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Escape from Ometepe -- Part 1

Since the ferry ride off of Isla Ometepe to the mainland was cancelled due to high winds, everyone was trying to leave for the 6am ferry the next day -- AT THE SAME TIME.

4:30am
Wake up and get ready to leave.

5:00am
Leave hotel and join the other groggy travelers slowly emerging in the dark towards the ferry dock. As Chad put it "...it looked like Night of the Living Dead"

5:03am
Join the gigantic line that had been waiting since 4am.
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5:15am
Watch the gigantic line slowly get wider, not longer, as travelers join with "friends" who have "saved" them a spot in line. Of course it was more like "Hey! You look familiar! I don't care about everyone else behind you so I'm going to be a douche and line up waaay in front and talk to you as if I really know you"

5:30am
Continue to watch the line get wider, not longer. Nobody knows where we're supposed to line up. People ask the military personal but they shake their heads and continue their job as a decorative fixture for the port area. The locals are just as confused as the rest of us. That's never very reassuring.

6:00am
Continue to watch the line get wider, not longer. Of course we were all supposed to be boarding some time of ferry "scheduled" for 6am, but our buddy Chad said that if you multiply all schedules by a factor of 2.25 you will get the ACTUAL time.

6:45am
Chad and Derek leave line for food. The military guys continue to scratch their asses and successfully evade all questions with total indifference.

6:47am
Line finally starts moving so Chad and Derek run back to the line -- without food.

6:48am
People start running to another area. Travelers and locals alike, everyone is confused and in a complete frenzy. The military continue to stare blankly at the commotion. Now there are 2 large areas where people hope to get onto a ferry. At this point, no ferry is to be seen.

7:00-7:15am
No one can tell where the boat is going to dock so people start jumping from one line to another.

7:15am
Yay!! The ferry is docking! We run from our current line to the other line and board the large ferry. We are all happy and feeling a sense of relief. People are being ushered onto the ferry like cattle, then further squished into an enclosed area. There are arms, legs, heads, children, and boxes sticking out of the windows. Through the windows you can see everyone piled on top of each other. Because of that, we decide NOT to go into the enclosed area on the ferry. We happily park our bags and ourselves on the outer dock of the ferry and secure a spot.

7:30am
What? They ACTUALLY WANT TO LOAD VEHICLES ONTO THE FERRY? And now they're kicking us off to make room? Reluctantly, we gather our heavy backpacks and run over to the OTHER dock we were lining up at and see that there are 2 small boats being boarded by people.

7:45am
After jumping from one line to another, having Chad write all our names on a clipboard that shows how many people are on the boat, and watching Derek play tug-of-war with his backpack with a local, we FINALLY boarded the small boat. It was cramped. However, it was much better than the large ferry. From our boat, we could see that the large ferry was leaning forward with all the weight of its passengers. By the time we left, the large ferry was still docked and loading more vehicles.

I couldn't tell if people from the large ferry were waving goodbye to us or signalling for help.

Posted by krisses 06:08 Archived in Nicaragua

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