Day 201 – The road less traveled by
2009/03/29 § 2 Comments
The trip from Costa Rica to Nicaragua must have established a personal record. After using seven different vehicles and almost 12 hours after leaving at six in the morning I arrived on Ometepe Island with the last ferry of the day. Five minutes later the ferry would have been gone, and I did not even know about it. What a coincidental timing!
Ometepe immediately seems very pleasant. Even though the pair of parrots who live at my tremendously cozy hostel, which is situated in the midst of palm trees and blossoming flowers, greeted me by trying to bite my hand off. On the other hand (no pun intended) I immediately met a nice guy who is from Barcelona originally. He made a real effort to get me settled in.
I could have chosen to come here by tourist buses which would have cost me some 60 or even more Euros and some six hours less time. But using public transport, mostly the so called chicken-express (due to the likelihood of sharing space with some livestock) it cost me ten Euros for a couple of hundred kilometers. And that even includes that I had a taxi drive me to an ATM, wait for me to get cash and get me to the harbor to catch the ferry!
Transport really is tremendously cheap here. On the other hand I have been at some bus stops which I would not want to frequent during the darker hours of the day… Also the border crossing cost me some nerves. The amount of money changers, taxi touts and scam artist who try to make you believe you would have to buy certain forms off them (which are of course free, as anywhere in the world) and people who claim you would not be able to sort things out on your own, and then offer you their generous help (which would have cost the equivalent of today’s transport) is exhausting.
However, I always think in moments like this: thank you India! Nothing can touch me anymore! You made me un-shockable, un-impressable, un-scamable, you made me almost invincible! 😉
The border thingy also became more bearable thanks to some Nicaraguan guy and his girlfriend who took the same bus as me and did not mind me tagging along. So nice with nice people. But despite the border experience- and borders in any developing country must suck in accordance to some UN directive, I believe- people were very helpful indeed. It seems so far that people are genuinely interested in furthering tourism in Central America by going out of their way to help. One can not help but feeling welcomed…