Oasis at Ojo de Agua

Awesome day!  Began this morning with a 4 kilometer hot and dusty walk to a huge estate that had once been a coffee plantation during colonial times.  The land was subdivided and parceled out to small farmers thirty years ago, and it is now an organic coffee co-op.  It is nestled against the base of Maderas Volcano and boasts sweeping views of the lake from the balcony of the once grand, white wooden plantation house that is now quite dilapidated but still maintains a bit of charm.  After drinking a deliciously smooth cofffee on the veranda, we toured the fields and the production area and then took a brief walk through a forest to see some 2,000 year old Mayan petroglyphs depicting serpents, monkeys and humans.
From there we took a bus to Ojo de Agua, a series of pools created by a river rushing down the sides of Concepcion Volcano.  The water was so cool and so clear, and it felt fantastic to jump in after our hot and sweaty morning!  The site is lovely, with tall trees casting plenty of shade and tropical birds issuing their loud calls.  How beautiful it was to float on my back and look up at a huge tree covered in vines.  There was a rope to swing from into the water, tables and chairs set up around the pools, a restaurant and a young man who was happy to bring a beer to me while I was swimming.  We spent a couple of blissful hours there, soaking in the water while talking to Jean, a 67 year old Canadian man who drove all the way from Montreal and who is spending six months exploring the region…He’s been to seventy-some-odd countries and is still always up for the next grand adventure.  Since Nicaragua ia a destination much more geared to travelers than to tourists, we have been meeting some amazing individuals on our journey.  There is a group of young Australian women where we’re staying, and they’ve been on the road for almost a year!  Rachel and Drew are two Brits we met while staying in Granada.  Drew is a professional wildlife photographer who has taken amazing shots of blue whales, and he and Rachel come to Nicaragua every year for a few weeks to volunteer with children.  I hope to write more about them in future blogs, but for now you can check out Drew’s pictures at www.eco2.com.
Well, time to leave the internet cafe where I’m writing this and make the walk back to our finca before dark — the path up to the place is quite uneven and since we don’t have a flashlight with us we need to get back before dark.
Peace & Blessings,