Antigua – Panama City VI

Days 16-18, 4th-6th November

Our last stop in Nicaragua is the island of Ometepe that sits on Lake Nicaragua and is home to two volcanoes. The island is very similar in shape to Maui, seems like a lifetime ago that we were actualy in Hawaii. We drive to the small town of San Jorge on the shores of Lake Nicaragua, Central America’s largest lake. Here we boarded a ferry to the stunning volcanic island of Ometepe, based at the port village of Moyogalpa.

Our hotel, situated 5 mins from the port which turned out to be a huge godsend, was very simple but had a nice tropical pool with 2 hilarious caged parrots in the grounds, who chatted away constantly in Spanish and shouting “Hola” at anyone who walks past.

We watch a dramatic sunset across the lake and go for margaritas and Mexican food which is great.  Around 8.30pm I start to feel dizzy and leave the restaurant.  The next 36 hours is a blur of fever, sickness and associated stomach issues.

The local doctor visits me the next day and prescribes a bunch of drugs to fight the infection.  I can’t keep anything down so it is at this juncture,  a completely pointless exercise.  Another unsettled night and I’m awake a 5am for a 7am ferry back to the mainland.  After a conversation with Jules, Duncan and Brownie its decided that I need to see the doctor again before going anywhere.  Two other members of our group have also been violently ill over the preceeding 48 hours both requiring hospital visits and one of which requiring 3 bags of saline via a drip and the other a series of injections.

We’re given the choice as to whether we stay on Ometepe for a further 24 hrs to help my recovery, or leave with the group.  If we leave I’ll need a drip I’m not keen but the syringe is in sterile packaging and I don’t have any choice.  The group delays our departure for 2 hours on the 9am ferry and with support from Brownie and Emma, one of our fellow travellers, I’m half dragged onto the ferry and I promptly sleep for the duration.  At the other end I’m roused and assisted onto the bus and sleep.  We’ve got an hour’s drive to the border as we are due to cross into Costa Rica today.

Exiting Nicaragua, is relatively straightforward but we have to wait 3 hours to enter Costa Rica as the bus needed a lawyer to sign off a series of documentation in order for us to proceed.  I’m as weak as a kitten and if asked advise I’d over-indulged the night before and was very hungover.  I don’t want to be refused entry due to sickness.  Besides the drip is slowly takibg effect and i’ve managed to start taking my drugs.  I also sleep as much as I can.

After a 4.5 hour drive we arrive in La Fortuna our Costa Rican home for the next 2 nights and I sleep for England.

I can’t thank Brownie enough for nursing me through.  In addition, the Dragoman crew and our bus family were so helpful, supportive and caring it was very very much appreciated.

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