Friday, August 13, 2010
Masaya to San Jorge on Lago de Nicaragua. 68 miles
This is supposed to be the busiest of the national parks so we got to the visitors center at 9am to try to beat the tour buses from the cities. The center is very informative with information about this particular volcano and the formation of volcanoes in general in both Spanish and English. By the time we headed up to the steaming, active crater, the day was partly sunny and the 4 mile drive was filled with spectaular views. The crater was already busy but since there are warning signs everywhere that you shouldn't spend more than 20 minutes breathing in the gases, we took some photographs, walked up the side of the volcano, 300 or so steps for better views and then went back to the center to fill the RV with water before leaving. We have been studying our maps to come up with a route that keeps us headed to Costa Rica but with some time for sight-seeing. So we have decided to go through Granada but not stop and drive to San Jorge on the shore of Lake Nicaragua. We will go to Granada on our way north. Granada, on the map, looked navigable for the RV but once again we got lost. On this occasion, we lost no time. We flagged down a taxi driver and asked him to show us the road to San Jorge. No problem. He took us down main streets and narrow side streets, around the central park and past the cathedral. We debated how much to give him and agreed we would let him settle the price and only argue if it seemed outrageous. Tom had thought 100 cordobas ($5.00). Finally he pulled over and pointed the way. We asked how much we owed. 30 cordobas he said. $1.50!! Taxis through the cities is the only way to go. We arrived at San Jorge with no more problems and scoped out the places to park. There was the beach itself and the secured parking area in the ferry building but we settled on the Hotel California as we could plug into power, water and they have WiFi. We walk to a local restaurant. It is owned by Dario, a transplanted Italian who lives on the Island of Ometepe. As we chat we decide to visit the island but not with the motorhome. Even though the ferry could accomodate it, we were unsure of how we would handle those island roads. After talking with a few people, it is agreed that we can park in a secure area of the ferry building for 90 cordobas a day and take the ferry across. We are going to try to find a hotel for the night but if not, we will come back. Everyone assures us Winston will not be a problem. In fact, whenever we asked if he was allowed, in the restaurants, on the ferry or as it turned out, in a hotel, we were looked at quizzically as though they didn't understand our worries. The dog is fine. No problemo. We decide on taking the 9:30 ferry and go back to the RV to pack and get some sleep.