Sometimes, things so missing

And that is exactly what has happened to my camera. Donde esta yo camera? My kind hostel keeper has put up a sign requesting, if it (..side note...some how, these nicaraguan keyboards have stolen my words and replaced them with weird characters. not sure what happened but i'll have to attempt to piece together the stories i told before. so here goes:).."is returned that a reward will be given and many thanks too. So far no one has turned anything in. My kind, and fun roommate Fregke (he is Dutch and i dont have a clue how to spell his name, but it rhymes with wreck)" (sp) lent me his camera today for short bit so i was able to take a few, as well as snag a few from the ferry where i met him and his buddy Jaret. I am on the li´l island of Ometepe, in the bustling town of Merida. It is a bustling town because chickens, pigs, horses, people on bikes, people in trucks, and on horses and on foot, seem to be continually going by. Not to give you the wrong impression - its really very rural out here. but, seems like there is a lot of activity.

Yesterday, i made the trek from Granada to Rivas via bus, then a taxi to San Jorge for a ferry to Moyogalpa, Ometepe to catch a taxi to Merida. Here i am. The chicken bus was kind of like being on toads wild ride at disneyland, if you´ve been there.

With my big pack on i bumbled through the Granada market, so many things to look at!, and made my way towards the bus. So many things for sale and they all looked so good - bags of beans, and piles of pineapple. As i neared the bus stop, a kid came up to me asking, ¨Rivas?!, Rivas?!¨ And after my stuttered ¨si!¨ he pointed me towards a bus and i was shoved on. Not so bad, it seemed, since i got a seat next to a quiet guy. We bumped along for a half hour or so until all of a sudden a bunch of guys were yelling, Rivas!¨, ¨Rivas!¨, then proceeded to pick up my pack, walk to the back of the yellow school bus painted red, and then threw my bag out. So i followed my pack. On the side of the highway, with a few other people, i confusedly asked on guy, ¨Rivas?¨ (my side of conversations usually consist of a single word, in question form). He said he didnt know - an english speaker! - but soon another bus pulled up, my pack was grabbed, and i followed it to the back of the bus, where i was smooshed on with enough other people to comfortably fit at least 2 school buses. Now my chicken bus experience was really starting.

From there, the taxi from Rivas to San Jorge, then the ferry to Ometepe (it looked more like a 3 story tug boat, where, even on the 3rd deck we got wet from waves), and the taxi along mostly unpaved roads for 2 hrs to Merida. Which leads me to the sad story of my camera. I was sitting in a hammock, looking at my pics from the day. Got to talking to a few locals, forgetting my camera was in my lap. got up for some agua and the camera? donde esta? i dont know... fingers crossed for its return..

Today, i took a solemn, cameraless bike ride up the road (again...weird characters... this is what i think i wrote...) "to a lovely, calm and tranquil place, the Ojo de Agua. These are natural springs that are beleived to have healing properties by the locals. Perhaps they'd heal my poor camera-less induced broken heart. I attempted to study my spanish for a bit by laying in a hammock and reading my travel dictionary. Note: if you ever have trouble sleeping, i recommend laying in a hammock, in 90degree heat and reading a dictionary. Dont know how long i snoozed but it was nice. Woke up to the sounds of others arriving. Apparently, my short-in-distance but long-in-time (approx 7km, at 2hrs) bike ride still got me out for the day before any other tourists. By the time i'd biked, met my friend Maria-Elena (she's 10yrs old, has about 5 sisters and 4 brothers all named either Maria-xxx or Juan-xxx except the youngest boy, Marco-Antionio) , snoozed in a hammock, and studied spanish, the others on the island were just giving their sleepy muscles a good stretch to the sky. Decided to give those cool, healing waters a go and dipped in. Very nice, very refreshing, and very clean. The pool has been kept in a mostly natural state, other than the cement stone wall around it with a couple big steps in. Swam a bit, sat in the sun a bit. Ordered on of the best lunches i'd had for pennies and sipped a nice fresh pineapple juice. Took the long road back after a nice cool soak.

The long road back was really REALLY long. In the hot direct sun of mid-day, i decided to make my way back to merida. Met Fregk (?) and Jaret along the way - they'd mistakenly turned too soon and found themselves on an hour long dirt road detour. A note about the roads: their main road around the island is worse than any fireroad i've riden back home. Huge potholes, loose rocks and boulders everywhere, dusty as a desert, chunks of tire sucking cement... and mad drivers careening past, squeezing between me, the cement chunks and heards of cows. Which on another note, are terrifying to ride through. I envisioned getting bucked over fences by mean, hungry cows. Oye. With a stop at a hostel along the way for another cool drink, i made it back to Hacienda Merida. Still no camera. But a nice long dock with a cool lake to take a swim in.