This is the Concepción volcano on the western part of the island of Ometepe. I took the picture when crossing from San Jorge over to the island via ferry. Today we will climb the other volcano, on the eastern part of the island. Volcano Maderas is 1400m high and apparently an easier walk than Concepcion. Before heading out, we gain our forces with a huge spanish-style breakfast with pan con tomate. Our guide comes to pick us up and without further ado, we find ourselves walking up the hill.
We had no idea what we were in for – not having been warned about the difficulty of the hike, we walked with the best of moods up the steep path. We knew that it was going to be an 8-hour hike approximately but I counted for an hour break on top to enjoy the view over the lake and to take a dip in the volcano’s lagoon. In the end, I never made it up there. The hike was challenging! And since we were entering deeper and deeper into the cloud forest it got muddier too. After two hours I decided to stop. We were halfway up the volcano, but I was scared of going down as already walking up I was sliding. With an open wound under my foot that sometimes hurt even on concrete floors, I felt it wasn’t worth risking it going further up.
I took a five hour break in the middle of the forest. The guide found a small clearance from which I had a great view over what lay down. The forest was so thick I could barely see the sky. The first half hour passed very slowly as I was wondering what I was going to do with all my time but there was not to worry as it all passed rather quickly. I looked at the flora and fauna and at one point found myself surrounded by monkeys on the trees around. It was a strange feeling, sitting in a little clearance in the middle of nowhere and seeing and hearing monkeys all around me. They were sitting in the trees in groups of three or four, eating leaves, hanging out and chatting to each other. Especially the howler monkeys made themselves heard, chatting away and chasing each other through the crown of the trees. There was one capuchin monkey who was jumping around with them, at one point he was standing on a tree above me and peeing. A funny little fellow!
The flora on Maderas volcano, Ometepe
The isthmus seen from above
On the way down from Maderas, leaving the forest
And we are almost home