Monday Diving

Early wake up by some little kids goofing off at 5:30am. Hope they were leaving on the early boat. Had some coffee and walked to the Dolphin Dive shop. Got my gear and a briefing. Dive site was called Jarhead. Lots of coral. Love the purple vase like coral. Saw some lobster and puffer fish. Pretty heavy currents. Next dive is in an hour.

Next dive site was Wilbur’s Rocks. Apparently there were six rocks. A much better dive. One of the people had trouble with equipment and we had to fight the current, during the first dive Not fun for me struggling to stay above the water. I want to be below water. On this dive we had some very friendly nurse sharks swimming around us almost the whole 60 min. It was cool to see a fish on the shark eating algae off of it. The shark didn’t like it so much. Saw some lobster, a huge stingray trying to be camouflaged by sand and lots of other fish that I have never seen.

Back to the resort for some fish tacos, pun intended! And vodka and Fresca. Feel like a teenager again drinking Fresca. Thinking about yoga but a nap will probably prevail.

Sorry, not sorry, for misspellings and grammatical errors but I am learning how to do this as I write. I have written in a travel journal for all of my international trips and one got wet (Madagascar while canoeing) and most nobody can read because I have the best doctors writing of all!!!

Little Corn Island

The resort had 8 units. I thought that there were treehouses but I haven’t seen them. Very nice people are working here. I have asked about diving, snorkeling, sup, yoga. Seems like since all the unrest last year that I never heard of, has run a lot of people back to the mainland. Many hotels and restaurants are for sale. No more yoga daily here. Today being Saturday, they limit their menu. Guess the locals get Sat night off. Lounged a bit ocean side, did some reading and a deep sleep nap.

Now I am at a bar sipping a vodka and soda, (no more club soda at my hotel) and using a metal straw, just like home. I am at Cafe Desideri restaurant. Just got a kiss from a local dog. My hotel is about 15 min from the other side, the west side.

I had some plaintain French frys with coconut shrimp and a green papaya salad. Yummy.

There a about 10 people gathered by a bonfire, all ages and races. My Mother told me TO talk to strangers so I am.

The late panga just arrived , it’s getting crowded, 24 more people!

Sunrise and sunset are around 6. Wonder what my walk back to the hotel will be like. I didn’t notice any lights. I did bring a headlamp.

The walk back was a little scary. I could peer into the few house with lights on. Saw some kids watching tv. Several groups of men were sitting in the dark, drinking beer and talking.

The usual temperature here is 82 in the day and 78 at night. It was beautiful sitting on the little porch, last night, with a glass of wine, hearing waves gently crash on the shore, no bugs but I had to ruin it with a headlamp on to be able to read. So relaxing.

The bed is comfortable and there was a nice breeze. Sunrise about 6. I did set my alarm to wake before sunrise, but I didn’t get up until 7. Got ready and had a cup of coffee at the resto and walked into town. I planned to go to a church service at 8. I like churches. Once, on my bucket lust list, I wanted to go to a Mass in Latin. I planned to go when I was visiting the Republic of Georgia. I ended up going to a Russian Orthodox Church first, then the Roman Catholic service in Latin. It was easy to follow along. And in The Kingdom of Tonga, Megan and I went to a Mormon service and then, got to sit down with two young men and hear about why we should become Mormons. So, today when I found the Church, it wasn’t open, so I walked down the path to the right. A dog decided to escort me. Now he is laying at my feet. A little Nicaraguan coffee and an omelet at a Reggea place. If you can’t find an Irish Pub… a Reggea Bar does just fine. Met some Canadians, that were here to dive. One was a younger version of me. We exchanged stories of single traveling. We laughed about no body being anonymous here. I’ll see her and her friend tomorrow, diving.

One of my thoughts has been, how do you balance tourism and over tourism. It seems that once a place becomes popular, it quickly becomes over toured. Here, because of the government, tourism has slowed way down. The government closed down the Panga boats for a while. Which means no supplies, no food other than what is grown or fished here.

I spent the rest of this relaxing day, reading and writing and planning for my future. Vacations like this really help me to refocus. I have made To Do lists and goals for one, three, five and ten years. It’s crazy when one thinks of mortality. At 55, turning 56 soon, one needs to make the best of the rest of ones life. One of the books that I am reading, “How to Relax,” really seemed to put into perspective what I am working on so hard at in my career, that is stressing me out so much, just needs to be tweeked. I complain about being so busy and pulled in every direction and having so little time to myself and having to be a decision maker and problem solver all the time …. But isn’t that what a business owner, entrepreneur is? Wouldn’t I be bored to death if I wasn’t who I am? It will take a day or two more for me to unwind and I can’t wait!

Had a relaxing afternoon reading and writing. I went to the dive shop to schedule some dives. Then found a place called Los Dolfines. Had a lovely time with the view and some ceviche. Back to my bungalow. Now having dinner for the first time here and all the people staying here have arrived in the dining room. Kinda funny hearing so many conversations…

So far the electricity has been fine. It gets turned off during the day, it really isn’t need if you charge up at night. The internet seems to work pretty good but when I do plug in my phone I do get a tiny shock, so after a few shocks, I have learned to not touch it when it’s plugged in. Simple

Managua

The flight from Miami was an easy 2.5 hours. Passport and Customs and Hotel shuttle also easy. Managua is a busy city, very similar to cities in Mexico. Lots of kids in school uniforms and lots of people trying to make a buck any way they can, like washing your wind shield and collecting bottles and cans.

