We choose to visit Isla de Ometepe after the Corn Islands. It is often tiring, time consuming, and sometimes disappointing (i.e. Dobedo on Little Corn) to pre-book accommodations, so we had a few ideas of lodging in our heads but nothing reserved. As luck would have it, the day we arrived at the ferry station the owner of Hacienda Merida was in town doing errands and had a 4x4 truck waiting for his return on Ometepe. We were invited to ride with him for free. I had been wanting to stay at Hacienda Merida since talking to a family of four on Little Corn who had visited there the summer before. The well-spoken, twin 15 year olds told us about the remote hotel with kayaks, bikes, and a bilingual school on the property. It sounded wonderful but I was hesitant since I didn’t want to “push” the kids too far. This was another long travel day, or at least it was meant to be. We had flown from Big Corn to Managua on the morning flight and then gotten a taxi to the bus station. The taxi driver quoted $15, which seemed expensive but matched the price quoted in the guide book. When the driver heard we were headed down to San Jorge, the jumping off point for Ometepe, he said “Why not go all the way by taxi? $55” The bus for all 4 of us was going to be $13, plus the $15 taxi to the bus station, so we made the executive decision to spend the extra $27 to enjoy the relative luxury of a taxi ride for the 2.5 hours to San Jorge.
Hacienda Merida did not disappoint. We really enjoyed the remote setting, the tasty and reasonable priced food (particularly the coconut ice cream, mango smoothie), and the very hospitable owner. Our room was quite comfortable with 1 twin bed and two double beds in bunk bed configuration with private bath, $25/nt.
I was dreading the hike back. We would be walking for hours considering the moods of the kids. But as we got ready to return Yoda decided to use his sarong to dress up like a Ninja. Then Zuki did the same. And before we knew it we were walking back at a comfortable pace, followed by two Ninjas, who had instructed us to ignore them since they were invisible, all the while giggling at the inquisitive looks of the locals. This was so not the plan and was so much better then the actual plan of visiting yet another waterfall. For me it clicked; there is really something special about letting go of having a plan, even letting go of the family discussions of the day's plan, and just letting the day happen. The day walking with Ninjas in mystical Ometepe is a memory soon not to be forgotten.
After taking some X-rays we were told nothing was broken. I couldn't believe it! And I truly feel so so lucky. I feel like we were given back something. Everything could have changed after that fall and it was a wake up call I needed to regain more appreciation of what I have in this life.