Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Big Corn Island

May 11, 2008

My plan was to take the local bus to El Rama which is 6 hrs away, then boat to Bluefields and then the next day boat for 9 hrs to Big Corn Island.

The ability to adapt to every possible situation is crucial is backpacking. The hostel owner informed me that there was a National Bus strike and no buses were leaving Managua in the foreseeable future. I took a cab back to the airport and caught a small plane directly to Big Corn Island. It was $160 that I did not anticipate spending but save me 4 days travel time so in the end it was probably for the best. I met 2 girls from New Zealand , shared a cab and found a hostel together. Tomorrow I catch the early lancha (boat) to Little Corn Island which has the best beaches, hostels and diving on the 2nd longest coral reef after the Great Barrier Reef.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Little Corn Island

May 12 thru May 19th

I caught the lancha early that morning for the 30 minute boat ride. After we arrived at the pier we were met by dive instructors and hostel owners trying to get our business. I walked 10 minutes to the other side of the island to find a room at the hostels on the ¨breezy¨ side of the island. I was very fortunate to get the last room at Elsa´s. No one was leaving the island because of the bus strike. The room had a double bed with private bathroom for $20 which did not make me extremely happy but luckily I was able to get a $10 single room with shared bath the next day.

There are only 700 residents on the island. All restaurant and hostel menus consist of chicken, fish and shrimp. The prices range from $6 to $10 which is kinda high for Nicaragua. Since there are only limited groceries available and there is no permanent electricity, you must eat what the sea gives you. The chickens run wild in the jungle.

The diving was great and lying on a beautiful Caribbean beach with only 6 to 8 other people on the entire beach is pretty close to perfect. Many people come for only a few days and stay 3 weeks. That is why the airline doesn´t require you to give a return date. You just call up and make a reservation when you want to fly back to Managua.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Granada, Nicaragua

May 19th

We arrived at the airport in Managua from Big Corn at 9:30 am. Mary from Colorado and I ran into an English guy (Ollie) who was also going to Granada. He spoke Spanish so we decided to tag along with him to the bus station. Luckily the bus strike ended. We caught the collectivo (minivan which picks up passengers along the side of the road) to Granada for $1. The trip lasted only about 40 minutes. We found a great hostel (Hostel Oasis) which had dorm beds for $8 and included free internet and free coffee. A backpackers dream. There is also a swimming pool. We also found a great local cafeteria which had an incredible buffet and is used mostly by locals. Steak or chicken, rice, beans, fried plantains, salad and a diet coke was only $3.50.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Granada, Nicaragua

May 20, 2008

Happy birthday Rusty.

Granada is the oldest city in the Americas. It was founded in 1524 by the conquistador Hernandez de Cordoba. Nicaragua´s currency is also the cordoba.

Today I walked around Granada taking pictures. I went to the Iglesia de La Merced which was completed in 1539. I climbed the bell tower for an incredible view of the city. Later I went to Parque Central where there was some kind of religous procession to the cathedral.

I hope to go to one of the volcanoes or Laguna de Apoyo tomorrow depending on the rain. It is the rainy season or green season as the tourism officials call it.