hop on the good foot

This blog is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate.


7 Comments

Quito – The dizzying heights of our first stop in South America

Plaza Santa Domingo of Quito

Plaza Santa Domingo of Quito

Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, is our first stop in South America.  It is the second highest capital city in the world, which is to say the highest I have ever been in my life at 2850m.  As previously mentioned in my last post, we stayed at the Secret Garden hostel, which is located in the San Blas area of the Old Town/Centro Historico.  Price was a little steep at $32 a night with tax for a private room, but the bed was comfy, the room cosy (if a bit noisy) and the view of the old town, breathtaking.  The old town is a UNESCO world heritage site and is set in what looks like a huge valley, in the shadow of the 4794m peak of Volcan Pichincha.  The city is huge and sprawls to an area of 324km².

Panorama of Quito Old town from Secret Garden terrace.  Panecillo on the left all th way to the Basilica on the right

Panorama of Quito Old town from Secret Garden terrace. Panecillo on the left all th way to the Basilica on the right

San  Blas - Street where we stayed in the Old Town

San Blas – Street where we stayed in the Old Town

Just want the gallery? Click here.

The first order of business was to acclimatise.  The effects of altitude were very immediate, noted by panting and almost keeling over when trying to climb 4 flights of stairs.  Ollie has experience with this sort of thing from her last visit to South America in Chile, where she had a more serious reaction.  We decided to take it easy and explore the old town, starting by visiting the Basilica del Voto Nacional, a 115m high cathedral of neo-gothic design built at the start of the 20th century.  In a cheeky salute to the country’s wildlife it has birds, iguanas and turtles poking out if its side instead of traditional gargoyles. $2 gives you access to the highest points, where you climb up rickety staircases to grab some spectacular views of Quito’s old and new towns.  A bit shaky on our feet is an understatement.  We took it slow.

One of the towers of Basilica de Volto Nacional

One of the towers of Basilica de Volto Nacional

Inside the  Basilica de Volto Nacional

Inside the Basilica de Volto Nacional

Stained glass glory of the Basilica de Volto Nacional

Stained glass glory of the Basilica de Volto Nacional

Panecillo htough a broken pane of the Basilicas stained glass

Panecillo htough a broken pane of the Basilicas stained glass

Basilica Selfie

Basilica Selfie

Looking out over Quito - Its pretty damn big

Looking out over Quito – Its pretty damn big

From the top of the Basilica's Spire

From the top of the Basilica’s Spire

No Gargoyles on this cathedral - Just a few salutes to the Galapagos

No Gargoyles on this cathedral – Just a few salutes to the Galapagos

We then set out to explore the rest, arriving first at the Plaza de la Independencia which is surrounded by a handsome collection of buildings.  (Note: the majority of the photos in this post are of buildings, with the occasional selfie in front of buildings, sorry. They’re just rather photogenic.)  This plaza was great place to sit, people watch and start to soak up the general Andean vibe.  National mayoral elections were set for the Sunday so there was a peaceful yet passionate rally going on in front of us.  A handsome square with some wonderful buildings, here are some pretty pictures:

Bolivar plaque

Bolivar plaque

La Compañía de Jesús with its moorish influenced dome in the background

La Compañía de Jesús with its moorish influenced dome in the background

Plaza Grande - Quito

Plaza Grande – Quito

Finally got a flag shot.

Finally got a flag shot.

Guards of the Palacio del Gobierno (Presidential Palace)

Guards of the Palacio del Gobierno (Presidential Palace)

I feel it important to add that due to elections, all sales of alcohol were banned for a few days before the election.  We experienced a similar thing in El Salvador while we were there.  Couldn’t help thinking what the reaction would be in the UK if the government tried to impose this law?  Regardless, it tied in nicely with our pledge to stop drinking daily and get into more hiking and general day activities in Ecuador.  A hostel is a different place when backpackers are forced to be sober.  Still noisy bastards though.

Just another Quito street

Just another Quito street

Pretty colours of Quito

Pretty colours of Quito

We ventured into the new town to find a book shop (Confederate Books, very good) on our second day.  Walking there takes about 30 mins at a gentle pace, past many grand monuments of various people of import throughout Ecuador’s history.  Passing through Parque la Alameda and Parque El Ejido, it is clear that the Ecuadorans take pride in their public spaces.  The centre of the new town itself, La Mariscal, reminded me of Playas de las Americas in Tenerife.  BBQ restaurants and bars galore sprawl out to four streets around Plaza del Quinde.  As there was no drinking allowed at the time, and it was morning, the vibe was a subdued one, but you can tell it probably gets quite messy of an evening.   Avoid.

