We finally left the Corn Islands - after more than 3 weeks.
Thankfully, island life did prove itself worthy of the terrible trip to get there, although we cheated and flew back (as did everyone else except the most hardened adventurers - Dan & Mel that's you).
By the time we left we had weathered three enormous storms - big enough to require moving the beds away from the walls of our beach shack to avoid the rain water which was running inside - but thankfully no hurricanes.
If you hadn't guessed already, we loved it!
Between foraging for mangoes and avocados to whip up chutneys and guacamole in our teeny kitchen and snorkelling with sharks and sting rays, we also clambered up the rickety ladder of the lighthouse (all 4 of us), swam lots, ate loads of patties, and read lots of books. It was like a holiday from our holiday. But it had to end sometime. After all we have a flight booked from Cancun to Cuba, so we've hit the road again.
After a brief stay in Managua and Leon - the latter being a great little city with a beautiful Cathedral which you can walk on the roof of - we headed north to Esteli and the Somoto Canyon. Esteli is nearly 900m above sea level so we were looking forward to making use of the one jumper we're lugging around with us but although they made it into the day pack once they were not needed and were soon stuffed once more into the dark recess of the base of the backpack.
The Somoto Canyon was fun for three of us but Otto, bless him pretty much cried the whole day long. We took a ‘chicken’ bus (still no fowl spotted so from now on I'm calling them local busses) up to Somoto where we were met by a guide who kitted us out with wet trainers and life jackets; Otto’s first tears of the day sliding down his chubby cheeks as he didn't want to wear his. We took the short tour which was around 6km total and only in the lower part of the canyon. The trip involved wading and scrambling up river to a short boat ride into the canyon. Following this we hired a rubber tube and swam, waded, pushed, battled, floated, scrambled about a upstream through the canyon to a narrow section where the walls are only a couple of metres apart. Otto cried lots more tears: he wanted to be in the tube, he didn't want to be in the tube, he wanted to swim, he didn't want to swim, he wanted his shoes off and he wanted his life jacket off and he had to keep both on. At the narrow pass, we jumped from various spots and ate loads of biscuits. Otto's tears ceased momentarily. Jess and Otto also jumped in from around a metre high and Otto's tears returned so we floated back downstream accompanied by his wails. Thankfully he slept on the express bus back to Esteli so we all had a break! At least Jess enjoyed it!
Esteli itself is another great Nicaraguan city, covered in murals and complete with the obligatory central square and imposingly impressive Cathedral, it also has two great play parks which means it was a hit with Jess and Otto.
We left Nicaragua yesterday to start our slow journey up to Mexico and looking back I'd say it's up there with one of our favourite countries so far. The friendly reception received everywhere has helped form that opinion but also the beauty of the colonial architecture, the amazing Corn Islands (have I done that to death yet) and great play parks (thank you Rosario Murillo: socialist? revolutionary poet? or nepotistically-privileged dictator?)
'[Bussed] sic to El Salvador; don't know why and I don't know what for'. But the Ticabus was super comfortable and we managed three countries two border crossings in 11 hours. And so far so good!
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Kelly and Mikey (but mostly Kelly). We sold up in the UK to travel with our two littluns for a year or so. If you want to know more click the about us!