Late November 2016 in Nicaragua
On Sunday morning I woke up with out an official plan. I originally intended to get to Ometepe, the volcanic island in lake Nicaragua created by Volcanos Conception and Maderas, but was content to play it by ear and see if a ferry was available to take me and the Cruiser on a Sunday afternoon. After a relaxed morning, making coffee and eggs next to lake Apoyo, I drove down to Rivas/ San Jose to see if I could get on the boat. Aapon arriving it was promptly made clear that there was no space until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest. In addition the company that runs the car ferry didn't even have its ticket station open and therefore it was impossible to reserve a spot for the following day. There was a phone number but I lacked both a in country telephone and the Spanish language skills.
Just as it started to seem completely impossible to make it to Ometepe, as originally planned a tour operator named Hector can up to me and Max told us he overheard us and had a solution. Hector said "I over hear you talking. I think I can help you, and you can help me."
He continued to explain that he had purchased tickets in advance for a German couple that had told him they intended to catch the ferry at 2:30 pm. As it turned out they didn't pick up the tickets at 10:30 am like they originally agreed. Nor did they show at 11:30 am or 12:30 pm as they promised in subsequent phone calls.
Hector, a middle aged man with graying hair, told us he just wanted to get home to his wife. A gorgeous woman less than half his age, who he proudly showed us many pictures of them together. We wanted to get tickets to the island and he wanted to make back his loss and get home to his wife. It was perfect.
The ferry didn't leave until 2:30 but it was only 12:45 when Hector sold us the tickets. This left us with some time to kill, but yet again Hector had us covered. He invited us into his friends restaurant right next to the ticket office to escape the blood sucking mosquitos that literally formed a cloud around the building. No joke these bugs were so prevalent you could kill a dozen just swinging your arm through the air around your head. To celebrate the start of Hectors weekend Max and I cracked a beer with him at the bar. We got to talking and it turned out Hector, like Max, was an avid Scuba diver and spear fisherman.
In the matter of 2 hours the three of us quickly went from complete strangers, to business acquaintances, to friends sharing a (so much for rushing home to the wife). We polished off a few more cans and lunch before Max and I had to catch the ferry.
Now I'm sitting on the top deck of the ferry watching Ometepe get closer and closer. It is shaped a lot like my home the island of Maui and was formed in a similar way. While the view is reminiscent of home the boat crew is not. Since I sat down here, about 10 min into a 60 min trip, I have watched these 4 guys in the wheel house finish 20 beers. I can swim so I'm not too worried, and if you are reading this, the ferry made it into the harbor and I found wifi to share this with you.