Various warnings about safety in Quito are to be heeded, but we felt safe walking around the city.  We have certainly been to sketchier places so far, and the heavy presence of police around the main tourist areas was reminiscent of New York.  Public transport used throughout the city.  It was cheap and reliable, but also a bit crowded.  No issues had.

Views of Quito

Views of Quito

Something out of nothing on the grimy streets of Quito

Something out of nothing on the grimy streets of Quito

Becoming more backpacker than I ever wanted we are now imposing a stricter budget on ourselves.  This means eating cheap(er).  And we did.  Empanadas are widely available, with meat or cheese for between $0.50-$1.50, depending on size and quality.  If you haven’t come across these, they are like Cornish Pasties and equally delicious.  There are hundreds of small eateries around the city offering cheap breakfast and lunch for between $2-$4 a plate.  (Loss of appetite due to the altitude meant that a 2 course meal was a bit beyond us though) There are also many great-looking eating establishments where you can enjoy fine dining.  We can only look at these places and reminisce about when we could afford such treats.  We relied instead on the local bakeries for food, of which there are many.  On offer are some incredibly delicate cakes and delicious breads.  We favored a cheese loaf and combined it with avocadoes, tomato and cucumber.  I referred to as the Quito Special and it served us well.

The Plantain shop...I guess

The Plantain shop…I guess

There is plenty else to keep you busy in the city.  Once we felt up to it, we took the 2.5km ride on the TeleferiQo, a cable car that rises to a height of 4100m up Volcan Pichincha.  Some awesome views were on offer as well as our first sight of some llamas who were knocking about up there.  So very exciting…

TelefériQo

TelefériQo

Cruz Loma, top  of the TelefériQo

Cruz Loma, top of the TelefériQo

Llamas!

Llamas!

The hill of the Panecillo from top of the TelefériQo

The hill of the Panecillo from top of the TelefériQo

Silly me, I didn’t realise that the translation of Equator in Spanish is actually Ecuador. Something of a lightbulb moment thanks to iPhones auto correct text.  So, a day trip to the site of Mitad del Mundo, where in 1736 Charles Marie de la Condamine made measurements to show the equatorial line was in order. City buses are dirt cheap ($0.40 each) and get you there in about 1.5 hours.  Today, there is a huge monument and complex that declares itself ‘The middle of the world’, although now with the invention of GPS, this is shown to be inaccurate.   We visited the Museo Solar Inti Ñan a few meters down the road, which now claims to be on the exact point of the Equator (but this is also discredited by many). At the museum they get you to walk on the equatorial line and challenge you not fall off due to the power of the equator.  The power of suggestion is a wonderful thing and of course, everyone fell off.  They then demonstrate the Coriolos Force which causes weather systems to veer right in the northern hemisphere and left in the southern hemisphere (and apparently why toilets flush the other way when in Australia).  Here, at the ‘middle of the world’ they drain a sink on the equatorial line and the water slips down without spinning.  It’s then repeated just to the north of the line (draining counterclockwise) and to the south (clockwise of course). A neat trick, but hard to believe…something to do with magnets maybe?  Then came balancing an egg on a nail; a feat that is apparently easier dead on the equator.  Ollie being the only one in our group who managed to do it got herself a handsome certificate for her efforts.  Even though it may not be exactly on the equator and the demonstrations mere trickery, it is as close as you’re going to get to it, and it’s a pretty fun day out!

Mitad del Mundo monument

Mitad del Mundo monument

Museo Solar Inti Ñan - The museum at the center of the world

Museo Solar Inti Ñan – The museum at the center of the world

God were fun!

Egg Balancing at the ecuator.  One of the many things we witnessed and not sure how much trickery was involved.  However...well done Ollie!

Egg Balancing at the ecuator. One of the many things we witnessed and not sure how much trickery was involved. However…well done Ollie!

Egg balancing certificate

Egg balancing certificate

150 year old genuine shrunken human head, next to that of a sloth...for perspective i guess.

150 year old genuine shrunken human head, next to that of a sloth…for perspective i guess.

There is plenty more to do in the city, with various travel agencies offering tours to the surrounding towns of Mindo and Otavalo.  We have decided to head south to Cuenca, then work our way back to Quito and check these places out then on Route to Colombia.

