“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”
First Combo Country on the list: Nicarduras!
Two volcanoes sprouted from the waves and now share a surface that hosts about 30,000 people on it's 18x7ish mile face. The ecology is fascinating (jaw-droppingly so) and the people are shy, even beautifully cautious (perhaps this timidity comes from literally living in the dual shadows of two disaster machines?).
At the top of one of the lava-makers is a crater lake that Daniel dared to dip into, when he scaled the slopes in years past. I made it my mission to match that...
This volcano takes WORK.
Similar to Corcovado, there aren't really paths; just steep, slimy, rain-slicked stones scattered (where you're lucky...) on the densely forested mountainside.
The way demanded strength, balance, care, skill, and no small amount of courage to scramble up cliffs and plow through unyielding jungle.
What was initially tall-standing trees then gorgeously gave way to convoluted, gnarly forms draped in moss a foot thick and fern fronds the size of my face...
It felt like some enchanted forest out of a fairy tale, with thrills and danger lurking in it's shrouded corners.
I've said it before, but, truly, I've never been more thoroughly amazed by a landscape...
Rain-soaked soil sucked at the soles of our shoes (we saw several discarded pairs claimed by the terrain while we walked).
As the ferry pulled away from the ramshackle dock and slowly (so slowly sometimes I almost thought we might be moving backwards) puttered towards the mainland, two US American business men crassly discussed their plans to overhaul the area, once commerce opened up.
It was disappointing, especially with the people to be displaced sitting three feet away, unable to understand the conversation.
I thought about how well-suited the people of Ometepe are for the land they live on.
They've grown into the soils like the roots of the trees I had just squeezed through, and worked this place far harder and longer than I did to surmount the challenges of the island.
It was so refreshing to return back to the rural communities.
Owner Jorge has managed to create in his home a haven of lovliness and beautiful sentimentality. It's rare that a brick and mortar structure should take on an emotionality that transcends matter, but he has managed to do so. This place has a kind of magic about it, and I frequently found myself just staring at the authentically stunning decor and painstakingly immaculate architecture.
Take good care until then, my friend. Pass along my sincerest regards to the older-than-his-age Antonio, for me. I miss you both.
We talked with Hondurans from ages five to eighty five about life and what makes it all worthwhile.
One child (whom Daniel had actually met the last time he was in the country) when asked what he would do with a million dollars, responded that all he would do is "build a house for my family, and buy them a car.
There is more to see than a post has room for!
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