I ran out of energy.

When we made the trip back to Big Corn Island, we took the morning panga ride in hopes of catching an earlier flight to Managua. It didn’t work out, and since our scheduled flight wasn’t until the afternoon, we went back to the main strip to have brunch. While eating, a couple came in that we had seen around Little Corn Island and had chatted with here and there. We invited them to sit down with us and little did we know that two hours later we’d be chanting next to an energy vortex together.

This couple had heard there was a pyramid on Big Corn Island positioned as the “Soul of the World”. It’s not really a pyramid-pyramid, but the corner of a “cube” that would be sticking out of the earth if the cube had been implanted within the planet. Supposedly it was a type of energy vortex. This was hotly debated there and back.

But on we go. We were told the pyramid could be found in a children’s playground “up on that hill”.

We followed our chinese medicine doctors the way up. No really, that’s what they study, and it was quite interesting to hear them talk of healing the body in ways other than the conventional medicinal band-aids, if you will. Eventually we found the playground after climbing slippery hills made of lava rock. The rest of the group claimed to have felt the heat from the rock, but I only attributed it to my inappropriate footwear. Once there, beside the pyramid we found a diagram of the cube. It listed the other places where the tips could be found and R thought that would be a good excuse to travel to those places. Hey, we already saw one, let’s go find the other 7!

We also had to take time out to feel the energy. R was serenaded by a chant during his turn.

On the way back, we got caught in a nasty storm and marched one, two, three, four… sharing a poncho the whole way until a taxi found us. We parted ways at the airport, but not before I tried to get them to put their hands on my eyes and heal my crows-feet. Didn’t work.

We had to stay in Managua again due to our flight schedule and I enjoyed the complimentary robe (after wearing the same two outfits all week) and the nice bathroom.

Let’s revisit what I had been showering in for the week prior. Can I say, though, how much that didn’t matter? R and I keep discussing out how nice it was to be completely simplified during our stay in the hut. No frills, a few outfits, and breathing fresh air all day & all night. The hotel room stifled me in a way that only stale air and too much furniture does to you (i.e. our apt)…. despite the awesome hamburger & french fry dinner, along with chocolate shake, all while watching the rerun of Lost’s premiere — which was nothing but glorious! Since being home, we have lit up Craigslist and sold a bunch of stuff. We’re still not done, but getting there.

When we arrived at our connection in the U.S., we noticed there was another flight leaving in the next 20 minutes for our same destination. We spent 17 of those minutes haggling with the airline workers to allow us onto that earlier flight and NOT pay the $100 they were asking. When did they do away with stand-by tickets? Well, now you have to pay to make any changes.
Remember my non-laid back ways in scheduling trips? Because I had booked these tickets light years back, we questioned why this particular flight had not been an option when booking. If it had been, we would have chosen it. Anyway, that seemed to have sold him, and as he was printing off our boarding passes, he kept repeating “You’re taking a big risk. You’re not going to make it.” and at the same time, on the loudspeaker, we heard the call for final boarding. R and I looked at each other and thus the race started.

We turned and darted down the corridor, weaving in between people. We scooted past strangers down an escalator and apologized for hitting them with our bags, but we hAD TO MAKE THIS FLIGHT! Once we jumped off it, we saw the subway that would take us to the correct corridor’s doors were still open and we hopped in. Because I hadn’t known how long they had already been open, for a split second I thought it would close in on me and I’d never live to say how we saved 100 bucks just to get home a few hours earlier. Would it have been worth it. Why yes, yes it would have.

At the next stop, we ran up the escalator. Just a fyi: I was out of breath. R, Mr. Soccer Player, was like lightening. I looked at the people sitting on the sidelines and couldn’t help laughing at what I imagined them seeing. R had actually taken off his shoes by now (what’s this guy’s deal with barefeet and airplanes?) wheelin’ his luggage behind him. I, on the other hand, was wearing socks with my flip flops (fashion police!) because it would be cold in KC, and trying to run in them with a heavy bag on my back. So first they see R flying and then they see me 5 minutes later waddling behind him.

….all of that…. For this:
Now let me ask myself again. Was it worth it?


