Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday, February 24th, Ometepe Island


 An early morning wakeup led us to scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, and a pineapple-orange slushy at 5:30am, followed by a long drive down the coast of Nicaragua to the ferry to Ometepe Island.  The island is not off the coast.  It's the largest island in a lake in the world, and is home to 40,000 Nicaraguans.  Two picture-perfect volcanos ring it, and we watched as a wisp of a cloud just drifted away as we sailed across the lake to Ometepe.
The two volcanos, Concepcion and Maderas, are joined by a low isthmus to form one island in the shape of an hourglass.  It's the ancestral home of a group thought to have originated in Mexico, and whose funeral vessels have been dated from 500 AD to 1300 AD.
We visited the El Ceibo, a biosphere reserve Museum containing natural, cultural, and archeological specimens found on the island.  Included are  three thousand spiral petroglyphs carved on basalt (volcanic) rocks.  Symbolizing fertility throughout the world, the spirals are particularly plentiful.

Unbelieveably, the museum does not have a local text describing their collection, so I'm making arrangements with them to produce a useful resource document.
 We stopped at Charco Verde to enjoy a spring-fed mineral pool, where the water was about 60 degrees, and the sandy bottom aided even the squeamish to have a great time.
 We had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Lake at Santa Domingo Beach, and were joined by beautiful, and only moderately-pesky magpie jay.

To see all of the photos we took today, click on: Monday, February 24th, Ometepe Island.

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