11 February 2017
Well I decided on Ometepe over Bluefields and let me tell you I have been loving that decision for the entire last week, sipping fantastic rum, exploring the island, and best of all getting some fantastic kiteboarding in. I can’t describe how much I love this island with its unique surroundings; I’ll try my best.
The drive from Granada was short and sweet and I was glad to see the city in my back mirror. I think that’s been my biggest disappointment so far on this journey but sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. To get on the island you have to take a ferry which is pretty sweet. This will be my first ferry on the trip but I hope it’s not my last.
I got lucky and arrived just before the noon ferry and paid my fee $2.00 USD for myself and about $5.00 USD for my motorcycle. They do this strange process where I pay for myself first and then after loading I pay for the bike and it all varies on who is “inspecting” your vehicle and what he deems the tax should be. All very confusing but it all worked out at the end.
While I was waiting to load (motorcycles go last), I looked out at my destination. The island is only ?about 15 miles from the shore but I was told that it would take over 2 hours to get there. I was amazed how large the waves were but equally delighted for the wind. I impatiently sat on the boat watching the island get larger, I was ready to get some kiting done.
I researched with a quick google search what area I was going to stay at beforehand. The kiteboard spot is on the north side of the island, on a narrow beach between the two volcanoes. So my plan of action was to get there, and then find a place to stay. I tried first at the kiteboarding school but they only had dorms left for about 10 dollars and I really wanted my own place to unload my gear and set everything up. I had success on my second try at Los Cocos; 15 bucks got me a fantastic double bed room that was clean and everything I could need. They also had a restaurant which is really good and really cheap and all the Tona beer on hand you could ever want. Also best of all, it is the closest hotel to the kiteboard beach. I highly recommend it.
Initially I only booked for 2 nights as a test run for how I would like the area. I quickly unpacked my bike and then checked out the beach. After my serious inspection of a whopping 2 minutes, I quickly ran back and got my kiteboarding gear. It was time to get my kite on.
I basically kiteboarded till the sun set that day and while sitting down to a fantastic traditional Nicaraguan meal that cost me $3 USD, I made a decision. I waved the Hotel owner over and paid for another 5 nights. I finished my night with a couple Tonas and a huge grin on my face.
This last week has been basically the same. I wake up, eat a fantastic breakfast at my restaurant, have a big air kite session till about noon, eat another fantastic meal for lunch, chill and explore the island a little, and finish the day with a sunset hydrofoil session and another great meal. Every night I would limp back to my room sore from kiting but with a huge grin on my face. I was in paradise.
On my second day on the island, I met my first fellow motorcycle adventurer. I don’t know if I’ve been taking different routes or what but I’ve been a little surprised that it’s taken this long for me to run into others. His name is Jean, he’s French, he kiteboards as well, and has been traveling for over 15 years around the world. Just wow!
Over a couple Tonas, we shared stories and he gave me a rundown of the island. This also gave me a chance to show off my traveling kite gear and plug Nobile a little which is always good. Nobile has been nothing short of amazing with me so I really like showing off their gear. They really are the best choice if you want to travel with your kite gear.
Just down the road from where I am staying is another hotel/hostel call Zopilote which I can best describe as “really unique”. Jean told me that on Tuesdays and Saturdays they have a pizza night at their restaurant which is something not to be missed. So we made plans for the following night to go together and check it out.
On my third day I discovered two really awesome things. First, the locals like to let their animals go free on the island so you get beautiful sights like herds of horses running on the beach and quenching their thirsts while kiting. Second, Zopilote really is very unique. The pizza party is part craft show, part fire show, part wood oven pizzeria. So I spent that evening enjoying some fantastic pizza while watching some pretty amazing stunts while chatting with people from all around the world. You can’t get much better than that. Pro tip, if you come to a pizza night, bring a flashlight. I ended up getting lost in the jungle on the way back for over 45 minutes.
On my fourth day, I started out by being chased by a cow; apparently he didn’t like me. After yet another amazing kiteboard session and lunch, I decided to drive around the island. I had no idea that the island was this big. Made from from two Volcanoes, Volcano Maderas and Volcano Concepon, the island is almost 20 miles long and 6 miles in it’s widest spot and has a population of over 30,000. On my drive I saw all kinds of wildlife from wild pigs to horses to monkeys. It took most of the afternoon but it was an awesome drive.
I did have some back luck on my sunset hydrofoiling session though. While taking some videos for my sponsor Nobile, I ended up crashing pretty big and losing my GoPro 5. I looked all over for it including walking the beach several times but it’s gone. Worst of all is that it was a gift from Melissa. I always seem to break or loose the gifts she gives me. I don’t know why.
The last two days were pretty much the same with me limping back to my room each time well satisfied and happy as hell. I really want to stay much longer but I have places to be and people to see so it’s time to move on. Tomorrow I’ll cross into Costa Rica and head to Salinas Bay which is in the very most northwestern part of the country. It’s another well-known spot to kiteboard and I’m looking forward to checking it out. I’m hoping it’s as fantastic as here.
Best Part: Everything about this island!
Worst Part: Having to leave.