The weather is warm, dry and windy. The is a beautiful blue with white puffy clouds. The streets were busy with lots of cars, buses scooters and a few horse drawn carts

I chose the Wayak Hotel because it had a free shuttle, it did. Because of WIFI, it doesn’t work yet, gated and guarded, yes. Bar and restaurant not open. Close to the airport, nope not that either. I went next door to an open air restaurant. Only a few buffet things. Cold, tough meat. No alcohol. There was an interesting condiment on the table, maybe a garlic vinegar. I went back to the hotel to see if I could find a different hotel. No internet. Then I asked where I could get a

cerveza starting to speak Spanish, and they said they could get that for me, so I asked if they had vodka, now two shots in with club soda, I am staying. I can order sushi later and they will deliver. Did I bring Imodium?

I like to do a lot of reading when I travel and usually quite a variety. I Started with The Tuscan Child and How to Relax. Working on 9 Strangers, The Seasons of Life and Seven Strategies to Success and Happiness. So I read for awhile and took a little nap. So much of my travels are in different time zones. Here I am just two hours ahead, but I know to set an alarm. I decided to go out for dinner rather than stay in. I asked the receptionist where J should go. Still not sure what they have to eat here so when asked, I asked for carne. She said that I could walk 2 kilometers and then cross the road at the light. I remembered the Gallaria Mall when we drove in. So I walked down the street, it was still light. Lots of traffic. As I got close to the light I heard and saw a small outdoor concert venue that looked like a tiny paper Rome Collessium. Some one was practicing for later on lots of security all around. Walked tot he mall. There were many high end restaurants. I went to the place that was suggested. It was a steakhouse but everything was huge portions and served with mashed potatos, which I don’t eat. I ordered tuna carpaccio with a white wine and beef carpaccio with a red. It was pretty good. Uber works here if you have Internet. Took a taxi. He apparently couldn’t read. I gave him the business card with the Hotel Wayak listed and he took me to the Hyatt. We worked it out. I was definitely over charged, but in the beginning of a trip it almost seems normal. Never take the firstmode of transportation that you are offered at the airport. A travel tip from experience.

Back at the hotel, I tried to pay my balance but she wanted me to have another drink so I did. It was 7 usd for four shots of vodka and two clubs sodas, reasonable. I wanted to get a good nights sleep so back to the room, a good hot shower, always grateful for a good shower when traveling, then a bit more reading and time to sleep. A couple hours later, the concert down the street woke me up! There had been a nice trickling water feature outside my room but this wasn’t going to let me sleep. Luckily I travel with Ambien.

Corn Island

Early alarm at 4:30, on time shuttle to the airport. Had to ask where La Costena airlines were. Just a little ways away. Stood in line, got a ticket, waited for the plane and then we were off in a small plane. A quick 90 min flight. We had to check luggage, so I was a little worried about not getting my bag. I had changed a few things from my carryon to and from my main bag, especially contact lens. Drove with Marlon, the Namath Jersey wearing native. He charged me a dollar to take me to the ferry. Tickets get sold at 8:30, so after I bought one, I went next door to the Fisher Restaurant. Lots of activity at the wharf. Fishermen coming in, people transporting goods to different islands etc. it is a beautiful day, warm but not too hot.

I am waiting for the panga to take me to Little Corn Island. They say it will go but only if there are enough people to fill it. I am trying to live in the moment, to embrace all of the sights, sounds and smells. Still haven’t figured out if I am supposed to be mindful or mindless. I am the only American for now.

Arrived at Little Corn Island. The panga held about 24 people. A like like the Stars and Stripes ride in San Diego. Rough and wet! The island is bigger than I thought. A man was waiting to pick me up. He put my little bag into a wheel barrow and guided me to my bungalow. Took about 20 minutes past farms, through the jungle mostly dirt paths. Arrived at the Little Corn Beach and Bungalows where a Mai Tai was waiting for me by a cute boy named J. He took my Passport and showed me my bungalow. It is awesome!!!Here are a few pics from inside:

Those are water bottles, cool way to reuse them.

This place has a very comfortable vibe. It’s windy today, but a perfect temperature. Just had a delicious seafood omelet

Nicaragua

A couple weeks ago I was feeling uneasy, nervous, like I ate something bad. Not long after this feeling began, I realized what it was. I had time off from work, and no place planned yet. Ugg, I hate this feeling. I had been thinking of Lebanon, stopping first in Cyprus, since I wanted to use American Airline miles. But it has been so cold in Coronado, where I live that I started looking into warmer places. I only had 10 days off. I looked into Tunisia, too dangerous, but beautiful. Philippines, also beautiful, but I couldn’t chose an island. I also looked at Australia, but I needed more time for Australia. My son and his girlfriend had been to Nicaragua last year. American flew there. I started looking for a hotel in Managua, where the airport is, thinking that I would land and decide what to do when I got there, like I do a lot. But when I saw a bungalow on the beach, I knew this was what I was looking for! Little Corn Island. I didn’t realize quite where it was and that I had to take a plane or a very slow, overnight boat to get there.

So today I will arrive in Managua. Yesterday I left San Diego and flew to Dallas Love Airport, ubered to a Motel 6 at Dallas Fort Worth. Arrived around 11pm. There was a bar and restaurant next door so I ventured over there enduring the 35 degree walk. My early morning flight made for a 3:45 am wake up, another uber to the airport, two and a half flight and now another two and a half flight.

One of my travel buddies, Megan and I are on a World Wide Irish Pub Crawl. We even have jackets! So at the Miami Airport, I satisfied the quest and stopped in for some coffee and Baileys