Anyway, after we had wobbled onto dry land, I found someone who had met Andy & located him in a hammock. We immediately had a long chat, coming to the same conclusion that we should call it a day. It was amicable & we decided to stay on the island together for our b'days, enjoying the Caribbean hospitality of Elsie & Grace, who owned the simple wooden beach shacks where we stayed just 15secs from the azul sea
. Intermittent electricity & no running water, but torches & buckets do just fine for me! The food was great, loads of garlic lobster & fish. I celebrated my b'day with an afternoon of diving, getting close up & personal with numerous BIG (but harmless) nurse sharks & watching majestic rays fly past...just right for getting an appetite up for the special "ron don" meal of lobster, prawn,yucca & banana slow-cooked in coconut sauce on the fire for hours,which was enjoyed by 8 of us, along with a cake, lots of rum & even more dancing barefoot in the sand.
After Andy's b'day, we said our sad goodbyes, & I flew off back to the mainland, feeling nicely relaxed & happy to be totally independent again! On the plane I read my guide book & decided on my next destination... From the airport I got a taxi to one of Managua's many bus stations & leapt onto the moving bus heading for northern town of Esteli...
After blissful night in the air-conditioned (comparative) luxury, I wolfed down my included & unlimited b'fast,then flew out to Big Corn Island, an hour off Nica's Caribbean coast . I then got the "ferry" to Little Corn, no more than an overcrowded open top boat. It was v windy ...& when the local girls started to scream as we crashed off the gigantic waves, I knew we were in for a rough ride! We were given a big plastic sheet to hold over our collective heads, presumably to stop us seeing what we were about to hit, or maybe to stop us drowning as we opened our mouths to scream, it was like a rollercoaster for the next hour, a bit too long for comfort!