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Little Corn Island - Nicaragua

On our way!!!

Oh hi!!! Glad you decided to join us on our trip to Little Corn Island - Nicaragua, a teeny island built with nothing but popcorn, cornflakes and corn syrup. You think I'm kidding?? Well of course I am. The island has absolutely nothing to do with Corn. It used to serve as a replenishing stop for boats and was informaly called Isla de Carne (Meat island) but something got lost in translation and Carne became Corn and still is despite the fact that corn has been banned for over 50 years by it's residents who were sick of all the Corn questions. (ok, I'm totally kidding again about the ban)
Enough about the very pertinent (half made up) facts. Our home for 9 nights will be Little Corn Beach and Bungalow where the electricity shuts off 8 hours per day, windows are literally chicken wire and there is no real flooring. It sounds bad but it's actually pretty cute. Back to basics. It's a bit like going to the Caribbean in the 1960's. Sounds like the perfect place to disconnect and recharge the batteries. Our itinerary takes us from Boston to Houston; to Managua - Nicaragua's capital where we will spend a night; then a charter plane from Managua to Big Corn Island and finally a Panga boat to take us to Little Corn Island.
Now let's talk about the real things. The fact that my melanin challenged ghostly white arse would scare our Nicaragian hosts. David pretty much puts a foot on an island and his skin turns dark. 1 second he's David, the one after he's Carrrlosss. So in order for me to avoid being a slightly curvy white glowing stick in a bikini, I decided to get maself a spray tan. Last night: looked great, but after sleeping 4 hours straight with my unsprayed palm on my sprayed belly, I woke up like this!!
A bottle of acetone, a scrubbing pad and 2 dried up hands later, it looks almost normal. Nah... It really doesn't. Lol! But who cares? VACATION!!! So now sitting in first class with my economy class hand tan and David's wet croach (let's blame the turbulence and not his twitching hand while sleeping, for the half full glass of water landing on his lap) we totally fit in with the fancy people at the head of the plane. Haha! Is it weird that one of my favorite part of being first class is that they give you warm nuts while you wait for your food? Of course free alcohol and the extra leg space is great but there's just something about those fancy warm nuts (yes, i heard how it sounded while typing it, but who cares? VACATION!!!)

A very wise person once told me I was using my "blog humor" as I was making very silly/dumb jokes. I didnt realize how true it was until I just read what I just wrote. So please stay tuned for more bad blog humor and to virtually travel with us - IF we can get a connection on our popcorn island.

Posted by Rattrays 14:32 Comments (0)

Managua and wait and wait

And wait...

Managua, the city of giant LiteBrite trees. Remember that toy? These 30-40 foot tall bright trees are all across the city.  (Sorry about the blurry cab picture)
The rides between the airport and our hotel was.... educative. Nicaraguan driver's version of "Bitch! Move!" when a light turns green is to high beam the distracted sucker for about a minute. Same goes if you're too slow or just... there. It's a hot trigger let me tell ya! Red lights are also used more as decorative accessories. Slow down- don't see a car? Go. Slow down- there's a car coming but he's smaller than you? Go. No wonder all the pharmacies have a big sign for aka seltzer above their doors.
Take a look at the airport sign above. See anything a little peculiar? Look at the very first item.. see it?
Did you pack your bags yourself sir? Any firearms, hand grenades or worst: pickles? Yeah... pickles are dangerous in Nicaragua. Moving along...
The plane from Managua to Big Corn island was one of those open cabin 12 seaters. Yes, the ones that feel like an 8.4 earthquake with every bit of turbulence. David sits there looking out the window pointing out different landscapes to me while my brain is silently struggling between the phrases: "This is how I'm gonna die" and "Keep it together Henry!"
But hey, we are still alive and almost made it to our final destination. ALMOST. Until we were told that no Panga boats were leaving the island because of bad weather. Hmm.. bad weather for what? A bottled ecosystem? The breeze was not even enough to keep us cool and the sea was calm as far as we could see. Sooo what we learned from a "local" guy from British Columbia is that there was a big Panga incident about 3 weeks back. It was BAD. The weather was rough so Pangas were not running that day but a group convinced a private crew to take them anyways not to miss their flight. The Panga capsized. 13 people drowned. I won't tell the whole story here because it includes the Nicaraguan Navy getting caught with their pants down but the word is that now some guy from Managua (which is on the Pacific side) decides if the Pangas leave or noT and it's more about power and not the weather anymore.
Anywho..we were (UN)lucky enough to start talking to 2 couples who had convinced a fishermen to take us to LCI. Departure was set for 10, then noon, then 2pm, then 4:30, then 5:30, then... never. Sooo instead of getting a hotel on Big Corn and enjoy our day here we waited for 11 hours at the warf. Yep lost a whole day for trying to go against the flow. Lesson learned. 6 o'clock rolled around and we booked a room at - funny enough -
Pretty nice hotel right on the water.
A good night of sleep later and we were on a Panga at 9:30 am en route for LCI. And man!! That 6 miles ride was ROUGH. Not sure if I passed out and ended up overboard at one point or if we just got wet from the boat ride but all 40 of us were completely soaked. But we're here now, checked in and are ready to start exploring the island.
So now, our vacation really begins...

