My Forbidden Love Affair With A Dirty Hog

Ometepe Nicaragua Dirtbike Ride

Is This How I Turn You On?

Ometepe, Nicaragua

In only 24 hours I managed to get pulled over by cops, crash my motorcycle, spend a night on the beach, and catch over 20 fish in 10 minutes.

Touring around the small villages of Isla de Ometepe with a rented dirtbike turned out to be quite a little adventure.

It all started when I boarded a ferry at San Jorge and headed across Lake Nicaragua to Isla de Ometepe. The island is formed by two different volcanoes, Concepcion & Maderas. It’s the largest volcanic island surrounded by fresh water in the world.

Within the giant cosmopolitan city of Moyogalpa (pop. 2900), I found just the girl I was looking for. She was fast, cheap, and loved to get dirty.

A small 150cc powered off-road hog who I named Bertha.

It was love at first sight!

Ometepe Nicaragua Cows

Ometepe Traffic Jam

A Secret Mistress

Bertha was a cheap date. I could ride her for 24 hours and it would only cost me $25.

Our goal? Encircle the island on a whirlwind honeymoon tour while getting into as much mischief as we could along the way!

The adventure began by zipping South down the paved road from Moyogalpa and then East along the Southern coast. There was seldom any other traffic, except an occasional slow moving tractor or herd of cows blocking the entire road.

Ometepe’s primary source of income is agriculture & livestock, which means we passed farm after farm of plantain banana trees, and not much else.

Oh yeah, I guess the beautiful volcanoes that framed the landscape around us should be mentioned too.

In the afternoon we pulled off the side of the road to Ojos de Agua, a (cold) natural spring in the middle of the forest. Bertha doesn’t know how to swim, so I cooled off in the refreshing crystal-clear water with some other women while she watched jealously.

She knew the magnetic power she held over me though… I’d come back to her eventually.

Ometepe Nicaragua Police

Officer Manuel Tries to Pull a Fast One!

Trouble With the Law

Back on the road we headed north to the isthmus that divides the two volcanoes, and then East again crossing over to the area around Volcano Maderas. Suddenly, a police officer armed with an automatic rifle walks out into the middle of the street signaling for us to stop.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous.

What did he want? Were we speeding? Had we broken some unknown law?

He asked for our papers. I opened my wallet and handed him my license… but I couldn’t find Bertha’s documents!

Then I remembered I had put them in a separate pocket.

He looked everything over as he walked to the back of the bike…

“¿Dónde está tu placa?” (Where is your license plate?)

DOH!

Ometepe Nicaragua Volcano Evacuation

An Ominous Sign?

Forbidden Love

It seems Bertha and I were engaged in a forbidden relationship. We were traveling together in sin, without proper marriage documents, and that didn’t go over to well in these here parts…

The officer stood in silence looking at my open wallet – I think he wanted a bribe to keep quiet about it!

But then he finally noticed the video camera strapped to my helmet. :)

He smiled for the camera and waved us on.

Ometepe Nicaragua Volcano Sunset

Enjoying a Romantic Sunset Together

Scandalous Relationships

At the dark sands of Santa Domingo Beach, the pavement disappeared. This is when the real fun began! The road got rough, and we powered up steep hills covered with boulders and plunged headlong into creeks that crossed our path.

Motoring through small towns like Santa Cruz & Merida, we waved to friendly locals who passed by on motorcycles, bikes, horses, and on foot.

At one point Bertha and I stopped to watch a lively soccer game, but unfortunately we didn’t go unnoticed. At least 75 people turned to stare at us.

Scandalous inter-racial (inter-mechanical maybe?) relationships such as ours in the midst of these very religious communities will always attract attention!

Ometepe Nicaragua Santa Domingo Beach

Early Morning at Santa Domingo

Camping on the Beach

It was getting late, and I needed to find a place to set up my hammock to spend the night.

We weren’t sure we’d make it to another beach before dark if we continued in the same direction – so we turned around to head back to Playa Santa Domingo, because it looked like an ideal spot to camp.

