Today we finally left Ometepe.
And it was a bit heartbreaking, because we really loved the island (even though the scooter accident part wasn’t very nice). But we also wanted to see something else.
So we started the day by waiting for the bus to Moyogalpa. As we’re not the only tourists on the island, we were 8 foreigners waiting, so a big transport van stopped hoping to make a fortune out of a group of naive tourists. No luck for him, we were all budget backpackers used to taking the bus (and aware of its price). So after only a few tries (still…), he got his price down to what we wanted (a bit more than the bus, but much faster so worth it).
I don’t think we’ve mentioned this yet on the blog, but south of Moyogalpa is the only airport of the island, with one large landing strip, the longest they’ve managed to fit. But a bridge or a tunnel costs money, so here they found a cheaper way : the road goes through the runway. So it’s quite funny to see the drivers slow down, look left and right to see if there’s a plane, and then crossing the strip by car.
So we were dropped off at the ferry terminal just in time to catch the next ferry (no waiting time!). After the 1 hour crossing under a perfect blue sky (we’re definitely starting to be close to dry season), we arrived to San Jorge. From there it’s about 5-6km to Rivas, where you can catch the main buses.
Of courses buses from San Jorge to Rivas are rare, irregular and there is no schedule. But an army of taxis are waiting for you as soon as you step out of the ferry. Even with four people (we traveled with 2 Swiss girls we met at our hostel), there is a minimum price under which they won’t go (still lower than the initial price). Our ride was probably the shittiest car we’ve seen, but it managed to drive the few kilometers to the bus station.
From there, as you’ve probably guessed, it was bus again! Still the same old American school buses with kid-sized seats, completely filled with locals. The trip wasn’t that bad, and it only lasted 2 hours (which seems very short for us now!). Once in Granada (the one in Nicaragua, not Spain!), we grabbed a bite before heading to our hostel.
Well it sure is a change of style from our very cool hostel in Ometepe. Here we don’t have mosquito nets, but it won’t be a problem since we don’t have any windows either ! Well at least we’ll be visiting the town more instead of lazying at the hostel.
So before sundown, we went to the city center. We can feel the city is quite touristy with pedestrians streets with all the tourist-souvenir shops, nicely painted and maintained colonial buildings and a lot of hipster or at least tourist-oriented bars/restaurants. But you can still easily find the local street food specialty : the vigoron, mix of coleslaw, mashed yucca and pork (and optionally additional chicken).
So we tried the vigoron in the central park, under a few trees with a lot of loud birds (see recording), but most of all under an umbrella. The table with the umbrella was the owners suggestion, and thanks to him we avoided the bird feces shampoo free trial! Otherwise, the vigoron is pretty nice and very cheap.
So, that’s all for today (we’re up to date again, phew!). More news on the city tomorrow!