Melyna on The Go Stories

Volcano Mombacho

The time has really been flying and now Lyna is on her way back to Toronto. The Melyna adventure has ended, but we did have some good times, and some interesting ones. There are a few tales I have not yet told about our adventures, so as I move on to my solo Nica travels, I’ll mention some of the good, the ridiculous and the funny of the 10 days of “Melyna on the Go.”

Meeting other Canadians

There are a lot of Canadians in Nicaragua. We’ve met many from B.C. and Toronto and even a backpacker on the Ometepe shuttle bus from College and Ossington, but the best meet cute was in our hotel in Granada. The hotel included breakfast, but no matter how few or many people they were, the cooks couldn’t keep up with the demand. Lyna was wearing her Toronto Blue Jays shirt and went up to the counter to look for her pancakes. A tall man approached her carrying a plate and as he was asking her if she was from Canada, she asked him “Are those my pancakes?” Yes, she was from Canada, as were he and his friends, and no, they weren’t her pancakes, they were his. April, Lyna said you would appreciate that story. Her pancakes did come shortly after but included the wrong ingredients. Nicaragua!

My Bad Navigation Skills

Google Map Granada
Our hotel to Iglesia Merced – I did not take any of these routes.

On our last evening in Granada, we visited the Iglesia Merced, which google maps told me was only a couple of blocks from our hotel. And it was, but I took us the wrong way, so we walked for about 15 minutes in a circle (or square) in the heat until we got there. It was much easier getting back to the hotel! We did meet a nice Nicaraguan man on the walk who gave us a tip of another church to visit the next day. I am learning to embrace those moments of getting lost and capitalizing on what happens along the way, which is a good thing because I am about to embark on 10 days of solo travel and I still don’t know how to read google maps!

Our tour guide, Oscar

As I was writing the blog post about the Maderas Volcano tour, Lyna commented on the name of our tour guide, asking if I was sure his name was Oscar, because that was the name of our tour guide from Mombacho Volcano. I am not good with names so I immediately blanked and couldn’t remember anything! Oscar was definitely the name of ONE of our volcano tour guides, but we can’t be sure which one.

Then, we did the kayak tour on Ometepe. I was too far away to hear the guide introduce himself, and later asked Lyna what his name was. She said he spoke too softly for her to hear and she was going to go with Oscar. From then on, all of our tour guides became Oscar. On Sunday night, one of the friends of the owner of Apoyo Lodge, Forrest from Florida, took us to Mombacho. We told him our Oscar story and he happily answered to Oscar too!

Misadventures with Language

I tried to be the interpreter for this trip, but there were times I wasn’t quick enough with a response, or was otherwise engaged when Lyna was put on the spot with Spanish. The best, and most Lyna, of these situations was at the ferry terminal in Ometepe. We were waiting for our shuttle to get organized to leave for the various hotels and hostels and Lyna slipped into the store to buy some water. She asked for “agua” and when confronted with the choice of “grande” (large) or “pequeño” (small), Lyna created her own version: “picante,” which is spicy. Perfect for the girl who loves hot sauce, but she certainly confused the guy behind the counter. She eventually got her small water, and the counterman got a good laugh.

The room with no electrical outlet

After we checked into our hotel at Ometepe, and the challenges with the “great air conditioner hijacking,” we could not find anywhere to plug in our devices. It appeared that there was no electrical outlet anywhere in the tiny dungeon room nor in the adjacent bathroom. Lyna even went outside the room and met some other guests and asked them if they had an outlet, to which they replied yes. She returned to the room just as I was pulling back one of those curtains that covered a boarded over window to find it was also covering the one wall outlet we had. I am grateful for my multi-plug power charger, that’s for sure.

RAV power
Power charger

Booking Mistakes

I booked most of our hotels in advance of Lyna’s arrival, but we decided on the airport hotel for Lyna’s last night while she was here and I booked it from Granada. Yesterday, while sitting overlooking the lake at Apoyo Lodge, I went to double check the reservation for that night. I couldn’t find anything in my google calendar for yesterday night. So I figured I hadn’t copied it into my calendar and went to check my emails. The only confirmation I could find was for March 20. Maybe that was the one for when Brian leaves? Nope. Brian leaves March 13. I then realized that I had booked our airport hotel for March 20 instead of February 20. Lyna was on a hike so I scrambled to fix this before she got back! No phone. I used Skype to call Expedia for TD and try to fix it because the website wasn’t letting me. I explained I had booked our hotel for the wrong month and needed it for tonight and we had a good laugh at my mistake and then he helped me! The hotel had a no cancellation policy but he called them and got the change made. What a relief! I had even gotten a confirmation for the March 20 date and didn’t even notice it. All things worked out, and when Lyna returned from her hike the problem was already solved! Thanks Expedia for TD. Reminder to self – doublecheck before booking.

Scary Animals

Lyna’s backpack definitely attracted animals, and she found more yesterday as she was packing up at Apoyo. She spotted a scorpion on the floor next to her bag, and when she was trying to get a glass to catch it, and I was trying to get my phone to photograph it (so helpful, aren’t I?),

scorpion
The scorpion in our room

she then spotted a bigger spider. Then, we got the shock of our lives, when another, bigger, animal came out from under the bed, sending me jumping backwards into the wall (with an elbow bruise to prove it!) and Lyna jumping up so fast she twisted her neck.

scary cat
Scary cat in our Apoyo room

Yup, we got scared by the cutest cat. I yelled out “Holy It’s a cat!” and then we both burst into hysterical laughter at ourselves. Considering we are both cat lovers and got scared by a kitten. It was funny. The hotel had a few cats and a dog. Apparently we should have left the scorpion alone as the kitten would have caught it much better than we did.

Highlights

  • The kayak tour of Ometepe Islands with our guide Oscar, who spotted so many birds and creatures in the trees
  • Lyna’s monkey spotting skills – we got some good videos and photos just near our hotel in Apoyo
Monkey
Monkey climbing a tree in Apoyo
  • Us trying to get a decent bottle of chilled white wine – we did get a very cold one our last night in Ometepe at the restaurant of the hotel next door to ours. Oh I wish we could have gotten a room there! The worst was at the vegetarian restaurant (with good reviews!) close to our hotel, where the 14 year old server gave us a warm box of white wine. And we accepted it!!! That place was hilarious. The server also told us they didn’t have forks. They did. Someone else brought them.
  • Getting rides home on the backs of moterbikes on Ometepe because the bus stopped at 6pm and taxis either wouldn’t come or were too expensive. That was fun!
  • Taking Ratholomew out with us. We only remembered to bring our furry friend out a couple of times but he was a hit! We actually scared the people at one of the restaurants in Ometepe – El Bamboo. Go there if you go to Ometepe
Ratholomew
Us with Ratholomew at El Bamboo Ometepe Island

It was an adventurous 10 days. Lyna was a good sport putting up with that terrible hotel, my bad sense of direction, and my only so-so interpretation skills. We had a blast! As she returns to the north – Canada – I am moving north as well, to León. Keep reading…