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Cost of beer in a bar: US$1.39 for a 12 ounce bottle
Song currently stuck in my head: So On And So On (PM Dawn)

I’m sitting in the restaurant/lounge of Little Corn Island Beach and Bungalow, bags packed, killing another 2 hours until our bags will be loaded into a wheelbarrow and pushed through the jungle, past free roaming chickens, iguanas and (occasionally) toddlers to the dock where we’ll catch a boat to the big(ger) island. We’ve been at this property 3 nights and though way out of our price range (small but delicious dinners run between US$9 and US$17 for 4 courses) we loosened the purse strings for our little island vacation. We’re on the far side of the small island, an hour by boat to the nearest road which itself is about 6 hours by boat from the then inaccessible-by-road Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. And it couldn’t be more beautiful; the water is turquoise and frothy, the palm trees tall and disarrayed and the local dogs display the lack of depth in the island’s canine gene pool (the cats are even less varied in presentation). We’ve spent most of our time on this island, about a week in all, eating, lazing and reading. The mosquitoes and occasional rain bursts have been our only annoyances; beyond that it’s idylic.

Little Corn B&B sits at that awkward intersection of rustic remoteness and mainstream vacations, where small “eco-lodges” advertise to everyday tourists who show up expecting to be able to flush the paper. In reality they’re advised not to flush the toilet at all most of the time. But some people know what they’re looking for and plenty of them are looking for exactly Little Corn B&B. Others seem to end up on the far end of a remote island almost by accident and can’t understand why the bar staff doesn’t speak English; as though Thurston Howell III managed to coconut raft over from a neighboring caye.

I’ve been trying to figure out why we aren’t spending a month in this area, not as tourists but as temporary residents. There are plenty of transplants on these islands, on a per capita basis at least, and for all practical purposes they’re more accessible than San Juan del Sur (you’d be taking a plane rather than bus, but the ride is shorter and of comparable expense). The Girlfriend says she’d prefer the little island while I’m more drawn to the big one, but there’s not that much difference. Rentals can be had for as little as US$200 on the big island, so price isn’t a limiting factor either. But while we’re still deeply enamored of Nicaragua, I think we’re both excited to move on and apprehensive about adding another 30 days (especially after having overstayed in Esteli and SJDS). Maybe we’ll come back another time, prepared to stay. These islands are out ahead of the curve for now, the kind of place you can stake a foothold before the throngs descend and prices increase. That’s something I’ve been keeping an eye out for, and now that I’ve found it I feel like I need my head examined for deciding to leave. It can be hard to remember how accessible these islands are since The Girlfriend and I took such a long route out. Don’t get me wrong, the route can get longer than ours, by way of El Rama if you’re interested, but when you take the 6 hour boat and 4 day Bluefields sojourn (the “sceptic route”) to get here it’s hard to conceptualize doing it all by plane in 1 hour.

Today we’re boating back to Big, spending the night and catching the Escondito to Bluefields tomorrow. Wish us luck.

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