I had to sleep alone though, because Bertha weighed 300lbs and the hammock would’t support the both of us…

A light rain started falling in the middle of the night (it was the beginning of rainy season after all) and I put up a tarp to keep dry.

Ometepe Nicaragua Fishing Net

Fishing on Lake Nicaragua

Speed Fishing

In the morning we struck out again and reached another beach on the South Eastern corner of the island. I stopped to rest while I watched a woman & some children fishing off the shore with a giant net. It looked like they could use some help.

The woman in charge gave me a big smile, and proceeded to show me what to do. Her and I were going to pull the net in, while the kids swam around unhooking it from snags underwater. This was hard work! Not as easy as I initially thought it would be.

The net was massive, maybe 120 ft (40m) wide and 60 ft (20m) out into the water. But after 10 minutes of straining with all our might, we had pulled in a catch of some 20 or so flopping fish! Screw a fishing rod, I’m using a net from now on. :D

I said goodbye to the family, and continued on with Bertha in order to finish circling the island.

Ometepe Nicaragua Dirt Biking

Is He Checkin’ Out My Woman!?

The Big Crash

Around the little village of Punta Gorda, the road gets pretty rough. I had quite a workout maneuvering my mistress up and down steep sections of trail while winding through boulders. She stalled out on me a few times when I didn’t change gears fast enough…

I was now feeling much more confident in my ability to man-handle her though, so when we approached a calmer section of dirt track I opened her up a bit! My adrenaline level was high as we flew down the rocky road, bouncing around at 30 mph.

But then we hit a soft patch of sand.

I hit the breaks (bad idea) while Bertha’s backside slid out from under me. Luckily I jumped clear so she wouldn’t crush my leg as she crashed to the ground!

We were both a little rattled, but unharmed. :)

After crossing more streams, muddy paths, and paved roads again, we ended our honeymoon excursion back in the town of Moyogalpa; wet, dirty, and exhausted.

Sadly our wild 24 hour love-affair had come to an end. It was time to go our separate ways… But we’ll always have the memories.

Watch Video: Ometepe Dirtbike Adventure

(Click to watch Ometempe Dirtbike Adventure on Vimeo)

More Information

Location: Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua
Company: Hospedaje Central
Cost: $25 US moto rental, $5 US in gas
Useful Notes: Don’t piss off your dirtbike by swimming with other women, or you’re bound to get thrown off! You may have to bargain a bit on the rental price. It also helps if you’ve ridden one before.

Have you ever had a steamy love-affair? Share with us in the comments below!

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Comments & Questions

29 Comments

  1. Maxwell
    July 11, 2014

    Man, I did the same thing with my girlfriend. We rented a bike in Santa Cruz and toured the whole island for like 35$. Best experience of my life.

    Reply
  2. RickK
    March 22, 2014

    Thanks Matt. This brings back memories of 30 plus years ago when I traipsed about West Africa on a bike. NOT a dirt bike though because such things were not available in Nigeria where I was living. After all these years am I up to another such adventure? I would like to think so. I have been interested in Costa Rica and Belize of late but Nicaragua is now pulling me. I was accosted by cops and border guards on SO MANY occasions. Always waited it out though. Today with digital cameras (GoPro!) I would love to re-live the adventurous spirit of my younger days.

    Reply
  3. Craig O
    April 16, 2012

    Matt. Can you tell me which GoPro camera you used for this trip? The outdoor or motorsports edition? Also, do you have any other accessories attached or is that the natural sound through the built-in microphone? I am looking to purchase one and really like the quality of the video in addition to the reviews through the website link you have attached. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    Reply
  4. Patrick
    February 9, 2012

    This is excessively cheesy, and I like it.

    I was never bothered by the Nica cops….the Brazilians, however, love to frisk me! 5 times so far! LOL!

    Keep it up man.

    -MN

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      February 10, 2012

      Thanks Patrick. The officer was actually cool, and I stopped to chat with him on the way back. Think he was just trying his luck.