La Ronda

La Ronda

Panecillo (the virgin of Quito)statue from La Ronda

Panecillo (the virgin of Quito)statue from La Ronda

Beard progress

Church of the society of Jesus (A church covered in gold inside) next to the National Bank of Ecuador

Church of the society of Jesus (A church covered in gold inside) next to the National Bank of Ecuador

One thing we have noticed is the general levels of tourism here.  Not just your backpackers, but people from all walks of life.  Also, the average age of backpacker has dropped 5-10 years here, so we are now surrounded by ‘gap yahs’ who seem to be less friendly than the average traveler in Central America.  Maybe we are now too old to hang with them.  Oh well…

Anyway, bring on Cuenca, the city of the Panama (Montecristi) hat.


5 Comments

Due South – 3 Days in Costa Rica with some time to reflect.

2014-02-09 14.16.27

When you are on a jungle clad volcano island in the middle of a lake so big that you feel like you are at sea (Lake Nicaragua is so big in fact that at some points you can’t see the shores of the mainland and also it has freshwater sharks!), staying at a cheap eco-lodge that has a pizza night three times a week, with a price tag of $14 a night for a private cabin, it is very hard to leave of your own accord (Smug alert).  But alas, we had a flight booked so we had decided to journey from Ometepe to Liberia, just across the border in Costa Rica in a day.

A bus to the town of Moyogalpa, 29 km away from Santa Cruz managed to take 2.15 hours, standing all of the way of course.  A creakier and rockier lancha than our journey to the island with seats raided from a chicken bus, ferried us back to the mainland in 1.5 hours, where four of us crammed into a cab to Rivas.  There we were to get our last chicken bus in Central America to the border of Peñas Blancas.  Not really feeling misty-eyed about saying goodbye to this mode of transport yet as this last bus was a killer.  The Sunday service to the border took 50 minutes and was crammed full as we squeezed in the back, but then more got on, cramming me against the reggaeton speaker, door latch and a sweaty/obese/intoxicated/bad tempered/smelly specimen who was so drunk he kept dropping his bootleg porno DVD’s on the floor.  I noticed he squirrelled them away quickly enough when he met his wife at the other end!  The border was slightly confusing, but safe and relatively hassle free, we soon found our way crossing into our 7th country.  The whole journey cost us $8.50 each in total.

2014-02-16 14.27.57

Costa Rica is unreasonably expensive.  We only had three days there in one place and felt ‘robbed’ every time we bought something.  It’s not just us comparing prices from Central America and being stingy backpackers.  The prices are almost a match for the UK’s when in the supermarket buying basic food stuffs.  It also didn’t help matters that we stayed in a hostel that was run by a psychologist who had a distinct lack of people skills and proceeded to rub me up the wrong way at every available opportunity.  This added to my general dislike for the country.  Avoid.

Liberia International Airport is a fantastically clean and shiny new place that is basically a place to ship the sunburnt Yanks back home by Delta, JetBlue, United and American Airlines.  It’s a final shake-down spot.  $29 each to leave the country is the first little slap in the face until of course you get to the other side.  Two beers cost us the best part of $20. Now these were not fine imported Belgian beer or some kind of locally produced draught ale. These were two tins of $1 local piss water poured into plastic mugs.  A bag of Doritos and a bottle of water would have set us back $19 but we couldn’t bring ourselves to spend that.  Avoid also!

How much?

How much?

But why Rich?  Why didn’t you do the San Blas island tour from Panama straight to Cartagena?  Why fly from a country you didn’t plan on going to, to another country you didn’t plan on going to?

Three reasons.  Firstly, money!  The cheapest flight from Central America to South America that we found was Liberia to Quito at around $400 each which is equal to/cheaper than some of the boats.  Secondly, I get terribly sea sick, and four days open water sailing just sounds awful.  Third reason: why not?!  Ecuador sounds awesome!

2014-02-19 16.31.52

On board the tiny plane bound for San Salvador it felt strange to be moving somewhere without someone trying to sell me mango strips, parasite medication or duct tape from the aisle.  The only thing coming from there was a free sandwich!   It did give me a chance to see six weeks of hard work on chicken buses being undone in 90 minutes as we flew along the coast back to El Salvador.  From the plane I could see the two peaks of Ometepe clearly, then following north to the rest of Nicaragua’s line of volcanoes to the Golfo de Fonseca.  Then, El Salvador’s Volcan San Miguel was clearly visible and soon, we were on the ground, eating a pupusa in the airport terminal.

