“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
On Valentine’s Day we took our friends on a tour of Ometepe Island. Our neighbor has a new touring van, and for $50 for the entire day, he took us to our four favorite places.
First Stop: Charco Verde Nature Reserve
Slowing down to observe nature is an art. By examining the shapes of trees, the colors of the flowers, or noticing the ways a landscape can change over time with different effects of light, always provides me with inspiration in the natural world.
I am fascinated with the study of ethology, or the study of non-human animal behavior…especially the Howler monkeys. On the Charco Verde trails we always see Howler monkeys. Depending on the time of day, they are either swinging gleefully among the branches, howling loudly, or napping peacefully in the tree tops. This morning, they were snoozing.
The cormorants gathered to feed at the edge of the green lagoon, while the goats wandered and bleated along the trails. Butterflies, iguanas, and hurracas ( like big Blue Jays), fluttered, fled, and flitted throughout the dusty trails.
It was a beautiful morning to be up close to nature. It never fails us.
Second Stop: Santo Domingo Beach
Playa Santo Domingo is situated on the isthmus between the two volcanoes, Concepcion and Maderas. Situated on the island’s northeastern side, it faces the prominent wind direction. This February has been an exceptionally windy month. The waves in the lake looked like ocean waves and it was difficult to walk the beach without getting sand blasted. So, we ate lunch at Villa Paraiso Studying nature always makes us hungry and we love to eat!
Third Stop: Ojo De Agua
After lunch, we visited the refreshing “Eye of the Water” spring. It is a gorgeous, clear pool of water that comes from an underground river from Maderas volcano. Twelve years ago when we first visited Ojo de Agua, we had to walk through a muddy plantain field to get to the spring. Now, they put up a dirt parking lot, a new restaurant, and vendors display crafts, t-shirts, and cold coconut drinks. Yet, progress has not affected the natural beauty of this place, only highlighted it.
Last stop: Punta Jesus Maria
Punta Jesus Maria is a long spit of land near our house formed by water currents and volcanic sand. Old timers say that it could have been a trading port in ancient times. Recently, the EU developed the Punta for a Nicaraguan project. There are small casitas where you can buy fried fish, chicken, and a cold Toña. Brittany, who volunteers for an international dog rescue organization found her Valentine at the Punta. Maybe this little stray will find a loving family in the states.
These four places on Ometepe Island are definitely places to “Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.” Our Valentine’s Day overflowed with love for our island of peace.