the nicaraguan chronicles – part 5


Nobody slept well, that night we spent at El Zopilote. Well, except A. That girl could sleep through anything, apparently. A combination of bug bites and rogue raindrops spattering us through the once-ascetic-now-shitty thatch roof made us all a bit grumpy. I know what you’re thinking. “You’re in Nicaragua! You’re on vacation! You should be loving every minute!” Well to that, good sir or madam, I cry out in a half-sob, “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE!”

Many of our clothes were musty by this point, and the increasing rainfall was doing nothing to brighten our moods. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m normally a huge fan of precipitation in all its forms. Except sleet…that one kind of blows no matter what. Regardless, we were supposed to climb a volcano that morning, and it wasn’t looking ideal in the midst of the torrential downpour we were experiencing at 6 a.m.

Ometepe Island sits in the middle of Lake Nicaragua and is made up of two volcanoes: Maderas, the volcano upon which we were residing, and Concepcion. When the guide arrived to take us to the top of Maderas, the hostel worker came down to ask if we still wanted to go. Looking despondently at one another, we all realized that hiking for nearly 12 hours in the pouring rain the day after traveling for six hours to get to this hostel was not an idea any of us were really warming up to. Unanimously we decided we would not be getting soaked to the bone.

The next hour was made up of two things: packing our stuff while we waited for the rain to die down, and M arguing with the hostel manager to get our money back for the second night we had already reserved. We weren’t staying here. Leaky roof, poor accommodations, and a lack of electricity were apparently not enough to convince the jerk to give us each our $6 back.

Flipping the metaphorical finger, we left Zopilote and headed for another hostel, this one lakeside, less than a click away, and ten times better.

the nicaraguan chronicles – part 5
little morgan’s

Little Morgan’s was by far the best hostel we stayed at, in my humble (but always correct) opinion. A relaxing atmosphere, lake access, friendly crowd and one chatty Brit told me that we made the right choice in moving our tab to Little Morgan’s Lakeside Resort.


After settling in, I went on my ceremonial picture-taking tour, this time in the company of one of my favorite animals (see picture to the right). This hostel cat, one of three domesticated animals at Little Morgan’s, resonating an aura of pure awesomeness and an unflappable persona, followed me around the hostel for no less than 15 minutes. We became bros and still keep in touch to this day.

The hostel’s layout was beautiful and organic, melding with the landscape, the abundance of banana trees and the overall natural habitat on Ometepe. We meandered individually along the pathways for a bit, exploring our surroundings and getting the lay of the land. M, C, A and I went for a dip in the lake, cutting and bruising ourselves in an attempt to get by the razor-sharp rocks lining the lake floor. And based on C’s tumble from an overturned tree in an attempt to bypass the feet-cutters, I would assume she still has her battle scars.

Mis companeras hanging out in the common area

C, M, me + our rock in Lake Nicaragua


After swimming, reading, and just plain hanging out doing a whole lot of nothing all day, we were ready to party. The quiet night at Zopilote was quiet enough for the whole trip, we decided, and the rum began to flow.

Enter stage right: dudes.

At this point I had been traveling for five days with four beautiful, wonderful women. As much as I love each and every one of mis companeras, I needed some interaction with a dude. Any dude. I didn’t even realize my desperate need for such interaction, such male bonding, until I had been sitting and talking with two guys, Shannon and Joe, for nearly an hour before I realized I was drunk. Frank discussion about sex, girls and booze sated my need for dude interaction and re-energized me for the rest of the trip.

I’m straight, by the way. Just in case you were wondering after that paragraph. Sometimes you just need a dude, ya know?

step forth into thy drunken haze

By this point the common area had quite the crowd. Whereas before the hostel had been quiet and reserved, emanating a pacific aura of zen-like peace, hostel-jumpers began crawling out of the woodwork and packing the place, ordering beer after beer and any combination of rum and mixer available. We all made friends with Shannon and Joe, and it turned out they had, just a week prior, come from the Poste Rojo Treehouse hostel the five of us had stayed at two nights before! Giddy as virgin school girls, we jibbered and jabbered all about the hostel, the owners, and the Full Moon party they have every . . . well . . . every full moon.

This hostel was really characterized for us by making new friends (sounds stupid, but blow me), and was my first thorough interaction with the hostel-jumping crowd. A few Americans, some bloody Brits, an Irishman (the owner) and two Australians made for a fun, diversified mix of people and one hell of a night.

This was also our first encounter with a little sickness, one of the perpetual fears when traveling in Central America. We’re still not sure what happened, but C came down with a stomach bug and left the party early to get some extra needed rest. After all, we were slated to leave Ometepe the following morning, and no one wants to be sick on the road.

During the short walk back to our dorm I noticed the first fireflies of the trip. They didn’t light up for as along as the ones in Northeast Ohio do, but they were no less majestic and laid upon the hostel in the darkness a welcoming atmosphere . . . right before the gigantic toad/frog nearly jumped onto my foot. Still can’t tell the difference between the two amphibians…

Netting over the beds was crucial

We laid down to enjoy another alcohol-induced night of sleep, the girls reveling in the resounding silence created by the lack of laser frogs they suffered through the night before.


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