If you squint, you can see the peaks of Ometepe

If you squint, you can see the peaks of Ometepe

The flight to Quito was painless and is the only flight I have been on in a long time where the majority of passengers clapped on touchdown.  Local time was around 1am when we walked through to the terminal and we were soon in a taxi bound for Quito’s Old Town, just shy of an hour away.  The Secret Garden Hostal, which is neither secret nor has a garden was our destination.  We dumped our bags then summited the 5 flights of stairs to the terrace where the effects of being 2850m high started to take their toll.  Regardless, we had made it.  Our first sight of South America was indeed an unforgettable one.  Quito’s Old Town was lit up in front of us, seeming to climb the mountains behind it.  To our left stood the Panecillo statue shrouded in the creeping fog and to the right the Basilica Cathedral stuck out in all of its gothic glory.  It is one helluva fine spot.

The view of Quito Old Town from our lodgings on the first morning.

The view of Quito Old Town from our lodgings on the first morning.

4 months down and we have crossed through 7 countries in North and Central America successfully and without incident.  That is to say, no physical incident; having three cards cloned and accounts emptied was indeed an incident, but one that was relatively painless due to the helpfulness of the UK banks.

Mexico and Central America has been an incredible journey for the both of us.  We have travelled from the border of Tijuana all the way to Costa Rica by bus and boat.  Total time spent travelling of 213.5 hours.  That’s just a few hours short of 9 days.  I could reel off more facts and figures, but you get the gist and I don’t want to reveal just how truly geeky I have been about recording stuff just yet.  A long bloody time basically.  However, my point is, is that all modes of transport have been public (with the exception of Guatemala where we used the tourist shuttles, it would have been silly not too due to price and convenience) and they have all been safe.  Pretty stressful and hot at times, but still safe!  No issues to report, with the exception of course of one stolen baseball cap in Mexico, which I am still not over.

^^Our journey so far through North and Central America^^

There is much fear mongering by the US which rolls over the pond to the UK, warning us not to visit these places.  I know that when you log onto some world news site, you are bound to see a news story about some kind of Mexican cartel war, or possibly a kind of political protest at a Guatemalan border, or maybe the BBC deciding what the most dangerous place outside of a war zone today.  Is it Honduras or El Salvador now?   It could even be some kind of natural disaster like the common deadly hurricanes that relentlessly battered Mexico’s west coast last year or even Volcan San Miguel in El Salvador blowing its unpredictable top.  These things are all true.  But…see above.  No problems.  The closest I have come to confrontation with anyone was a local ‘borracho’ in El Salvador who took a fancy to my Zippo lighter.  Apart from that, the majority of encounters with locals have been pleasant ones.  Always keen to help, and in the more rural parts of the less travelled areas we ventured in, mainly curious.  The only area that we faced anything other than friendly (but still, no worse that uninterested really) was Honduras, but they’ve got bigger problems to worry about than the gringo backpacker tourist trade.

Yes there ARE drug cartels in Mexico, but you would have to be extremely unlucky or a drug dealer to ever meet any of them and then have them want to kill you.  There are protests every week somewhere in Central America, but it’s got nothing to do with us and they are doing it for a good reason, mostly.  San Pedro Sula in Honduras is an extremely dangerous place as are the eastern barrios of San Salvador in El Salvador.  But you wouldn’t go walking through the middle of high rise housing estate in Hackney or a housing project in Baltimore in the middle of the night using your new iPad as a camera, so why do it here? (If you did of course, you deserve everything you get) The natural disasters…yeah, I’ve got no argument with that one.  If it happens while you’re there, you’re in trouble.  Same goes for wildlife.  Lots of nasty stuff over there.

My point is, if it happens, it happens. If you’re thinking about going to any of the places we have visited and are worried about the US state department/FCO’s warnings, then take my advice instead. Wing it!  That’s what we did and we had an amazing four months and came through it in one piece with incredible memories.  Something just as bad can happen to you at home, so you might as well be in the sun when it does right?

Anyway, roll on Ecuador and the rest of South America.

Thanks for reading!

Any questions about anywhere we have been, please feel free to email us.


