I still have volcanic mud embedded in my pinky toes. I am recovering from a visit to the orchid gardens on a caffeine high. And I haven't posted about anything since the islas de bahia. Shit.
I'm not even sure if at this point I can catch up on all the activity. I am thinking that photos might be the solution, but of course I have my camera with me but not the cord, and I am pretty sure that the Monteverde internet might implode under the pressure of photo uploading.
What is a girl to do???
My only solution, which is my always solution is go with randomness...
From the paraiso of utila we shot down south to the stunning metropolis of Tegus. I feel bad because I have never had the time to give Tegus a chance, Kyle tells me it is a kind of cool place to hang out but I have lost my tolerance for central american cities so I think the relationship will continue to be limited to watching tv at the hotel and eating at Los Toros. Our roll on from Tegus to Granada was upgraded from the terror of four buses and a coaster to an air conditioned van including a stop at a texaco that sold reese's peanutbutter cups ( a candy which i had previously believed was endemic to the eeuu). Upon arrival to Granada the day was only improved by the news that we were staying at a nicer hotel.
This was my fifth visit to Granada. I feel like I have developed a love hate relationship with the place. I hate Granada during the day time unless the Garden Cafe is open. I love Granada as soon as the sun sets. I hate the smell of Granada, in the heat it is only worse, and I really hate hate hate that bullshit traditional dance with the giant lady and her tiny tiny pirate husband that is accompanied by the loudest drumming ever. But I can't keep that sourness in my heart for a place that has two wood fire pizza places, one of which serves pizza with potatoes and rosemary. I actually ended up eating pizza two nights in a row, the first time post-volcano/bat/porcupine, and the second time in a wind storm.
Maybe the best thing other than the pizza that happened while I was there was buying new conditioner. I ran out of conditioner in Belize and my hair had been suffering through the last three countries. I finally cracked in Granada and have been using obscene amounts since then. And I shaved my legs... it was a big day for me. Nothing like random hair care and hair removal to make you feel like a girl.
After spending most of monday in and out of the garden cafe, and eating my farewell to Granada breakfast there we headed off to Ometepe. Ooooooo weee. Nestor picked us up after a particularly rough boat ride in his ever being repaired 31 year old van. Less than a hour later we arrived at the shores of Cocibolca to our fly covered hotel.
For some reason all of southern Nicaragua is covered in swarms of the most useless flies ever. They die way too easily to be of any use, and any time I asked about them I received the same answer, "it is fly season." The good thing is the damn flies don't hang out in the cloud forest, and my full day on Ometepe was spent climbing the cloud forest covered Volcan Madera. It was pretty sweet, the center of the volcano has been filled up by water and turned into a lagoon. The cloud forest was particularly cloudy that day so we only caught sight of parts of the far shore, but the overall vibe was very LOTR, plus I saw some pink ferns (which made up for my disappointing sea horse encounter).
Post-volcano recovery included two mugs of black tea and a steamroller nap which left me feeling more tender than I had started. The next day was off to Costa Rica with a 5 am wake up. OOOOOfffftah... ferry, taxi, and then the dreaded evil penas blancas. I HATE Penas Blancas. It is hot, dusty, inconvenient, and no I will not give you a regalo so that I won't have to stand in line for an immigration form where everywhere else in the world just hands them out freely. And why does Tica bus have their own immigration forms? Yarrrgh. The only bright spot in the whole situation is the fact that the Costa Rican office is air conditioned otherwise the whole exercise is evil.
The nice thing is that 1 hour and 20 minutes from the border is Liberia. Liberia is either heaven or Babylon. I can't figure out which, but it has soft serve, mineral water, aguacate and freshly baked bread. And I always make Don Taco stop there for lunch. From there it is a crazy jaunt to the cool air of Monteverde, where I find myself now.