Diving, dogs, and dining on Little Corn

Our second day on LCI, we awoke early and finished the paper part of our PADI Scuba Course and learned all about the joys of BCDs and wet suits.  We then finally got into the water with all of the gear, where I unfortunately freaked out.  It was all so alien and weird, I’ve never even snorkeled and I tend to be a massive wuss anyway, so I sat the rest of the course out.  To my credit, I later got back in the water and did some basic exercises, but never had the chance to really dive.  H completed the course over the next two days and is now a certified Open Water diver.  But I highly recommend the great peeps at Dolphin Dive, for being so patient with my sniveling, scaredy cat self.

In between dives, we did little other than enjoy cold Toñas and sit on the beach.  I met an awesome little girl named Winnie who sold treats with her mother every day by the beach and proudly informed me that at the tender age of 7, she could count to 100 and speak both Spanish and “English. American English.”  Another excellent moment on LCI was a forlorn-looking couple sitting outside the dive shop, asking one of the instructors for something and she referred them to the hotel.  I asked her what they were looking for and she told me: “a condom.”  Aww, going door to door looking for a condom?  Now that is a responsible date!  I still hope they found one.  I also loved the dogs of Corn Island, though there was a bit of a kerfuffle one day with Bushman, the alpha dog of the island. A French tourist was inexplicably traveling with her dog, who got in a little fight with Bushman and the French girl got bit, by her own dog.  We saw her hobbling around for a few days and that’s too bad, but really?  Traveling with your dog?!  To Corn Island?!  But look at how nice Bushman is, I’m sure that he was just protecting himself.  Here’s my other favorite native dog, Banana, much less fierce than the B-man:

We ate most of the time at the hotel, as it was a central location where everyone tended to gather for meals, coffee, beers, etc., in between dives.  We wanted to eat at Farm, Peace, Love one night (the token Italian place), but the owner had an emergency and had to return to Italy.  We did eat at Casa Iguana on our second night, and our hungover (our fault) chef made an awesome meal.  Another evening we went to the Cuban Restaurant, which really is the best place on the island, if a bit pricey.  Really great authentic Cuban food and amazingly good service: they actually asked what we wanted to drink when they brought us menus!  They didn’t just drop them off and run away! They even waited to hear our order!   Awesome.  On our last night, we ate with a couple we had met from Guatemala at another restaurant on the, er, main strip.  After dinner, we decided to check out the island disco.  It’s on the north end of the island, away from most of the other businesses, and mostly locals playing pool or dancing under disco balls.  We did see a couple of very drunk, hippie girls on the dance floor, which made us all realize why movies like Turistas are made.  Oh, hippie gringas, no good can come of that!  Not that there was any hostile vibe, but it just seemed like a bad idea.  A fun last night, though.

On our last morning, we checked out the beaches on the other side, over where Farm, Peace, Love and Ensuenos are.  If you are looking for real solitude, definitely check out that side:

Rather than stretch this out for ever, feel free to check out all of the Nicaragua trip photos on Flickr. Here are a few more of my favorites from the Corn Islands:

Further evidence to my theory that Little Corn is the island on Lost:

I do want to write a bit about Managua and Grenada, but that’s probably it for the Corn Islands without going into excruciating detail, when this is what we did most of the time:

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