La Islita

Finally inspired to finish writing about Little Corn Island, though my tan is only a memory now.  Lessee, I talked about the not-fun panga ride and our stay at the Hotel Los Delfines.  On our first morning, we spent some time wandering the island, past the ever-popular summer camp for grownups Casa Igauna and other backpacker favorite places to stay.  That side of Little Corn has some lovely beaches and a neat-o abandoned resort that was perfect for escaping the sun.

H and I had discussed taking a scuba course while on the islands, but I was not particularly set on the idea, having had no experience or interest in water sports before.  In the end, I decided to do it, as I might regret not taking the opportunity, as doing an open water course on Little Corn is pretty easy and cheap. I checked out both dive shops and went with Dolphin Dive, as it was attached to our hotel and we could watch the videos in our room rather than in the shop.  Though it would be “intense” to do the course in 4 days, we figured we could do it, we just had to watch a couple of hours of training videos, read the textbook, take some tests, then we could do our in-water exercises and open water dives.  Easy peasy.  We completed the first section after lunch, planning to watch the remaining 2 hours of mind-numbing scuba videos (Fact: Scuba divers have more fun!) later that night before starting our water exercises the following day.

Naturally, we decided it was a good time for a cerveza break.  But the Sweet Spot was out of beer, so we ended up at the Casa Iguana bar, referred to us by a few off-duty employees.  It really is like an adult summer camp, you have to take off your shoes to enter and then you can hang out, drink beer, play games, and eat dinner at communal tables. I liked the whole CI vibe but I was happy that we stayed at Los Delfines; you feel a bit forced to be social.  After a few beers on the porch, we headed back through the jungle to our hotel, but ran into the aforementioned Casa Iguana employees at the Delfines bar.  They turned out to be the chef and bartender, enjoying a night off.  We ended up joining them for our first of many rum and cokes and hearing all about living on Corn Island.  Matt, the current CI chef, is from Maine of all places and CIA trained, and his food is amazing.  Really interesting to hear what it was like buying supplies in Nicaragua, rest assured all of the meat he buys (which you will see lying out at the market in boiling hot sun, ick) is throughly, thoughly cooked.   To avoid difficulties with visas, most Americans working in Nica leave on “vacations” every three months to exit and re-enter the country on tourist visas.  Island life seems idyllic and relaxed, but then it was the dry season, I later heard that being on Little Corn during the rainy periods is not for the easily bored.

We had such a good time drinking rum and cokes that we forgot about the scuba videos awaiting us.  Well, we did watch them, all two hours of them, and I even managed to finish the exams before passing out going to sleep.  The next morning was rough to say the least.  More on scuba in next post, this has been on my screen for nearly two days, so I will post before I rant anymore.

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