Leave a comment

Time flies – Ten days on Isla de Ometepe

Ometepe as seen from the other shore

Ometepe as seen from the other shore

Nicaragua has proved to be something of a game of two halves for us. After several days in each of its well-known cities, León and Granada, we were ready for a change. Before we left I had noticed in the British press how hotly Nicaragua was being tipped as the new ‘must-see’ tourist destination, and so far at least, it had seemed to us like the country’s tourist board and main players had expertly mapped out a standard gringo route which we’d been rolling along. We were keen to step off it a little, but were constrained time-wise by a flight out of Central America a couple of weeks hence. So looking for some fresh air, outdoor activities and more hammock time, we decided to head to Isla de Ometepe, an island in the middle of the enormous freshwater Lago de Nicaragua in the centre of the country. The lake itself used to be part of the Pacific, until volcanic activity cut it off.

Ometepe means ‘two mountains’ in the Nahuatl language, and if you see any pictures of it you’ll see why. Two volcanoes rise out of the lake, linked by an isthmus between the two. The larger peak, Volcán Concepción, is a forbidding, steep-sloped cone that rises to 1610m and remains active today. Its smaller and dormant sister, Volcán Maderas, is smaller at around 1394m and rainforest-clad, with a crater lake at its summit. The sight of both as you arrive on a boat is quite something. Apparently when the first inhabitants arrived they believed they’d found the promised land and it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to see why.

For the full photo gallery, click here!

A short 90 minute wait...

A short 90 minute wait…

Our journey there began in Granada at around 10am, and after an hour and a half’s wait for the Rivas-bound bus to actually leave (hey, there’s always more room for an extra 30 people in the aisle and somehow, 2 bikes) we were rolling south. On arrival at Rivas we were greeted with a scrum of taxi touts offering to take us to the port or one of several beach towns for which Rivas is the hub. We eventually got one for $4 for the 3 of us, although we did have to wait while the driver’s friend applied transfers to the window before we could head off. Essential maintenance I assume…. Down at the port of San Jorge we were informed we could wait an hour for a ferry or catch a ‘lancha’ in 30 minutes for half the price. Being keen to get to some lodgings before dark we opted for the latter. The lancha was a somewhat elderly two-storey wooden vessel that carried around 90 souls in a minimal degree of comfort across the choppy waters of the lake. But for $1.60 each no-one was complaining!

Approaching the menacing Volcan Concepcion

Approaching the menacing Volcan Concepcion

After two more comically-packed buses we arrived in the small village of Santa Cruz near the foot of Volcán Maderas and set off to walk the final few hundred metres in the hope of securing a place to rest our heads at El Zopilote , which describes itself as a ‘Finca Ecológica’ – a working organic farm and hostel. Four of us arrived from the boat, one with a tent, but we were told that there was space for the tent but just one hammock remaining. After standing around looking distinctly forlorn for several minutes in the failing evening light they phoned up to reception to check again and decided there were 3 free hammocks which we gratefully accepted. The walk up the hill to the farm from the road was one final punishment after a hectic day’s travel but we arrived at a friendly reception area as dinner was getting underway and were rewarded with some cold beers. To our delight we found that they also sold rather excellent red wine, which was somewhat necessary in order to fall asleep in a hammock in the open air!

El Zopilote as seen from the road

El Zopilote as seen from the road

The next day dawned early and bright, and got off to an excellent start when Rich and I found we could trade up from hammocks to a wooden cabin for the princely sum of $14 per night. This was the point we realized we might be staying a while. El Zopilote itself is a beautiful and calm spot, just what we’d been looking for. Various palm-topped buildings are spread out among plantain trees and swaying bamboo, just high enough above the lake for the breeze to cut through the heat of the day. It is Italian owned, which means that the important things are taken seriously – decent wine, homemade pasta, bread, gelato and best of all, a wood-fired pizza oven that is cranked up 3 nights a week to make the best pizza we’ve had since leaving Brixton and Franco Manca behind! The rest of the menu is made up of fresh ingredients, often grown or made on the farm; in short, this is the best we’ve eaten on the whole trip. Rich had probably his first ever vegan meal and barely winced (although after 9 days here I think he may be hankering after a burger…)

Our cabin at El Zopilote

Our cabin at El Zopilote

Rocket and lettuce growing in the kitchen garden

Rocket and lettuce growing in the kitchen garden

Pizza night at Zopilote (thanks Nina for the picture!)

Pizza night at Zopilote (thanks Nina for the picture!)

