Corn Islands

Trip Start Sep 28, 2009
Trip End May 02, 2010

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Flag of Nicaragua  , Región Autónoma Atlántico Sur,
Sunday, February 7, 2010

John was enchanted by the history and tough/rough reputation of Bluefields, but also wanted to see the superbowl that evening, so had decided to stay there that night. A couple of hours checking out the town & hotels had decided me - I would fly to Corn Islands that afternoon - I know, internal flights are against my religion, but with only one boat a week and return flights only $100, after my bumpy 4 hour boat ride that morning, it was time to break my rules.

The tiny little plane gave great views of Bluefields, definitely the best way to see it, and up the coast to Pearl Lagoon & across to Great Corn Island, which sadly was not that good close up. Had originally intended to spend the first and last nights there, but having checked out 3 hotels in town that were hugely overpriced & not nice, decided to get on the next boat out.

Made it with seconds to spare I thought, until I found out the 4pm boat nearly always leaves late - it gave me the chance to get to know John & Judy, a Canadian couple.

Was about 5.45 & getting dark when finally got to Little Corn, so fought off the touts and went to a cheap place in town - Sunshine, looks nice from outside & rooms are smart though I felt dirty just looking at the kitchen! Couldn't find anywhere that appealed for dinner so ended up with some Pringles - guess Sunday is everyone's day off!

Relocated the following morning to the East side of the island where there are some lovely rustic cabanas right on the beach - chose Cool Spot as full of character & the cabanas had their own bathrooms & shady porches with hammocks. That side of the island is blessed with good breezes and some reasonable snorkelling too.

Chris, a Canadian lady who'd been there several weeks, was kind enough to show me the ropes i.e. where to get good coffee, free drinking water, best restaurants etc. We'd often meet for 7am coffee and later for sunset beers on the other side. Sam, an English girl my age, often came for a beer and a good lobster dinner - it's only $2 extra than meat or chicken - no contest! Often had coffee with John & Judy and they were kind enough to share their rum & coke over sunset one night. The great place and people I met, meant I had a fun, sociable time and ended up staying longer than expected.

The diving was very average the first day when I went to Yellowtail hoping to dive with dolphins - they did not appear! Things improved significantly at Tarpon Channel where I saw my first hammerhead shark - a massive mother! There were apparently 2 smaller ones too but I missed them for some reason. A couple of flights of eagle rays swam over too and then on the way back to base we saw dolphins so all hopped into the water but they did not want to come & play.

Returned to the same site the next day but the divemaster wanted us to sit on the bottom & wait for the hammerheads to come to us - hence we all saw the 3 hammerheads but only from a huge distance, just murky silhouettes above us. Decided to call it a day on the diving after that.

Did a great little loop walk up to the north of the island passing by many idyllically located local places and rustic tourist complexes - glad I had not chosen to stay up there as very little inclination to make the long inland trek into town or leave the hammock as the beaches were sandfly havens. Did snorkel off Peace & Love and had some great squid & turtle interactions - lights & colour changing and offensive posturing from the former and the young turtle came up within 6" of me to check me out, circling and surfacing - I was just hanging on the surface letting the current move me - maybe it thought I was it's mother or dead, but certainly very curious.

Went to Rosa's for my first Rondon - had been dying to try it for months, so expectations were high for this tasty fish, lobster, onion, carrot, plantain in a stew of coconut milk - scrummy!
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