the money,, and you have a lot of flexibility is getting around. The roads that circle the two volcanos,, Concepcíon and Maderas, are mostly paved,, but all decent road.

    Lots of Cheles,, most appear European. We met a couple of Canadian girls at the Ojo de Agua,, a spectacular swimming hole, with crystal clear water. $5 person admission. Lots of desperation, lots of variation in pricing in hotels and food. There is so much unused capacity since the bottom fell out about June of last year.

    We paid $5 for a shit breakfast this morning,, and a little later,, ate a huge, freshly taken Guapote, perfectly cooked, for $9. With a lake-side table and a breeze,, friendly waiter, parking for my truck.

    We wound up at a hippie development,, some casitas scattered around the lower part of Finca Bona Fide. This was a Peter Christopher take-off, interns came and paid to do the heavy lifting and learn about permaculture.
    Riding the wave that was cresting last year,, the finca built about ten of the small two story houses,, and WERE laughing all the way to the bank. Still, with some astute (read misleading) marketing on, they have continued to outpace most of the room vendors in Balgue and maintain a decent price. They are running at a loss,, but it's manageable. Probably less than I spend on my farm.

    We're going to go by the Finca Magdalena tomorrow morning,, an 800 acre cooperative run by 24 families. I'm hoping to buy a quintal of coffee,, to see if the volcanic soil adds some different flavor. There is a small second crop this year, apparently.
    Finca Magdalena has rooms as well,, for a third of what we paid at Selvista, and I'm sure that the food will be better.

    I'd like to come back,, I'd really like to hike to the top of the Maderas volcano. There is a large lake in the blown out crater,, that provides pure water to much of this side of the island. Power comes via a cable from Rivas,, arriving at Esquipulas. The area looks dry,, but there are lots of healthy, fat, cows,, and good looking horses. I saw a guy bring down a small herd of cows to drink from Lake Nicaragua while I was eating lunch.

    This is a great time to visit.

    Traffic is so minimal. It's a joy to drive here. Parking is an issue,, but people are friendly and accommodating. There are some great prices on mochilero accomodations,, I've sen as low as $5.
    This is bound to attract European vagos on their way to Colombia. I've only seen one man bun so far,, I see more in Estelí

    We may stay another day,, or might get on the ferry and head to SJdS.

    The farm seems to be cooking along,,, or so they tell me . . . .Who knows?
    Who cares,, as long as my pigs are getting fed.
    It's nice to be retired.

  2. #2
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    Pompano Beach, Florida
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    Default Re: Omnetepe: The Island Grows On You

    There is a great little museum on the island also......shame to miss it.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Omnetepe: The Island Grows On You

    I'll look for it

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