Posted by Rattrays 11:30 Comments (1)

Little corn island

A little exploring

Little Corn with no corn island. The simple life. We jumped off of our Panga shower to be welcomed by a dozen guys waiting to take us to our specific hotels. We hopped in our stretch limo and off to our bungalow. Their limos are much nicer then ours in the USA/Canada. They have no chauffeur, no stearing wheels, no motors and no wheels. In fact, there is not 1 car on the island. You just take your little footsies to walk across the island and let the wonders of nature sink in. The guys showing us the way are also the guys pushing a 2 wheel cart with all our luggage. A 10 minute walk across the island on a little dirt path through little shacks where locals live.
And here we are, our home for the next 8 nights. We were surprised by the luxury of the bungalows. Yes, the windows are chicken wires
and the floors can let in some prettttyy big bugs...
But the room itself? Pretty shnazzy.
There's even a bed in the loft for when David starts snoring too loud.
First things first. Take the wet clothes off and change into something that covers much less of our bodies. Ok, now we're officially on a beach vacation. Now the beach. Hmmm... What beach? There's a couple of little sandy spots in front of the bungalows but it's nothing like the beautiful beach that was once complimenting this quaint resort. The erosion that hit this place in the past few years is eating away much of its beauty. The resort is on the windy side of island which has its pros and cons. For one, as much as I like the sun kissing my skin, a love having a nice breeze caressing it at the same time. Also the water has much nicer colors on this side of the island. The cons: the water is always choppy which means we dont feel comfortable swimming very far so the snorkeling is out of the question from the beach.
So windy side:
Non windy side:
Windy side:
Take your pick
We laid on a little sandy spot for to fill up on vitamin D then went to explore our surroundings until it was nap time for my 42 year old toddler. I put him down for a little nap on a hammock in front of our bungalow and went out to explore a bit more.
That's when it hit me as it usually does when we travel. We're doing it all wrong at home. The locals, they work hard but still have a smile on their faces. They spend time with their family and friends. They enjoy the beach and cultivate the land, eat the fish they caught in the morning. They don't have much but they have enough...
And then you have us, the money hungry, materialist, narcissistic, wasteful societies. A bunch of zombies with their noses on their cellphones, trying to find validation through social media, with non-sense statuses that pushes us to buy brand clothes, the latest gadgets, the big fancy cars. Zombies fed all kind of crap from tv trying to control our behaviors. I mean, wouldn't we be happier with a much simpler life? But this is a travel blog so I'm obviously digressing... By a lot.
Let's talk about the food at LCI beach and bungalows because I can't do a blog without talking about one of the best parts of life. We had read that it was excellent and we're not disappointed. The fish and lobster. Ahhhhh fresh like it is back home in the Gaspe peninsula. Lobster tacos for lunch? Yes please!! We'll worry about burning those calories later. Even the non fish eating Nova-Scotian is very satisfied with his meals. And the Pina Colada. Oh. My. Coconut. THE BEST in the world... And we had our share of those in about 15 different Countries. We're self proclaimed Pina Colada connoisseurs. It's almost worth coming to LCI just to drink those.
The evening was cut short by our snores starting at around 9pm until the cock-a-doodle-doo concert at 5:30 am. There must have been 10 roosters taking turns for about 30 minutes. Of course we both fell back asleep - because 8.5 hours of sleep was just not enough (?????) The staff brought a full pot of freshly brewed coffee to our deck around 6:45 and that coffee, drank in a beach chair looking over the water, THE best coffee experience we had in a long time.
The sky opened to downpoors during breakfast but suddenly stopped so we ventured on a complete tour of the island. If you hear somewhere that you can walk around the island, don't believe it, we tried. Maybe at one point it was feasable but with all that erosion, there are big cliffs everywhere and huge rocks getting pounded by violent waves. In about 3 hours, we walked around most of the island through paths.
The rest of the day was spent hiding from the rain, and David smoking a cigar while I was spending some wonderful time swaying in a hammock.
We had dinner with this awesome couple from Ohio who were on the panga with us the day before. Such interesting people who love traveling just as much as we do.
This morning went from yoga spiritual bliss to not so blissful in a matter of hours. We went for a snorkeling trip in the choppy seas, didn't see many fish but 3 nurse sharks and a 6 foot sting ray - biggest we've seen so far in all our dives and snorkeling adventures. And somewhere between the 2-3 feet swells rocking us in the water I started feeling my skin turning slightly green and then, here I was, feeding by breakfast to the fishies.... Time for a little rest on the beach.

