Day 30. Little Corn, Nicaragua. Wednesday, 07.06.11. 7:27 a.m.
Well, we have arrived at the Carribean! We flew into Great Corn yesterday around 4:00, then took a "panga", a.k.a. "tiny boat", to Little Corn. The place that we wanted to stay was on the North side of the island, so we walked through the village, across a baseball field, an through the jungle to arrive at our first pick, "Ensuenos", Spanish for "Dreams".
We were greeted by a Spaniard. He was dressed in large, baggy, yellow pirate pants, a black tank top, and a long faded red scarf wrapped around his bald head. He wore thin rimmed glasses on the bridge of his nose and his thick black eyebrows hung just above, like giant caterpillars. We asked if he owned the place, and his deep, smooth voice replied, "I guess you could say that."
I will do my best to describe this surreal, quiet, isolated place, but I don't know that my words can do it justice. And, I am at an internet cafe, so I still can't post pictures. Ensuenos is located in a fruit orchard. The owner, Ramon, planted most of the trees himself. The trees, however, are not planted in perfect little rows, but rather they tower in clusters, adding to the natural jungle. The sand on the beach is gold and the waves that meet it are calm and slow, representing every shade of blue, green, and turqoise in between. The shore is only about 10 feet deep, and then begins the grass and foliage that make up the ground cover for this island. The grass here is delicate and soft; it practically bounces under your bare feet. Portions of the grass look as though they are covering large rocks, but when you step on them, they sink into the ground under your weight and rebound to their dome-like state as soon as you lift your foot! \
Ramon built every little bungalow on this property. The doors to enter the houses stand about 5 feet tall. The roofs are thatched with palm leaves. The interior looks as though a large boulder has been carved away, making room for two beds on the bottom, and one bed nestled in a tiny loft built of wood. Ramon is also an artist, and his paintings and carvings are tucked away throughout the property. He carves into the sides of twisted tree branches, giving the wooden faces an eerie distortion.
Roland is the cook. He is a Frenchman who wears a tiny straw hat and a thick silver hoop earring in his left ear. He, too, wears thin rimmed glasses. He and Ramon are quite the pair. It is only the four of us staying here with Ramon and Roland, the Spaniard and the Frenchman, to keep us company. It certainly feels as though the six of us are th only inhabitants of this dream.
Roland treated us to a large plate of pasta for dinner, and for dessert he made caramalized bananas from the banana trees that grow on the island. With dessert, we had the best tea I have ever tasted. It was made from fresh lemon grass, lemon leaves, tamarine leaves, and basil, all picked from the orchard. My goodness, we are certainly living in a dream!
With our meal and dessert came a most interesting conversation with Ramon and Roland. I won't bore you with the details, but just picture this: Spaniard pirate. Sitting quietly in the dark corner of his table, with his deep, smooth, calm voice discussing his views on loneliness, state of mind, sustainability, death, etc. I looked over at Emily during one of his soothing philosophical rants and said, "I truly feel like this isn't real."
Before I close, I will add one last thing. We asked Ramon what he did in Spain before he moved to Little Corn. He replied, just as calmly and smoothly as before, "I thieved a bank. I robbed a bank. Just one." And that was all. He left it at that.
With a parrot on my shoulder,