Arriving at (Big) Corn Island
Corn Island Travel Blog› entry 11 of 14 › view all entries
We arrived at the Corn Island Pier and there are lots of taxi drivers waiting to pick people up. We make eye contact with one and we have found our driver. He seems to have a helper who helps carry our bags and after they carry them over to the taxi the helper expects a tip. I empty out my pockets of change and give it to him. He waits to see if I have any more to make sure he gets himself a good tip. Taxi rides are $1 per person for anywhere on the island. That makes bargaining irrelevant so there is no need to worry about getting the best deal. Our hotel is just a short ways away but it is definately worthwhile to get a taxi there as it is hot and humid. On the taxi ride we see that the town is a bit rustic and there area quite a few little tiendas spread throughout the town.
We get to our hotel, the Paraiso Beach Hotel , and check in. We find out that they don't have our deluxe room that we had requested. But they do have a room with air conditioning that they can give us. It seems to be a trend in Nicaragua that don't seem to be able to get the room that you make a reservation for. I guess this makes it easier to fill up the hotel if you promise somone they can get the room they are looking for. The room is pretty much cavelike with no glass windows, just screens and wooden shutters. So to keep your room cool with the air conditioning you need to keep the wooden shutters closed. The website made it look a lot more pleasant.
We had heard a few things about Corn Island about how people are always trying to take advantage of you. How someone might follow you into a bar or restaurant and scam you or maybe slip something into your drink. Lonely Planet (Travel Guide) mentioned a few scary things too about having to be careful. Julie was taking these suggestions to heart and started off with a negative attitude about the place so we were being cautious with what we did.
The restaurant/bar seemed like a pretty nice place to hang out. They have a computer on the counter they let the guests use with free internet access for guests. The restaurant is called the Buccaneer and has a pretty extensive menu, but it is a little over priced. The owner of the hotel and restaurant is from Holland and he has made an upscale menu with lots of variety. The grounds of the hotel are pretty nice with trees and hammocks and lounge chairs spread throughout the grounds. The hotel is double (or triple) cottage style for the cabins, they look nice from the outside but inside they seem a little gloomy.
We took a walk down the beach towards town to check it out. There are a couple of basic cabin places to stay on the beach along the way. We notice a couple of boys on the beach hacking at a nurse shark on the beach with a machete. We go over to seee what they are doing and it looks like they are trying to get the hook out of it. The boy was out fishing in a kayak and he caught the nurse shark and now he just wants to get the hook out of it. Hooks must be hard to come by here if they are going to as much trouble as they are.
For dinner we go to the restaurant in the hotel, the Buccaneer . We get a nice meal but it is a little spendy but quite good (check out the review below) The atmosphere is quite pleasant in the restaurant and the hotel owner is quite the entertainer to some of his local friends. A couple of local boys come and get some food at the bar. Not sure how they can afford to eat here but maybe we don't want to know.
After dinner we go back to the room and the power is back on. Julie takes a shower and while she is in the shower a big rat (or something) runs across the thin ceiling roof of the room. I think Julie heard it while she was in the shower but she didn't want to admit it. We sleep with the air conditioner on at night to try to keep it cooler in the room. It is a rough night in the room and we hear a few more rats running across the roof and there is always the thought that one might run across our bed at night too.