Posted by Rattrays 14:27 Comments (0)

Little Corn...

Big Beauty

This place... The perfect place to disconnect from the world. I woke up as they delivered our morning coffee on our deck at 6:30 and sat quietly sipping my coffee, while listening to the waves crashing on the shore.
Then off I went for a stroll down the beach, watching birds snacking on residue left from the waves with the sun slowly rising higher in the sky. Not a soul around. Just me and nature. Perfectly and intoxicatingly peaceful. 
Back at the bungalow, David was sleeping in while i was having a light breakfast before going to Yoga.  LCI beach & bungalow offers yoga in a little studio wedged between the bungalows and the jungle.  
Even if you don't stay here during your vacation, make sure to stop and see if "Lady" is here to teach yoga. Lady, aka Laurie who is originally from NYC is by far the most knowledgeable yoga instructor I've ever praticed with. However, she is definitely more NYC/LA buzz then LCI bliss. Also A+ on pratice but a definite "needs improvement" on oral.  It went something a little like this. "Bring your knees closer to your... Oh!! I have the same heart monitor as yours.. I used to wear a fitbit but i didnt like it. Anyways.. Bring your knees closer to your forehead like you're a big clam. Clam. Clam. Clam is such a fun word to say. Clam." But I guess it is. Say it a few times, it's kind of fun.
After yoga, both of us had a massage booked, because?? Oh yeah! It was my birthday!! 30something with a much older soul, a much younger heart and a body right smack in the middle of that. As badass as Lady is at yoga, I recommend seeing anyone else for a massage. I mean the lanscaper, the maid, that random tourist on the beach. Anyone. 

After getting softly petted for an hour, we decided to venture south of our resort to casa iguana which offers deliciously cheap drinks, decent food, service with a smile and one of the best views of the island. 
Back at the B&B, I attempted to paddleboard which was a complete splash... That wind. It makes for such crazy waves. I wiped out HARD about 4 times before abandonning my workout mission and joined David on the beach.
Dinner was at the turned turtle restaurant at LCI B&B again as we went for the RADDdeal for our stay which offers a partial all inclusive. The food, again is delicious and you absolutely cannot beat the service. The staff is fantastic. Every single one of them is as sweet as peaches! 
Another gorgeous day and believe it or not, the wind was much calmer. We pigged out on the best (but also the only) coconut french toast we've ever had 
before going all the way up the east side of the island to the most upscale resort of the island.  The walk there is a bit treacherous with a steep little cliff with big rocks penetrating the sole of your feet while you're trying to keep your balance. But the rest of the way is nothing else but gorgeous and the view from up there is worth the trip. 
I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Yemaya is by far the nicest hotel, beach and view of the whole island but take your wallet out as it is much much more expensive than all the other places on Little corn. Most places serve drinks for $4-$6 each and half that price during happy hours. Yemaya cost us $26 for those same 2 drinks. Let's just say the extra $14-$18 was a cover charge for the view. 
I wonder if they have coachroches there too. Yep. We're at roach #3 at our bungalow. Can I tell you how little I would sleep without our unpenatrable bed mosquito net??? LCI, not for the faint of heart.  Great place for backpackers who are not scared of big bugs though. For $30 per night, you can have a very rustic roof over your head and a bed to sleep on. No mosquito nets at those places though.
In the afternoon we went all the way across and north of the island to see the lighthouse. Humm.. My definition of a lighthouse: (that's in my home town)
Their definition of a lighthouse:
We heard the 360 degree view of the island from up there is unbelievable. And we believe what we heard but feel free to come confirm this statement yourself because yours truly here...no way she's getting up that rusty ladder.  David declined as well.

For dinner, I was surprised with a birthday cake. I did have candles on last night's dessert 
(Yes, those are darth vader candles. Yes I am a big nerd and my husband has come to accept it)
but they actually had baked a full size cake for my birthday but hadn't had time to decorate it. Fine with me. All this meant is, i didn't only get 1 birthday cake, I got 2 scrumptious cakes. Bring the biggest spoon you can find for this little lady por favor!! 
Big day of sleeping in today. 7:30 am and we're just trying to unglue our eyeballs. I went for yoga again to try and burn off some of last night's cake and then spent the rest of the morning either lounging on the beach (David) or walking up and down the beach (moi).
David spent the whole afternoon with Captain Chris trying to catch our dinner. No such luck. Although he had a great afternoon on the boat, someone must have tipped off the fish about their whereabouts. 
For dinner, we were recommended by 4 different couples to try Desedero, an italian restaurent on the westside of the island. So we walked across the pitch dark island (BYOF or bring your own flashlight) in hopes of a good Italian meal and were not disappointed. The waitress, cute as a button, was spunky and flirty. We had such fun with her. 

The West side of the island is a little bit busier than our side with more bars and restaurent. Despite that fact, the're is not much happening on the island after 9pm.

Posted by Rattrays 07:52 Comments (1)

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