My alarm goes off, and again, and again, and again. My eyes don’t want to open. It’s 5.30 in the morning, that’s a pretty decent time to get up, but my body doesn’t want to. It’s tired of all the training of the last few weeks. I have acupuncture at 8 o’clock at PURE Spa, so a quick shower and I have one hour of yoga and one hour of meditation before Ruth will stick needles in me. Last night those two hours of yoga felt as a good idea, as an easy start of my day. This morning it doesn’t. I look at my alarm clock again. Will I be nice to myself?
My hand shuts of the alarm, giving me 5 more minutes to snooze. Before they are over, I have reset the alarm at 7.20. An hour of meditation sounds nice, I’ll skip the yoga. I have a big AcroYoga weekend ahead. Rest sounds like a good option.
Two hours later I get up again, gather my clothes to put in the washing machine, jump into my shorts, grab my towel to take a shower and head for the door of my room. Before I reach it, somebody is knocking. Hard. The knocking is followed by a shocked voice: ‘John, John, are you awake, you have to teach!’ I look at my alarm again. Teach? I’m not teaching the first class this morning and even if I am, that one only starts at 8.
I open the door and look into the restless eyes of Alfonso. In my best Spanish I explain that it’s only 7.30, so I can take over the class, but I still have half an hour. He shakes his head. ‘Jicaro, you have to go and teach at Jicaro. The boat is waiting for you.’ I shake my head. ‘No I don’t. They asked for a yoga teacher this morning, but they haven’t confirmed.’ He walks off. Within a minute he’s back. ‘They have, did nobody tell you?’ I shake my head again. ‘Nope, front desk was going to let me know if I had to go. They came by twice to ask me about a private tomorrow night, but no confirmation.’
Three minutes later I’m in the car. A deo shower, that’s it this morning. No time for more. It’s 7.30 by now, the time the boat leaves. Orlando races through the streets of Granada, honking to everybody he knows. When we enter the harbour his phones rings impatiently. He shouts something in it, parks his car and points to a little boat, full of staff, waiting for me. A big looking boss in front, even bigger headphones on – hurries the driver to speed up. For me he doesn’t have to. It’s my first time on this part of Lake Nicaragua, my first time around the Isletas; the little islands in the lake. They were formed thousands of years ago, when the Mombacho Volcano erupted. Enormous rocks were thrown into Lake Nicaragua by the volcano, forming 365 little islands in front of Granada. They differ in size between a hundred square meters and over one hundred hectares.
Around 1200 people live on the islets; mostly fishermen. Other islands accommodate hotels or are privately owned. Some are uninhabited and the domain of birds. Among them: cormorants, herons, parrots, hawks, vultures, and many other birds. The lake itself is the habitat of a sweet water shark, who once swom up the river and adapted to the fresh water. Too bad it is nowadays threatened with extinction.
The people in the boat have seen it over and over again and chat away. I get quiet of seeing so much beauty around me. I heard a lot about the Granada Isletas of Lake Nicaragua. It’s one of the most popular tours around. I skipped it up until now, living on a tight budget. And now I don’t have to do it anymore. This is my tour.
The tour get’s even better when we arrive at Jicaro Island Ecolodge. Luxury wherever I look. And the best spot of the island, with a view of the Mombacho Volcano across the lake is this morning for me. This is the place where I’m suppose to teach yoga: on a platform above the lake, looking over all the islands, listening to the birds.
When the class is done and my happy students are gone to eat their breakfast I stay a little longer on the platform, staring at the lake. I have been teaching at some incredible spots this journey, but this one comes with ease in my top 3. Eight months ago, when I started this journey I had no clue where I got myself into this time. By now I am very grateful that I left ‘safety’ behind me and jumped into the unknown, because I’m living the life I dreamed of for a long time.