I got the bus from San Jose to Rivas in the south of Nicaragua. Despite there being huge queues at the borders it was actually an OK journey. I arrived in mid/afternoon, so just had time for a walk round the town, which was OK as there’s not really anything to see here. But I enjoyed it, its very different from Costa Rica which is very westernized and developed. The following day I got up early to get the ferry to Isla Ometepe. I had planned to go to Balgue, a small village in the south of the island, 2 bus journeys away from the ferry. The first one was no problem and the driver said I just had to wait half an hour for the next bus to Balgue. But after waiting a while and asking a few more people, the only person who could give me any kind of answer just said I would be waiting a long time. As the bus stop was in the main square it was a nice place to sit for a while anyway. After I had waited about an hour and a half a parade started around the main square as it was a national holiday. At that point I realised it was going to be impossible for any buses to go anywhere for a long time, so I enjoyed watching the parade then gave up and went and found a hostel for the night. I spent the afternoon walking to a nearby beach and swimming in the lake to cool off.
The following day I decided to give up with the buses and did what the locals seemed to do and cycled round the island. THis was a really nice day, the roads around the island are relatively flat so it wasn’t too hard going, except it did feel like I was cycling in a sauna as it was so hot and humid. Luckily I cycled past several nice beaches so was never far away from somewhere to go for a swim to cool off. I made it to Balgue and ended up getting there just in time to see some of their independence day celebrations. Everyone from the village seemed to have gone to the main square for the day to listen to the various speeches. I cycled back to Alta Gracia and managed to see some of their celebrations in the main square. A parade with a lot of drumming and dancing, which everyone seemed to enjoy, including me.
The following day I moved on to San Juan del Sur.