The feeling I got when first stepping into the crystal clear water on the beach just in front of my bungalow was pure happiness, zen and an instant release of all tensions. The temperature of the water was perfect and it was beautifully turquoise. I was thrown into contemplation about the beauty of my reality and thanked myself for enduring all those late hours at the office – if this is what I can actually get in return for working hard, life is absolutely amazing.
And yes, it’s up to me to make sure that I save enough money, allocate enough time and make all those planning efforts needed to keep being able to arrange cheap and beautiful get-away’s and battery charging trips like this. They bring me that extra dose of inspiration and energy to continue doing what I do, and those travel friendships and stories shared by kind people that I can’t get enough of.
So I arrived to Little Corn at 11am and found my way to a Lodge called Cool Spot which is situated right on the beach just like most places on the little island. I got away very cheap as I got my own bungalow for 15USD, and I headed straight out to the sun where I had a swim, a 3USD traditional Nica breakfast and instantly met new friends. One of them was the local diving instructor and crab-fisher Wyvon – his favourite song is the Titanic song and I have him on video singing it for me. One of many videos to look forward to.
While taking a walk around the little village later on I met Marcelo who also lives at Little Corn, he invited me for traditional Latin American ceviche (fresh raw fish marinated in lime and spiced with ají, chili and onion.) that him and his fiends were going to prepare and eat at the place where I lived. So I joined the Corn Islanders, a group of Nicaraguans who have chosen to dedicate their lives to travels and handicrafts sales and three travelling German girls who had joined the guys and travelled with them the past month – the ceviche was amazing, the company was fun and inspiring.
Later on in the night we walked to a nightclub where we spoke to local fishermen and danced a bit, it was Sunday, so it was quite calm and I decided to leave a bit earlier. One of the guys, Carlos, followed me home through the dark jungle and I was amazed by the sounds of the nature and by how strong the moonlight was. “The Island is completely safe,” Carlos explained, “you can walk around alone in the night, carry your big camera, everything. There is a system in the community that if somebody commits a crime and you know about it, you have to report it not to be considered an accomplice. People are generally calm and happy so it’s very, very safe here. This is why I live here, the place has a positive energy.”
The next morning I woke up early with the sun shining in through between the boards of my door, I opened my bungalow and let the sea breeze in and then spent the morning at the beach where I continued talking with Wyvon and his friend the Rastaman who both speak Creole English and insisted on calling me Coraline. I spent the day like that, reading, talking to people, and going for a walk and lunch with Annika, one of the German girls.
Hannah, the absolutely beautiful Japanese-Mongolian-Something-German girl who had chosen to join the Nicaraguan handicrafters and learn their skills offered to braid a decoration into my hair just like the one’s the rest of the group were wearing. I happily accepted, chose the colours I wanted, and spent the next hour sitting with the group and chatting about the mayans and vegetarianism while everybody were working on something, Carlos was making a necklace, Carlos 2 was fixing the seams on my leather bag, Wyvon was talking about Obama and bringing us coconuts from the palm trees on the beach, Darwin was smiling, and Hannah was working on my hair.
In the evening Reina, one of the local girls, invited us to come over to her place to cook the traditional Jamaican dish Run Down. So we took that beautiful walk to the other side to the island guided by the moonlight once again, and the guys started cooking. I was amazed by how they simply cut the coconuts, vegetables and bananas straight off from the plants in the garden to start preparing the fish stew. Everything was peeled, the coconuts were graded and then Marcelo added water to the graded coconut and extracted the coconut milk that the stew was based on. Everything was made from scratch and thrown into a big bowl that was placed on a fire next to us. In the meantime, Darwin kept cutting down more coconuts, both the brown and the orange kind, from the trees around us and opening them so that we could drink coconut water and eat while we were waiting. It was like being in paradise where everything was simple and 3 year old Isak and his baby-brother Ivan were playing around. And there was a monkey.
Yes. Reina and her sister Shana have a baby monkey in their garden. His name is Pingu and he loves coconut as well.
We ate the Run Down which tasted absolutely amazing (- really!) and had some talks before returning back to our place. Annika and I agreed on our 5am catching the flight wake-up time, I sat for a while with the group in the bar and then I went to my bungalow, packed my backpack, relaxed and fell asleep.
Corn Island is a beautiful place with perfect beaches that one can experience while partying with young Americans, snorkeling or just reading books and hanging out. I had an absolutely amazing time, shaped mostly by the people I met and the surrounding nature. Being able to eat straight off the trees and feeling truly connected to nature by having the moon guide one’s way through a pitch-black jungle brings a certain depth to one’s reality. A love not only for the place and context, but for life in general and everything around you. Pure bliss.