A Mighty Herd Of Red-Eyed Cows

This morning we decided to drive towards ‘Isla de Ometepe’. Due to some unexpected events the drive turned out longer than expected causing us to arrive only at sunset on the island. The last meters we even had to drive in the dark towards our campground.

In the morning the sun was shining brightly so we had good hopes for the day. Marijke found a hidden backroad and before we knew it we were on the main road heading in the right direction. After 2 seconds on the main road however we were stopped by a police officer who wanted to see everything, even the safety triangle. After providing our end destination and all the requested documentation, we could move further ahead.

We were on our way towards Managua when the road all of a sudden turned into a sandy matter. As we didn’t want Rodrigo to break down or have his first flying lessons, we had to slow down on our speed. At least it gave the photographer the option to finally take a good shot of the road cows.

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Then we crossed another car who told us that the road was blocked and a Toyota was already stuck so we believed him and reversed our car. Luckily there was a parallel road not far away which we could follow, which also seemed to be in a lot better condition. Patrick was wondering if the navigator had made a mistake here but the navigator confirmed that there was no way to see from the map that the condition of the roads would be any different.

Our luck didn’t last very long as only a few kilometers further it started to rain very heavily. We had to queue up somewhere in the hills during the rain as there was a festival in the next town. After about 15 minutes we could continue our journey and the weather started clearing up as well.

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After what seemed to be a full day driving, we finally arrived at the ferry around 3:00pm – without reservation of course. After a bit of back and forth, we managed to get the last free spot on the last ferry of the day at 4:00pm. It seems that our luck was turning. We paid the fee and the tax and waited for 20 minutes before boarding started. When it was our turn, Patrick reversed Rodrigo onto the boat with about 1 cm on each side. The boat left exactly at 4:00pm as everybody was there on time!

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On the ferry we had time to relax and enjoy the view. The ferry ride across ‘Lago de Ometepe’ takes about one hour and provides great views over the lake and the 2 volcanoes in the middle. The biggest and still active one is the ‘Volcan Concepcion’ at 1647m and the smaller one is the ‘Volcan Maderas’ at 1371m. Tonight we will be sleeping near the ‘Volcan Maderas.

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At the time that we got off the boat it was already getting dark, so we started the drive towards our campsite at ‘Finca Magdalena’. The road on the island is well maintained so the drive was easy. The last kilometre in the dark towards the finca was a bit rougher, with a sharp hill and lots of rocks and rain (of course!) but we finally reached our campsite around 6:00pm. We had dinner at the restaurant – after 1 hour of waiting, by which time we were completely starved and it didn’t matter if they were serving haute cuisine or dirt – and then went to bed in our tent, for the first time in about a week!

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The night was very hot and humid but at about 4:00am it finally started to rain (where were you when we needed you?) bringing the temperature down to a more human degree.

An old cowboy went riding out one dark and windy day

Upon a ridge he rested as he went along his way

When all at once a mighty herd of red-eyed cows he saw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fdCuRKatjs

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