But Ometepe has much more to offer than a good spot to relax and eat, so after a couple of days R&R we were keen to tackle Volcán Maderas and work off at least a little of the pizza. With that in mind, Rich, Will and I booked a guide and set the alarm for 6am the next day. It turns out Rich may have subconsciously been a little less keen as he kicked a rock during a late-night toilet dash and slashed the end of his toe, which meant that he bagged an extra hammock day while Will and I set out for the summit. The climb began gently, out through farms and fields of plantain, yucca and avocado trees. The trail then entered the forest and we began to climb more steeply, with howler monkeys in the trees overhead. As we entered cloud cover the path grew muddier but a lot of fun as we clambered over tree roots and rocks towards the top. The mud was almost comically bad, churned up by several insane souls who had been completing an ultra-marathon up and down both volcanoes two days prior, but after 3 hours we had reached the summit and climbed down the 15 minutes or so into the crater where there lies a lagoon among the rainforest, eerily grey and misted under all the cloud. After a short lunch stop we started back down and incredibly I only fell in the mud once on the descent… I’d heartily recommend the climb – it took us 6.5 hours in total and is challenging but very enjoyable.

Ramshackle farm on the slopes of Volcan Maderas

Ramshackle farm on the slopes of Volcan Maderas

Lovely clear weather at the top

Lovely clear weather at the top

Will taking on the mud

Will taking on the mud

View over to Concepcion on the descent

View over to Concepcion on the descent

After another day hammock-bound resting our legs we were keen to head out again and so rented mountain bikes and set off south for some reputedly spectacular waterfalls near San Ramón about 8km round the base of Volcán Maderas. This may not sound far, but the paved road ran out after about 500m so most of the ride was spent bouncing over rocks and dust in the midday heat. When Rich’s hands blistered after 5 minutes we knew the day would be a little more challenging than anticipated. We arrived at the base of the trail to the waterfall after an hour and a half of tough riding but the incredible scenery really did soften the pain! It was then another hour and 15 minute hike up to the waterfall – apparently 3km, but the third kilometer was at least 2½ in itself, so we were close to turning back but very glad we didn’t in the end. The falls are a 260m drop down a sheer, fern-dotted rock face into a small pool below, but the water bounces down rather than plummets so that you can stand under it like a shower – and a very welcome cold one at that after the exertion to reach it! Saddle sore and blistered, the ride home was done through gritted teeth, with a beer stop on the way, but the pain again tempered by the sight of the setting sun painting the slopes of Volcán Concepción in spectacular colours in the distance.

Rest stop on the shore

Rest stop on the shore

Living wall on the way up to the falls

Living wall on the way up to the falls

San Ramon falls...finally

San Ramon falls…finally

A fine spot for a shower!

A fine spot for a shower!

Somehow we had whiled away nearly a week here by this point and were feeling rather at home. It sounds clichéd but time seems to take on a different quality here; the pace of life is entirely different and the island does feel like its own little world. We hired a scooter and set out to explore (the section with paved roads this time!) and agreed that of all the islands we’ve bombed around on a 50cc this was definitely the most enjoyable; the shifting views of the volcanoes always impress, the roads were frequently invaded by cattle, horses, pigs or dogs, and best of all – there is a level crossing. Not for trains, but for driving across the island’s perilously short airport runway! An incredible sight that we would have photographed but for the gun-toting security guard operating the barriers…. A short stop at Punta Jesús Maria, a long spit of dark sand that protrudes into the lake and swarms with seabirds was a picturesque stop, as was a well-earned cold Victoria beer at the edge of Playa Santo Domingo on our way back. Sat by the water’s edge you could almost believe you were by the sea, but there is something missing, which we released was the ocean salt-smell. Even when the other side is lost in the haze over the horizon you are always aware you are on a lake.

Tiny church under cherry blossom near Santo Domingo

Tiny church under cherry blossom near Santo Domingo

BIRDS! At Punta Jesus Maria

BIRDS! At Punta Jesus Maria

The hairy bikers

The hairy bikers

Plantain truck - Ometepe's main crop

Plantain truck – Ometepe’s main crop

Cold beer after a hot day's scootering

Cold beer after a hot day’s scootering

Ten days on Ometepe offered us the hideaway we were seeking despite being pretty active! Living somewhere so environmentally-focused has given me food for thought on how we could live more simply and cheaply with just a little effort, which was one of the goals for this trip. I’m not sure we’re quite ready for composting toilets and veganism the whole time, but every little helps!

Thanks for reading, a full photo set can be viewed here

x x

Found a friend

Found a friend

Ninja Rich

Ninja Rich