We got lost not once on Little Corn, but twice. TWICE. You can walk around the island in about 35 minutes, but that didn’t stop us from wishing we had a GPS system. When we hopped off the panga, we got general directions on how to get to Carlito’s, which was my first hut choice. In my first blog post, way back last year, I alluded to the fact that I am a planner. Not laid back at all. So when I called Carlitos this past summer to “reserve” a hut, the woman that answered kindly laughed. Really hard. She kept repeating the year in which we would be arriving. Was 6 months too far in advance? Guess so.

So even before lying on a beach for 7 days, I was already thrown into nonchalant mentality… even if I had to be dragged into it kicking and screaming.

We took the directions given to us and started down the main road, which in reality is a sidewalk (no cars are allowed on the island.)

After taking a few wrong turns and asking everyone we passed where the huts were, we finally made it. We snagged only one of a couple available.

There were constants that we noticed happening daily throughout the week. For one, I never brushed my hair. Secondly, we talked about food nonstop. Where shall we eat today, what shall we eat, wasn’t that meal good, can’t you just wait until tomorrow’s meals, why can’t tomorrow come more quickly, etc etc etc. Food was the surprising star of the trip.
More on that later.
Some other constants were:

Waking up to the sound of waves and watching the sun rise.
R washing the one shirt he wore all week.
After reading for a couple hours, taking a dip in the sea.

Lying in our netted bed to read while our sunburnt skin healed.

And lastly, playing Boggle every night after dinner (Can you believe I brought that in my carry-on? It made me giggle to myself). R was great competition and I don’t think I won once.

Another pastime was walking. and walking. and walking. We went everywhere on that island …trying to find coves to snorkel and relax by. The jungle we walked through was absolutely gorgeous though. And because of the small dirt paths, it felt like you were the only ones on this little place.

A random sand volleyball court.

R and I noticed a pattern in how we walk. I always look up and he always looks down. I can’t help trying to soak in everything around me, and R can’t help being practical with everything around him. One time, as normal, my eyes were to the sky and his were to the dirt. Thank goodness too, because I almost stepped right on a boa. I’m not exaggerating here. R screamed at me and pulled my arm back before I did.

Another day, we decided to head to a lookout tower. And yes, we got lost. We were cutting through random people’s yards when a father & son duo helped us out. We were probably walking all over their garden or something.

We finally made it and my heart palpitated a bit. Does anyone remember when R, his brother, and I went up the one in Arkansas? I think back and wonder why I was so scared. At least there were actual landings to brace yourself there. I forced myself up this one and was so glad I did.

I was gripping the pole with all my might. Notice my hair.

I mentioned how much we enjoyed the food. There was so much to choose from (and really, at the same time, not so much. It was pretty much the same food, just different preparation styles). My favorite snacks were the ‘pan de coco’ (coconut bread) and cinnamon bread. Children would go from hut to hut with their freshly baked goodies and we’d gobble them up (the bread, not the children. Although, from the look in my ravenous eye I’m sure they thought I lived in a gingerbread house back home.)

R discovered french toast all over again, with coconut syrup drizzled on pan de coco. It was a crowd pleaser and we got excited just thinking of it when we woke up in the morning. Good food does that to ya.

Our last night in LCI, we splurged and bought some of our favorites. The lobster, fish, and shrimp platter. The cook brought her husband over to double check her english skills, because she didn’t believe that we would order so much. We did and we loved it.

We said goodbye to LCI and made our way back to BCI for our flight home. We had met some interesting people while vacationing, a couple of whom we ran into again before we flew home. Up next: Searching for the soul of the world on Big Corn Island.

Modes of Transportation: Panga "Water Taxi"

To get from Big Corn Island to Little Corn Island, one must take a “water taxi”. They run two to three times a day depending on a) the weather or b) if anyone is still alive after the first ride across.

We shared a road taxi with our tanned friend from the flight and followed her down to the dock. Immediately we noticed that everyone had brought trashbags or special coverings for their luggage. Everyone, that is, except for us. R was smart enough to wear his trunks, but that was the extent of our savvyness. We didn’t know what we were getting into obviously.

We piled into the boat and just when I thought my birthing-hips couldn’t be smooshed any further, more people jumped in. I was stuck between a now well-known sleeping fog horn and a lady who hadn’t shaved her legs since 1989. I was kinda impressed. She hauled on a large plant and a pinata. I love how seconds prior, people were scrambling to cover up their belongings with trashbags and this lady plops down a paper pinata. I don’t think it made it. The plant did, though. It was in my face the whole ride.

