Friday, June 12, 2015

Our Honeymoon Recap Part 3: The Mineral Springs, Hitchhiking, & Horses

If you missed the beginning:
- Part 1: Traveling to Nicaragua
- Part 2: Fresh Fish & Adjusting to Island Time

I wore ear plugs to sleep, but still woke up fairly early on our second full day on Ometepe.  We decided that we weren't just going to sit around like the day before, so we made a plan to head to the mineral springs before it got too hot.  Linda told us it was about 3 miles, so we opted to make the trek by foot.  We left around 9 am, but it was still quite hot!

We made it about half way and I saw a nice hotel and restaurant I recognized from TripAdvisor so we decided to take a pit stop and have breakfast.  My pina colada hit the spot and the view was great.

We both left feeling refreshed and ready for the rest of our walk.

The refreshed feeling went away rather quickly though! The road had been fairly flat but suddenly we were in the middle of no where hiking up and down some significant hills.  At that point I was dying of heat and although we had directions from Linda, I started to feel very unsure if we were on the right track.  Finally we saw a sign for the springs so we figured that must be it, but I had this memory of Linda saying one of the entrances was closed.  There was no indication that this one was closed, but there wasn't a soul in sight.  We started heading down the long entrance road covered in fallen mangos baking in the sun and I told Dave if this is isn't open, I'm going to have a meltdown.

Thank God, it was open!  We paid the super low fee, the man at the gate made some jokes that we half understood about the mineral springs being better than plastic surgery, and we were in!

The springs were beautiful!  It was pretty empty since it was so early, so we selected some ideally positioned seats and settled in.  The water was ice cold, which felt amazing since the lake water was too warm to be refreshing during the day.

We grabbed some tropical drinks and chatted with some other travelers.  We met an interesting woman who went on a class trip to Europe and ditched her classmates and spent months backpacking around, used to work in casinos when women dealers weren't very common, and now spends most of her time in Nicaragua.  They had a few vendors selling some souvenirs and I purchased a couple of things.  The woman had to draw the price in the dirt because I don't really know Spanish numbers above 20.  We hung out for a few hours but then decided it was time to get back.

Before we left, I had already decided that I didn't want to walk the whole way back.  I was feeling so relaxed and cool and I knew the walk would make me sweaty and grumpy.  Linda had mentioned hitchhiking as an acceptable form of transportation on the island and she had been so informative and honest about everything else, that we trusted her suggestion.  Dave and I started to discuss it, thinking about what we would do if we got into a bad situation but before we really decided whether we were actually brave enough to do it, a car came up behind us.  I looked back, didn't wave or anything, and he pulled over.  It was a nice crossover SUV with some much appreciated AC and some loud tunes bumping.  We had a brief broken convo with the young driver when we got in.  We rode about halfway back until we saw some shops we wanted to take a look in.  We asked him to "alto" and he did.  He didn't seem to expect anything in return, we thanked him, and that was it.  We hitchhiked in Nicaragua!

After walking a little longer, we saw another hotel that I recognized from the internet, so we decided to stop in.  Dave had a beer and I decided on some ice cream!

When we arrived back at the house, we retreated from the sun and did some more lounging.  Linda had left us some fresh produce in the house so we whipped up some guacamole.

When it started to cool down a little, we spent some time on the beach.  Random horses and cattle would come up and drink from the lake all the time.  It never got old.  It was always so cool to watch!

I promise, I did not photoshop Dave in these photos haha.

Linda also surprised us with these carved coconuts!  Luna de miel means honeymoon in Spanish :)

Then more of this...

And these cuties.

After we cleaned up, we went back up the hill to Hotel Santa Cruz to have dinner with Linda.  She was originally from Chicago, but decided to relocate down to Nicaragua.  She built herself a house and eventually a guest house and started renting both of them out.  She's active in the community and supports local students, helping them get supplies and refurbished laptops.  It was obvious when we went out with her that she was very well respected by everyone in the neighborhood.  We had a lovely dinner with her and I enjoyed the chicken curry dish she recommended very much.

After dinner, Linda gave us reflexology foot massages (for a small fee) while we chatted away about anything and everything.  It was such a relaxing end to the night.

To be continued... Part 4


  1. Wow, those springs look magical!

  2. Those springs look so refreshing! Y'all are brave for hitchhiking-- not sure I'd be brave enough, haha.


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