Kayaking through Shark Infested Waters

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The low morning sun rose the day after Lauren, Maggie and I climbed the volcano, the sounds of the jungle drifted into our eco lodge where we were sleeping, we awoke feeling relaxed and quiet, ready to have a nice easy morning before we left the island… Okay, you know that last bit isn’t true.

We did however wake up full of beans (and fresh coffee) ready to take on Kayaking Cocibolca (Lake Nicaragua); Lake Nicaragua is a beautiful lake that stretches 8,264 km² in the middle of Nicaragua (surprisingly); it hosts a selection of wildlife, the most exciting inhabitant however is that Caribbean Bull Sharks lurk within its depths, scientists say that the Bull Sharks would have jumped upstream (much like Salmon) to reach the lake, unfortunately, because of the Shark Fin trade only a few still reside there; still, despite that the lake has made it on to many lists of the “Most Shark Infested Beaches in the world“. We were excited to experience the wildlife and explore Ometepe from another viewpoint. There six of us from the hostel that decided to give Kayaking a blast, I was overly excited to get onto the water, where I’m most comfortable and not up a terrifying volcano. A short walk from our hostel along a few neighbourhoods, past a school and along the coast we found the kayak shack, before we knew it the six of us were on the water being led by a lovely guide around the island. It sounds so pleasant doesn’t it?

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image (4)image (2)The trip was absolutely lovely, with beautiful views of Ometepe, from the lake we gazed upon the giant volcanoes commanding the land around them. But as we were doing so we were fighting with the Kayaks as we tackled them through the headwind for an hour over the lake until we reached a river which was meandering gently to our right through the Nicaraguan landscape. As we turned round the river bend we were faced with lush green river banks; dotted along those banks we saw pelicans, Caimen, grazing cattle, a tree with bats and a selection of beautiful birds flying through the flora and fauna. As the sun was beating down on us; our skin tingled and blistered as we pushed on. Mine and Laurens boat was heavy to start with, but towards the end of our trip we were struggling pushing on through the waves, we returned along the same route, pushing harder and harder. The pain in our arms and shoulders began to match the cramps in our legs from the previous day, it took three hours to complete our tour, after which we were completely and utterly exhausted.

Apologies for the only wildlife photo.

Apologies for the only wildlife photo.

Upon finishing we had approximately twenty minutes to chill out before Lauren and I were set to depart from Ometepe and head back to the mainland and explore our next destination of San Juan Del Sur. Luckily our beautiful hosts at Finca Mystica had set us up with a shuttle to the ferry, we literally had to stumble from where we were sitting around the lake and into our car, after kayaking it was absolute bliss not to have to carry our backpacks. We sat in the car en route to the port to catch our ferry, casting our last eyes over Ometepe; I realised that the little mystical Island that Laurena the bartender had spun us tales about in Granada had completely and utterly won me over. Before we knew it we were on the ferry watching that beautiful island slip into the distance, like a dream fading upon waking. We might not have felt the island pulsate or hear the call of the mermaids, but we were smitten. Exhausted and happy we napped on the lazy boat ready to take on the next leg of our journey, unbeknown to us, it would hold some of the most amazing people I could ever wish to meet on a trip.

Coming up next: San Juan Del Sur

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