While waiting to take off, it started to rain and the drivers gave us a tarp to pull over our heads. At this time, there was still room on the boat for more passengers (believe it or not), so we waited for more people to come. About ten minutes later, it had stopped raining, and we pulled the tarp off. While doing so, we noticed that about 10 more people had arrived on the dock. Some guy behind me yelled, “Surprise!” to the new group as if they didn’t know people were under the tarp. I was the only one who laughed out loud.

Once we got going, they pulled the tarp back over and R’s job was to hold it fastened down on the side. My job was to smell the lady’s flowers and take photos.

My other job was apparently to squeal everytime we went over a wave. This isn’t your mother’s boat ride, my friends. They are gunning this thing at max speed and with each wave, your body tilts backwards to face the sky, and then thump! You hit the sea again. And I don’t mean thump, I mean THUMP. On the ride back, we learned to sit on our lifejacket, instead of wear it. Much more comfortable.
At some point during the ride over, everyone collectively agreed to remove the tarp. We were getting wet anyway and no one could breathe. I was ready for a hot shower. Wait, we don’t have heated water where we’re going… stay tuned!
Up next: Getting lost on LCI — sometimes good, sometimes bad.

Modes of Transportation: Airplane

Traveling to Little Corn Island was a mixture of happy hour, humiliation, and harrowing weather. The night before we left, R had some unfinished business from work to do. I went to bed around 10ish and woke up at 7am to find him sitting in the exact same position as I left him. He didn’t sleep a wink. No one but me saw the impending disaster. You see, R doesn’t just sleep. He sleeps….loudly. And to fuel it with a 36-hour zero-sleepathon was going to be interesting.

R started to get a little loopy on our initial flight out. At one point I looked over at him and, to my horror, he had taken off a sock and was inspecting a toenail. I gasped and whispered forcibly at him to put his foot away (!). He just looked at me goofy and started laughing uncontrollably. I closed my eyes, imagined lying in a hammock, and meditated (“Ohmmmmm”)…. until I noticed his head bobbing and hoped the engines would start soon to overpower his snores. The guy in front of him was trying to sleep as well and eventually gave up. But only after he turned all the way around to get a good look at the loud specimen behind him. I smiled and he gave me a pitying look along with a thumbs up.

What was really interesting about this flight was how 1960s it felt. Literally seconds after the seatbelt sign went off, people got up and chit-chatted in the aisle. I counted 10 people standing up with cocktails, talking with their friends, hitting on the flight attendants (who flirted right back), laughing loudly, and occasionally whooping a holler about something. I waited for a disco ball to drop and then everyone breaking out to the Electric Slide. I’d never been on a flight like that.

Once we arrived in Managua, we had to wait until 6:30 the following morning to catch the flight to Big Corn Island. We were each weighed along with our baggage for the flight. And when I say we were weighed, I mean they made me stand on this oversized scale and called out my weight in front of EVERYONE. I got really defensive and yelled that “we’re at sea-level, so it sounds like I weigh more than I do!” Then I ran and cried in the corner.

We received our boarding passes which were literally huge boards that said ‘pass’ on them and walked out to our plane. I was relieved because the plane was not as small as I thought it would be. Wait, I was wrong. You see the one we’re walking towards in the photo below? Yeah, I thought that was our plane too. Nope.. we went right on by that one and headed for the plane with the pink tail. I shot a little prayer up to the Big Guy and forged ahead.

I have to admit, though, seeing our pilots working the gears as well as seeing their reactions during the flight helped out. I also found that focusing my anger on the girl in the front row’s tanned skin took my attention off the smallness of the plane. To give you scale, R and I were sitting in the back row when I took this photo.

Midway through our 90 min flight, we hit a storm. I couldn’t even see out the window, it was getting hammered by the rain. I started to get anxious until I saw one the co-pilot put his hands behind his head as if he were going to take a nap. R noticed that the other one was eating a sandwich. If they aren’t nervous, there’s no reason I should be.

At last the clouds cleared and I saw my first glimpse of Big Corn Island. Excitement replaced anxiety. We were almost there!
Up next — Modes of Transportation: Panga a.k.a. “Holy Sh*t! Hang on for your lives.”