Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua, is an incredible island surrounded by the waters of Lake Nicaragua, (which is also home to the world’s only species of freshwater shark!) as it consists of two volcanoes, Concepción (1610 meters) and Maderas (1394 meters), joined by a land isthmus.
We got to the island on a very rickety looking wooden boat, in search of project Bona Fide an organic farm we had read about on the internet but had not yet got a reply from. And after a long hot bus journey across to the smaller of the two volcanos which make up the island, trekking in circles in the sun with all our bags, heat exhaustion, and 3 nights else where we finally found Project Bona Fide!!
And it is just as hot as it was in Leon but it does cool down a bit at night.
The farm is set up the side of the Volcano Maderas, with an incredible view of volcano Concepción, especially as the sun sets behind it – a view best enjoyed in the shower whilst washing of all the dirt and sweat from the day (my feet are still black 4 days after leaving). 4 other really nice people were living there while we were there, Mai, Ashley and Rachael who where working there for 6 months, and Graham another volunteer like us who was staying for a month. Mai looked after us and gave us all our jobs to do.
We did lots of watering (plants and trees) as it is just before the rainy season and everything is bone dry, and were getting quite strong by the time we left as it involved carrying big buckets of water all over the farm. We also chopped down banana trees, rebagged plants in the nursury, did more watering, and Chris sawed up lots of logs and broke the axe. We worked from 7am until breakfast and then until dinner time. When we had fish from the lake with rice and veg.
After a few days we got the hang of not standing in the way of the biting ants (which would get all over your feet so quickly!) and cheacking for scorpions (whose bite is very painful but not dangerous). We also saw the biggest spiders, which were at least 15cms wide and very hairy. So we were pleased to have a tent to sleep in which we could keep zipped up nice and tight.
The photo is of chris holding chillies collected from the garden, which were made in to chilli sauce. We also got to make our own chocolate with locally grown beans, and it tasted so good……