      Reply
  5. Superxicana
    July 8, 2011

    I loved reading about your adventures in Ometepe, my super favorite place in Nicaragua =)) You really brought me back. Wanna know something funny?? I was also stopped while riding a rented bike, but luckily had all the bike’s paperwork!! I think we ran into the same fishing lady with her children, off a real bad path in Merida right?? A huge dog & his buddies chased us as the sun was setting and scared the hell out of me!!! Luckily no crash involved either hahahaha BTW Yes he was totally checking her out!!! ;)

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      July 8, 2011

      Sounds like it might be the same fishing lady, she was a bit past Merida.

      I met a girl who got bitten by a dog on Ometepe, you were lucky to get away! :)

      Reply
  6. Rodney
    June 16, 2011

    That was a very enjoyable read! :D I don’t know about Central America, but in South America young men on motorcycles normally means trouble; I’m sure the officer was just jealous, though. :D

    Reply
  7. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures
    June 15, 2011

    Sounds like a fabulous love affair to me!

    Reply
  8. The Curmudgeon
    June 15, 2011

    So, 150cc’s gets you excited. You’ve been out too long. Time for a 9-5 desk job. You’ll have to drop the doo rag though, a tie in it’s place. No hammocks, no fishing nets, no beaches. The bike looks like a neat way to get around. Not “Easy Rider” caliber but nice. That’s unusual pavement they have there. I wouldn’t want to meet those critters on a blind curve. Now remember you and little bikes don’t get along sometimes.

    Reply
  9. David @ Quillcards
    June 15, 2011

    Hi Matthew,

    Looks like great fun and a good way to get off the beaten track.

    I hope you used a good old L. American whining, pleading, long drawn out ‘No se’ like the bandido you were. :-)

    I’m looking out for the video!

    Reply
  10. The Travel Chica
    June 11, 2011

    I miss this type of traffic jam. The honking horns in Buenos Aires are a big change from the small towns in Central America.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      June 16, 2011

      I’m actually looking forward to a city experience! Got change it up every now and then. :)

      Reply
  11. Christy @ Ordinary Traveler
    June 10, 2011

    Who would have thought a video camera could get you out of trouble with the law while traveling. Looks like a fun time.

    Reply
  12. Sebastian
    June 10, 2011

    Mate that is an awesome post. I also had a crash due to the wrong gear with the quad on the way up to the waterfall, pretty painful!

    Ometepe is a great place. I loved it there last month!

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      June 10, 2011

      I never made it to the waterfall… how was it? (other than the crash of course)

      Reply
    • Sebastian
      June 10, 2011

      It was great! There wasn’t much water because of dry season but still enough to have swim and it was as refreshing as ojo de agua.

      Reply
  13. Brian Pike
    June 10, 2011

    Matt, you are the greatest human being alive! Keep at it brother.

    Reply
  14. Liv
    June 10, 2011

    Sounds like quite the adventure. And also like Bertha got you into plenty of scrapes! I love the way you document it Matthew.

    Reply
  15. Lori - The Unframed World
    June 10, 2011

    I’m surprised the officer let you go after noticing the video camera. I would have guessed that would make him more annoyed. Great that it worked out though.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      June 10, 2011

      Well technically he never asked for a bribe yet. So he had nothing to worry about…

      I got that photo of him on my way back around, and stopped to chat for a bit. He was a good guy. I heard from a local that working in the military pays $150 US a month. Who knows how much Manuel get’s paid as a cop. Can’t blame him for trying! :)

      Reply
  16. T-roy
    June 9, 2011

    dude you crack me up man! lol Nice though she only costs you $25 for a day, as there is nothing better then riding in a new area I think on your own and just taking left and rights at random.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      June 10, 2011

      Exploring on your own is the best! Especially with a mud-loving machine like Bertha. :)

      Reply
  17. Jaime
    June 9, 2011

    This post made me laugh. I loved how told the sotry and I love that I know everything you are tlaking about on that island. I took a chicken bus all the way to Merida & well yeah that was interesting all on it’s own. I miss Isla de Ometepe, that place so was so relaxed and just awesome. Hell I miss Nicaragua a lot one day I’ll come back to explore some more.

    Reply
    • Matthew Karsten
      June 10, 2011

      I’ll be back in Nicaragua some day as well. One of my favorites so far.

      Reply

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