An active stratovolcano, the most prominent lake mountain in the world, the most prominent mountain in Nicaragua, and maybe the “most” of something else… For us, it’s enough that it’s an ultra peak. We try to get on the first ferry in the morning, but we don’t know if we’ll make it. To transfer the car – the most important thing is the reservation. Over the next two days we are asked half a dozen times if we have a reservation. And we have none.
The man at the gate says we should wait for the captain to decide if there is room for our car. We wait patiently, and with good reason. The captain says you will fit, but you need a reservation… and explains how to get one. In return he puts us on some kind of list, who knows, maybe it’s a reservation for the return trip. At one kiosk we pay about 15 USD for a transfer (you can’t pay in advance for a return ticket). At the other kiosk they book us a seat for the outward transfer and for the return tomorrow. We seem to have done all the formalities. As we approach the ferry, we see a coloured bus driving backwards, trying to fit through the slightly wider ferry gates. The bus fits, along with about ten other cars and a hundred or more people. There is nowhere to sit on the ferry, all the seats are taken. Our car is not blocked, so we can sit comfortably in it.
We sailed in, disembarked and stopped at a small shop to buy water for a hike. Dave asked if there was anything to eat for breakfast. The owner opened the veranda and showed us two tables. Soon they were bringing us a great typical breakfast, possibly the best breakfast of the trip.
Based on the information we had, we were supposed to pay for a park ticket and maybe even hire the obligatory guide. We accidentally missed the park office and decided to pay on the way back. On the way back we saw the office, but it was closed. Next to the ongoing construction we left our car and started to climb.
The road is wide and gradual at the start, but gets a bit steeper later on. Well marked trail all the way. Near the top you have to climb over loose rocks. In some places the rocks are quite warm due to the still active volcano. Fog, clouds, poor visibility. The hill is popular, we pass several groups of climbers, mostly in sneakers.
As I contemplate the heated rocks of the volcano, I don’t even notice how I end up at the top, where Dave is sitting comfortably. The highest point is obvious, a small rock protruding from the edge of the cliff. I touch the rock with my hand just in case, after all this is my 100th ultra summit. Now I’m going to count to two hundred.
A few photos and we go down the same way we came up. Not a great choice of routes to be honest. The steep rocks at the top are slippery, but it’s not difficult if you take your time. Halfway down we come out of the clouds and can enjoy the view, which should be even better on a clear day. However, most hike reports mention clouds and poor visibility.
We return to the car, change and head to the hotel. Tomorrow we will attempt to climb Volcán Maderas, which is located in the south-east of Ometepe and is perhaps the world’s second most prominent lake peak.
For my 100th summit Dave treated me to an ice cream. Thanks, it was delicious. Looking forward to another ice cream after 100 more peaks.