â€œLook what the windâ€™s brought in!â€� joked one of the oil-stained dockworkers as we approached the ferry to Ometepe. Motor purring idle, ropes disentangled from its moors, our boat seemed to have been anxiously awaiting our arrival to venture out upon a turbulent Lake Nicaragua. Such was the volatile temperament of the lake that I felt that I was facing a storm stirred ocean rather than the land locked body of fresh water.
As the boat began to pull away from land, the few tourists remaining on the observation deck rushed into the passenger saloon. Water gushed in after them threatening to flood the cabin, but the deck hands followed close behind to brace the doors against the stormy waves.
Despite the splashed and misty side windows it was impossible not to be fixated in awe at Volcan la Conception, whose tapering form towered towards the heavens. It was the earthâ€™s mighty bosom that appeared to heave and swell as if undergoing dramatic transformation (an impression most likely caused by the erratic swaying of the boat, but which I romantically attributed to its inner volatility. La Conception, after all, had erupted in both 2005 and 2007). Growing in immensity by the minute, I was convinced that by the time the boat reached its destination the volcano would blot out the whole sky.