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Published: January 12th 2016
Happy New Year to all our readers! Here is it, the first venture of Tiffany and Leslie in Central America...and a pretty long trip to reach Little Corn Island, on the Caribbean side of Nicaragua.
We left LAX just before midnight on United, direction Houston....3 hours flight, 4 hours transfer, and 3 more hours flight to Managua. In Managua, we transfer to La Costena, the domestic airline for our flight to Corn Island. There is Corn Island, and Little Corn Island. Big Corn is 47 miles out of the coast of Nicaragua....and Little Corn is just few miles of that. Our domestic flight is just 2 hours delayed. I was scared of the extra bags issues...we had the right for 14kg per person...and we were clearly over, traveling with not only diving gears, but skiing gear too! They ended being pretty cool with our carry-ons. So no extra charge there. Big Corn is not that big, but at least they have a runway...on which you see kids riding bicycles...and even people taking nap on the tarmac...
From the airport, we transfer on the little taxi for the 5 minutes ride to the pier. Just on
time to find out that the last transfer for Little Corn didn't wait for us....stranding a good 20 of us on the main island. A bunch of young Canadians, slightly intoxicated, decided to charter a panga, a local basic boat, to reach Little Corn after sunset. This is a ride in a boat with a single engine, no life jacket, no radio or phone connection....by night! I was not going to risk my life or the one my kids. They went...and aborted their attempt 20 minutes in the ride as one girl was panicking big time due to the waves. Just a 200usd waste of money!
We had the first run at the rooms available in the little harbour. First place was a dump....no thanks, next one was more than clean, and 40usd for top high season will not kill us. We had a dinner of fried rice and seafood...and had our first langosta of a long serie to come...and I tried my first local beer! Nicaragua as you can guess is not know as a wine production country, here it is beer...and rum....and a pretty good rum at it!
Next morning, crowded pier,
we got our 5usd ticket one-way for the ride. It does take 15 to 20 minutes when the sea is flat...today we had waves easily over 2 meters high. It was a very wet ride, should I say a scary one at some point? Seeing the panga riding a huge single wave is always a little impresive. We made it, in just over 45 minutes! Soaked!
We are staying for 7 nights at Casa Iguana, the second best place on the island. The views from the lodge at Casa Iguana are simply impressive! We are staying in one of they grand casita.the place can hold 6 people, so we are more than comfortable. The best place on the island is Yemaya...you won't get there for less than 340usd per night...seen the place, not sure this is a good deal at all. Casa Iguana can get you a cabana for as little as 45usd for two people....way better deal!
This place remind me of Lipe in Thailand, but rather how Lipe was before the crowds arrived...twenty years ago. Few years ago I spent some time in Santa Catalina in Panama, another amazing place. This place
as the same kind of vibe! It's New Year Eve, Little Corn is packed with tourists....but packed means here, you queue for a table at dinner time on New Year Eve, this is it! We never made it that night to midnight....in bed a little early, happy to get there...and happy after a pretty cool year 2015!
After running non stop from sunrise to sunset for the last two weeks, it's time to do...nothing more than relaxing. No diving here on 1st January, so our first dive will have to wait the second day of the year. This is not the best season to dive. We are at the end of the heavy winds season...easy for us to understand it after our ride to Little Corn. So no chance to dive Blowing Rock, impossible to reach with this wind and those waves! We did 5 dives...play with many nurse sharks, few cute rays and a lot of lobsters!
Each morning, wake up around 9am....light breakfast, and ready to go diving around 10.30m. You need to love to walk here. Not a single proper road, not a single car...and pretty often...it's just a dirt little
track into the forest. People say hi here when you walk around the island....I love this place. By 1pm the diving is over....late lunch, and relax time till sunset, which is pretty early at 5pm. There are only 2-3 nice bars on the island, so the places are packed for sunset...it's cocktail/beer/rum time.
The crowds here are mainly 25-35 years old. Another place where the kids won't meet teenagers their age. It's a mix of hippies and flash-packers....few Americans, many Germans...this place will not stay like this for ever...come now! Dinner time is also pretty early. We had fish, lobster, rice, nice veggies, pizza with lobster. Never got bored of this place. It's for sure one of the most expensive place of Nicaragua, but for most dinner it was between 20 and 25usd for three of us....including some serious lobster!
Leslie has some serious exams coming next week....yes, the young man is growing...so he spent some time studying, with an amazing view to enjoy at the same time. Internet was either slow or non-existant! We were in bed early everyday, sleeping a good 11 hours every night. I guess this is simply healthy....including one
or two cute cigars for me, and my first 7 years old rum from Nicaragua! Brought back an 18 years old one back home, that I still have to try!
We stopped for the night in Managua before making the 25 hours flights, 10 hours transfers time to home. The week is not over...back on long haul in a few hours....for some new adventures!
If Little Corn was closer, I would tell you we will be back soon...but that's not really that easy. Do not hesitate to stay at Casa Iguana, great people. We also dive with the very cool team of Little Corn Dive Center....a bunch of people from Spain/Portugal/Finland and Canada...pretty cool team!
Next entry....well,need to go back on the plane first!
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