A Voyage Across the Sweet Sea

In 1866, Mark Twain described the volcanoes on Ometepe Island, as “two magnificent pyramids clad in the softest and richest green, all flecked with shadow and sunshine.” Since we had been island bound for several months, the time had come to voyage across the sweet sea for some Christmas shopping on the mainland.

Leaving the port town of Moyogalpa.

Leaving the port town of Moyogalpa.

We boarded the 9:00 am ferry and chugged past the picturesque port town of Moyogalpa, where layers of green foliage spread softly like cake frosting into the sweet sea of Cocibolca.

The roof of our house on the far right.

The roof of our house on the far right.

Fifteen minutes later, the wind-churned waves carried us past our house (on the far right) and the quaint little community of La Paloma, where houses dotted the black sand beach in vibrant hard-candy shades of lemon yellow, sour apple green, and watermelon pink. The rafts of Puesta del Sol bobbed gently in the waves, signaling that the windy months were upon us.

Now we have a view of both volcanoes..Maderas, the dormant volcano is on the right.

Now we have a view of both volcanoes..Maderas, the dormant volcano is on the right.

Rounding the point of Jesus Maria, the twin volcanoes came into view. Mark Twain described them as “summits piercing the billowy clouds.”

The new airport is almost done.

The new airport is almost done.

During the California gold rush, Cornelius Vanderbilt invested heavily in a land-sea route across Nicaragua, avoiding the grueling wagon trail ride across the United States fraught with bandits, diseases, and accidents. Twain opted for the Nicaraguan route in his 1866 trip back east.
As we glide past the new runway, I wonder how the airport will change Ometepe. The runway and the terminal are complete, with only the construction of the tower remaining. It won’t be long, now. What would Twain think if he could have soared through the billowy clouds to our oasis of peace?

They are constructing the tower, now.

They are constructing the tower, now.

Quite a dramatic entrance to Ometepe. I hope the plane can stop in time before it reaches the volcano.

The Ferry passes by on its way to Moyogalpa from the mainland.

The Ferry passes by on its way to Moyogalpa from the mainland.

Waving to the ferry passengers returning to la isla from the mainland, I wonder what the first-time tourists think. Will they enjoy their stay? An hour’s trip across the great sweet sea is always a feast for my senses.

Nice view of our active volcano, Concepcion.

Nice view of our active volcano, Concepcion.

During Twain’s time, the cross-lake steamer bypassed Ometepe on its way to the Rio San Juan. Too bad, for if Twain would have had an opportunity to visit our lovely island, I know he would have written about gorging his senses on the ravenous beauty and mysteries surrounding us. A voyage across the sweet sea is always an adventure…one that never ceases to amaze me.


12 thoughts on “A Voyage Across the Sweet Sea

  1. Mark Twain described it well…so beautiful. Am really glad you are well now and up to ferry traveling to do Christmas shopping. Nothing like the sounds of “progress” changing the landscape and adding it’s noisy entrance and exit. Sorry about that.

  2. Nice to hear you recouped, and have gotten back to making the ordinary, extrodinary.
    Thought you may appreciate the Ometepe ferry a lot more after veiwing this!!


    It’s rough on the Columbia crossing the bar where the river meets the Pacific Ocean. The water might be rather shallow and very rough. On 50 ft charter boats, you can disappear in a “hole” and seem to be all alone. A moment later, you’re on top and everyone else is in a hole. The only cure for motion sickness is to pound down half a bottle of beer. I don’t know how it works but it does. Save the other half. You’ll need it after awhile.



  3. Wow, thanks for the post and the photos. How beautiful!! Sorry to hear from the comments that you have been sick and hope you are better. Looking forward to more blogging from you 🙂

  4. Every so often we must stomp ugly bugs and viruses into submission; I am so pleased to see that you’ve conquered that dengue virus and have regained your strength. Sometimes we have to be ill so that we embrace our wellness!
    Welcome back, and thank you for taking me on that ferry ride. I’m still recovering from the shock of the airport, however. Haven’t many planes crashed into Arenal?
    I look forward to more posts!!

    • I am so very thankful that I stomped that ugly bug into submission…now onto living again. Thanks so much Z, for your support and comforting thoughts. I’m still in shock of the airport, too. I really don’t know what is going to happen or how it will change our island. A helicopter landed today and the noise was deafening. 😦 I guess we’ll wait and see. It will probably be open soon.

      • oooh.. i can imagine that frump frump frump sound of the helicopter! every month or so is a novel sound but every day would taint your serene life. i am facing a similar problem.. the quiet little gravel farm road that goes past the house is in the process of being blacktopped. and not just two lanes —- FOUR!

        there are many people who own land along the road who are not happy, and many people in town are not happy either, as a tourist highway like that would change the area forever.

        i keep hoping that the funds will evaporate, and we’ll have one big wide dusty or muddy road! the irony is that another very nice highway is being rebuilt that parallels this new one. go figure!

        you have my sympathy.


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