Relax, eat, swim, relax, eat, sleep, eat, relax...

Trip Start Apr 21, 2010
Trip End Jun 29, 2010

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Where I stayed
Little Corn Beach and Bungalo

Flag of Nicaragua  , Corn Islands,
Friday, April 30, 2010

Wow. What a piece of heaven. It takes a lot of work to get to, but it is definitely worth the effort.

We set off for Little Corn from San Carlos, where we boarded a bus to Juigalpa. After a seven hour, very bumpy bus ride, we arrived in Juigalpa, spent the night there, then took a 5 hour bus to El Rama in the morning. We then boarded a boat to take us downriver to Bluefields, which was a two hour trip. We spent the night in Bluefields and went first thing to the airport to catch a little plane to Big Corn Island.

We were told that the plane was full but that we could catch the next one at 3 PM. Dissapointed, we went back to Bluefields to pass the time. When we went back at 1 30, they told us to wait until 2 to check in. Then at 2 they told us to wait until 2 30. Turns out they had taken 30 reservations for a plane that holds 12 people, and they were waiting for the people ahead of us to not show up before they could give us the seats. Of course, they had failed to mention this in the morning when we made the reservations. In the end, she either got really annoyed with my persistence or alot of people didnt end up showing up, because in the end we got on the 3 oclock plane. Unfortunately, the plane was about 2.5 hours delayed. Of course, nobody told us anything, nor did the staff or other passengers seem to notice that large delay.

That is one thing that is VERY different for us here. Nobody rushes, everything leaves late, food take FOREVER to cook, and nobody seems to notice or care. Of course we are so used to the North American rush rush that we still rush to meet that 8 oclock bus or boat, even though we are learning that nothing leaves on time and everything takes an hour longer than they say it will take. Also getting directions here is rather frustrating and hilarious at the same time. When I ask someone where something is, they almost always point and say "alla", which means "over there". When I ask specifically, which building, which bus, how many blocks exactly, or do we go straight or turn a corner (in Spanish), they give me a somewhat exasperated look, point again and repeat "alla", as if to say, "I just told you, its over there, what more do you want?". Hahah so we wander in the general direction they were pointing in and then ask someone else a block down, who inevitably does the same thing, until we find someone who points to the building next to them, and then we know.

Anyways, we finally arrived on Big Corn Island after a 20 minute flight. We went to take the boat over to Little Corn Island, but it had left at 4 30. So we stayed the night on Big Corn in the oldest Hospidaje on the island, which was run by this 200 year old woman and her husband and was quite "rustic"... But it was cheap and close to the dock so we sucked it up. We were hungry so we stopped in this little restaurant which Jason thought looked sketchy but I said, well its no more sketchy than anywhere else (restaurants here are just as run down and bug infested as every other building). So we nervously ordered a popular snack, which is fried banana and flour mini pancake things and local hard cheese that kind of tastes like feta. And of course two tonas (the domestic beer). The food took about an hour, and we were the only people in there (which is actually super common here, we are almost always the only customers). We ate quickly and returned to the hotel, where we promptly began feeling the tell-tale symptoms of food poisoning.

After a long and sleepless night, we headed to the dock to catch a boat to Little Corn Island on my birthday. The boat ride over was VERY rough (we are talking about completely open ocean here), Jason got drenched since we apparently sat in the gringo seats (no one else on the boat got wet). Needless to say, the 30 minute ride did not do wonders for our still-recovering stomachs.

We arrived on Little Corn and were met by a local boy who was sent by our hotel to pick us up. Despite our protests, he lugged BOTH of our backpacks (a combined 65 pounds) on the 20 minute walk to the hotel, which was gorgeous... About 6 casitas (little houses) about 50 feet from the water right on the beach under palm trees. You could see the beautiful multi-colored water from our bed, and we slept with both doors open since there was a continuous ocean breeze.

The first day we explored the island, which despite the 6 or so other hotels on the beach, seemed to be fairly deserted. It would take about 3 hours to walk around the whole thing, which you cant do because of the cliffs on the north and south ends. The town was on the west side of the island, which doesnt get any breeze and is sandy. The east side of the island was where all the hotels (collection of beach huts) were, and it gets a wonderful continuous westerly wind that keeps the bugs and heat at bay. There is a coral reef of the east side and lots of seeweed. You can see exactly where the rocks, seaweed, and sand are because the water is multi-colored. The sands parts are light aqua blue, the seeweed parts are greeny blue and the rocky parts are darker, deeper blue. We learned the hard way that it doesnt take long to burn here (about 15 minutes with SPF 30 sunblock) so we limited our tanning time to once a day for 30 minutes...

Our was the nicest hotel on the island, which was a splurge of 56 dollars a night on account of my birthday week! The food was pretty good, and we had almost the whole beach to ourselves, and there is plenty of beach! The ocean water is like bath water it was so warm! We spent alot of time reading (I have just started my fourth book of the trip), eating, and playing board games. We went snorkeling one day and saw nurse sharks, pirate fish, little tropical fish, and Jason saw a huge puffer fish. The hour spent face down in the crystal clear water turned our back sides a deep hue of red despite the sunblock and it hurt to sit down for a few days!! We also went fishing with Elvis, but got totally skunked, but he left us with some delicious mangos and coconuts from his moms yard! For my birthday dinner (on the 3rd after we recovered from the food poisoning), Jason took me to Casa Iguana which is run by a former big time American chef. We had a three course meal consisting of a mediterranean salad, red snapper in basil lime pepper pesto, and real chocolate pudding. It was delicious and cost about 20 dollar each, including drinks.

All in all, a true unspoiled paradise on earth, but not a whole lot to do unless you have a ton of money or truly enjoy just relaxing all day every day.


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