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    Is This the Isthmus? Tour – Nicaragua Part 4

    Thursday, August 17, 2017
    Museo el Ceibo, Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

    A yellow-washed wall on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A yellow-washed wall on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Horses near Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Horses near Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Around 2:45 pm, I rented a mountain bike from the Hospedaje Soma and pedaled nine kilometers down the cobblestone-covered main road to the southern end of Volcano Concepcion. Hanging a right turn onto a dirt driveway, I cruised for a another kilometer or so past some grazing cattle and horses to the Museo el Ceibo, which is comprised of two buildings: one overflowing with pre-Columbian artifacts culled from the ground on Isla de Ometepe, and the other a history of Nicaraguan currency.

    A picturesque shack on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A picturesque shack on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Pottery on display in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Pottery on display in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    “Isla de Ometepe is famous for its pre-Columbian history. It contains more than 1700 recorded petroglyphs, and is renowned as one of the most significant areas of ancient rock art in the world. Thousands of clay artifacts have also been dug up on the island, of which the Museo el Ceibo has the largest collection available.”

    Display cases full in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Display cases full in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Pottery on display in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Pottery on display in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    After I ponied up the hefty $8.00 entry fee for both of the small, rustic museums, a friendly young guide led me into the main building, flicked on the power switch and spouted out some info on each display in broken English with a sharp accent that was really hard to follow. But, hey, at least it was included with the price of the ticket!

    A hammer (but no arm) on display in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    A hammer (but no arm) on display in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Pottery, stone tools and carvings in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Pottery, stone tools and carvings in Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Passing through a dark entryway that was, oddly enough, decorated with a swirling psychedelic light show, we entered the first floor of the museum containing the Ceramic Hall, which displays hundreds of funeral urns, grindstones, tools and weapons inside funky old display cases. This section was highlighted by a pre-Columbian tomb containing “teeth and bones placed in a ceramic vase, a jade pendant, an animal tooth necklace, an ceramic eagle head tripod and a gold shaman. Hence it is inferred that the remains belong to a very important ancestor.”–Wikipedia

    The currency building at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    The currency building at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Paper currency on display at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Paper currency on display at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Up on the second floor, we checked out the Pottery Hall, which displays “many varieties of pottery and body ornaments, as well as a room thematically dedicated to the position of women in pre-Hispanic society. The 1,500 pieces on display on both floors were found throughout the island by farmers, including others that were held privately as family heritage pieces and later donated to the museum.”–Wikipedia. The origins of the pieces range in time from 3000 BC to around 1500 AD.

    Coins and photos on display at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Coins and photos on display at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Paper currency on display at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Paper currency on display at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Exiting the building, we made our way over to another smaller building, in which the guide led me through an exhibition of currencies used throughout Nicaraguan history, from gold and cacao to bills and coins as we know them today. The exhibition is arranged as a timeline, ranging from the pre-Columbian era to the present, and also includes photos of Nicaraguan presidents, newspaper coverage of the museum, and enlargements of paper currency. If you really want to get a good look at the coins, though, you should bring a bright flashlight and a magnifying glass, as the light is not super bright inside the building.

    Cute overload at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Cute overload at Museo el Ceibo on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Veggie enchiladas at El Picante in Moyogalpa on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.
    Veggie enchiladas at El Picante in Moyogalpa on Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua.

    Words and photos ©2017 Arcane Candy.

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