|Some of the artwork at Elsa's|
After switching to the lovely, tranquil, and dry Casa Iguana we dove right into vacation both literally and figuratively: swimming at the Casa's private beaches, drinking unlimited hot beverages and some cold ones, and reading and napping.
|The view from our cabin's porch|
A few highlights:
Island tour: Although a good portion of the island caters specifically to the comparatively rich, expat tourists, it is important to note that the maids and waiters and snorkel guides and shop owners and coconut bread makers also live on the island. One day we walked the entire island to check out the docks, the school,the baseball stadium, and some of the more hoity toity beaches.
|Courtesy of LCBB. See: pina coladas.|
|Not getting the idea of a glamour shot|
Piña coladas: to perfect our bellies we stopped for piña coladas at Little Corn Beach and Bungalow. They were the best piña coladas in the entire universe, and I don't even like piña coladas. We would have drunk more but we didn't have enough money. As it stood, L had to run to the hotel to get more cash...because I'm slow and was the teensiest bit drunk. BEST. EVER.
Massages: On one rainy day, L and I decided to treat ourselves to massages at the Karma Shack to get rid of the sore spots we still had from the boat ride. One gets surprisingly tense when hanging on for dear life in a panga. Not only did I get un-tensed but the lovely Leo filled me in on all the island gossip!
Patrick: One of the things that I talked over with Leo was travel reviews. I shared that I love to read the negative reviews on travel websites. The negative reviews, to me, truly reveal the character of the visitors. My favorites are the ones that criticize for ridiculous reasons: "None of the staff in this foreign country speak English" "There was a lizard in my room" "The sand was too sandy." In Nicaragua, I was lucky to live in a sweet two bedroom condo in a gated community...and I still had lizards in my house and scorpions in the laundry room and ants everywhere, and even sometimes cockroach visitors. So I was almost comforted to have a single "visitor" in our cabana who I named Patrick.
Ferguson: Since the island is so small we ran into our friend Rizdale everywhere. At first he introduced himself to us each time but eventually he figured out which of the blonde chicks we were. Although we recognized him at each appearance, we had some trouble remembering his name. I had recently read The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain in which he highlights the particular idiocy of Americans in foreign countries. A truly delightful satire, the characters decide to call every guide they hire by the same name: Ferguson. L, however, settled on the name Darwin.
Fishy fishy: Rizdale/Darwin invited us several times to go snorkeling and we jumped at the chance on the only sunny day of our trip. Evidently there is some competition between snorkel guides and they often stoop to poaching customers, particularly Rizdale's, so he was nervous that we would abandon him. Despite an attempt by a portly Ferguson we met up with Rizdale and some of the large ankled tourists and set out. We saw lobsters, coral, big fishes, little fishes, and stingrays. It was surprisingly wavy and the canckle ladies kept kicking me and I must have looked distressed because Rizdale swam with me for much of the outing, holding my hand and pointing to the exotic fauna. We saw three sharks! In the true spirit of competition, Rizdale inflated the number and size of the sharks that we had seen to every group that we encountered.
|Our meeting place with Darwin|
Vacation ended with a suspiciously cheap taxi ride home from the airport... it was inexpensive because we dropped off three other passengers before making it into Managua proper. I'm pretty sure the taxi ride took the same amount as the boat and flight home. And so ended my last vacation as an expat in Nicaragua.