Corn Island, Nicaragua: Arriving at big Corn Island.
........................ The flight leaves Managua and goes over the mainland and over Lake Nicaragua with some pretty bland and bleak looking scenery below. The plane stops in the coastal town of Bluefields to drop off a few passengers and then continues on to Corn Island. Once landed on Corn Island we walk off the plane where it has just thunderstormed and it is a warm, wet and sultry afernoon. They carry the bags off the plane one at a time and you claim you bag with your baggage claim stub. A taxi driver has urged us to use his taxi so we are set up wtih a taxi driver.
Corn Island, Nicaragua: The water taxi ponga boat to Little Corn Island.
Taxis are a standard rate of one dollar, per person, for the whole island so there is no haggling over a price. They do try to fill up the taxi with other riders though. We are headed for the water taxi pier which is only about a 5 minute ride in the taxi. The island is small so nowhere is very long of a ride. At the pier there is a gate and there are two very suspicious looking guys asking us to pay a port tax. They don't seem very official but we pay them the 12 cents anyway. We have a little time to wait for the boat and enjoy hanging out on the pier. The boat is a medium sized open boat where you can pack about 4 people across and there area about 6 rows of seats. Eventualy it is time to get on the boat.
The boat ride to Little Corn Island, Nicaragua.
Once everyone is on the boat they start collecting the $7 fare for the ride. Using local currency is not necessary, but they usually act like they area complaining, and sometimes you have to wait for them to get enough change to break your bills. Heading out we find that it is a little rough today with waves that the boat smacks down hard onto, so you have to hold on tight and enjoy the ride. The weather is beautiful just after the thunderstormy weather and the skies are colorful. It is only about a half hour ride over to Little Corn Island. Once there a boy from our "hotel" is there to help us cart our bags to the "hotel". We area staying at Casa Iguana which is on the other corner of the island but still only about a 15 minute walk.
Once everyone is off the boat and we have our bags on the way another person from the hotel greets us and guides us back to the hotel.
Little Corn Island, Nicaragua: The sidewalk main street of town.
Along the way he gives us a little tour of what is going on on the island. The vibe on the island is relaxed and it looks like we have chosen a great place for our weeklong getaway. The "streets" are a cement sidewalk where there are houses and shops and restaurants just off the sidewalk. A lot of the houses serve as the stores and restaurants. The locals are black carribeans and they speak spanish and some english so you can usually get things figured out easy enough. We arrive at Casa Iguana and are given a little orientation tour of how things work here like when meals area served and where everything is. We settle into our cute little plywood cabana and have dinner at the lodge at the hotel. There is one big eating room in the lodge and a deck looking out at the reef.
Little COrn Island, Nicaragua: Arriving at Casa Iguana
The bar serves great mixed drinks and the local beer. The tables are big and you get to sit with other people. The crew from the local dive shop sits down with us and we get to talk to them. (the owner of the Casa Iguana also owns the dive shop and they can get meals here as part of their pay) I am going to be getting part of my dive certrification done here so this is a perfect opportunity to ask them a few questions. Dinner is great, the meals here are one menu for everyone served by the plate and cooked by the manager who went to a prestigious cooking school in the United States. Tonight was a meat over garlic mashed potatoes and a hearts of palm salad, very tasty. Dessert was chocolate pudding. After dinner, before bedtime, we went out and took a walk along the beach to see the beach. It was after dark by now and there are not many lights out here on the beach, but we had the dogs that live around Casa Iguana guiding us the whole way and back. This was the first of many dog guided excursions. Back at the cabin we settled in for the night with the surf crashing on the reef and breeze keeping us cool.