Trip to Corn Island

Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

A trip (by land) from Managua to Corn Island I took a while ago. Some of my pictures and the story were featured in Hecho Magazine, while for others it's their first time being published. 

 

Travel by land: The night bus to El Rama. It leaves Managua at 9.30pm, lurching its way to the Rama docks. Getting sleep on the bus is highly unlikely. We arrive in Rama at 3am.

Travel by land: The night bus to El Rama. It leaves Managua at 9.30pm, lurching its way to the Rama docks. Getting sleep on the bus is highly unlikely. We arrive in Rama at 3am.

The Rama-Bluefields panga is setting off at 6am. There’s a huge line for tickets, it’s raining.

The Rama-Bluefields panga is setting off at 6am. There’s a huge line for tickets, it’s raining.

The military officers here on drug patrol

The military officers here on drug patrol

rio escondido nicaragua
The fully packed panga finally leaves the dock. I’m sitting next to my new friend, chicken. Half way throughout the trip, the panga breaks down – engine failure. It’s also drizzling a little rain through most of this leg of the trip. Chicken and I are not impressed. There’s no cel phone signal out here, so we’re stuck waiting for a few hours. Eventually, another panga turns up and we all change boats in the middle of the river. Still haven’t slept

The fully packed panga finally leaves the dock. I’m sitting next to my new friend, chicken. Half way throughout the trip, the panga breaks down – engine failure. It’s also drizzling a little rain through most of this leg of the trip. Chicken and I are not impressed.

There’s no cel phone signal out here, so we’re stuck waiting for a few hours. Eventually, another panga turns up and we all change boats in the middle of the river. Still haven’t slept

Through the Joungle

Through the Joungle

Welcome to Bluefields - old city of pirates

Welcome to Bluefields - old city of pirates

After 5 hours (instead of 2), we finally land in Bluefields. At least I’m not in a rainy patch of jungle anymore… I head for the port, where I spot some kids fishing. The growing crowd is ready to go already. I’m told I have two options: I can get a smaller boat (departing soon, at 9am), OR I can wait for the bigger boat to set off. I’m about to head out into the open ocean. A big boat sound wiser but the problem is, nobody knows when the big boat is going to leave. Could be a while. I decide I’m too tired to wait for safety so I hop into the small panga. It’s packed to the gills with so many people and so much stuff that it looks ready to sink. We all have to get off so the panga can be re-packed, and everyone can fit. Then we’re FINALLY ready to go.

After 5 hours (instead of 2), we finally land in Bluefields. At least I’m not in a rainy patch of jungle anymore…

I head for the port, where I spot some kids fishing. The growing crowd is ready to go already.

I’m told I have two options: I can get a smaller boat (departing soon, at 9am), OR I can wait for the bigger boat to set off. I’m about to head out into the open ocean. A big boat sound wiser but the problem is, nobody knows when the big boat is going to leave. Could be a while.

I decide I’m too tired to wait for safety so I hop into the small panga. It’s packed to the gills with so many people and so much stuff that it looks ready to sink. We all have to get off so the panga can be re-packed, and everyone can fit. Then we’re FINALLY ready to go.

port bluefileds
port bluefields
fishermen Bluefields
delicious Pati

delicious Pati

Shipwreck cemetery - El Buff

Shipwreck cemetery - El Buff

I stand for this ride – it’s a 5 hour trip. The ocean’s pretty rough and the boat is bouncing all over the place. Larger waves slap the bow and soak everyone on board. Several people vomit. On and off, the sky spits out some rain. It’s soaking wet and I’m hesitant to pull out my camera. I distract myself by zoning out on my neighbor’s golden watch. 

Big Corn Island waters: the Caribbean colors that people dream about. 

Big Corn Island waters: the Caribbean colors that people dream about. 

bigcornisland
Big Corn Island: Welcome to paradise

Big Corn Island: Welcome to paradise

kid corn island
corn island paradise
Desayuno: Today’s breakfast is fresh caught fish.

Desayuno: Today’s breakfast is fresh caught fish.

Islanders Big corn island
big corn island road
water big corn island
real canoe nicaragua
house big corn island
house corn island
monkey corn island
islanders corn island
kids corn island
sunset corn island
big corn island
palm trees corn island
water jump cornisland
Corn Islanders are friendly people. The kids spend a lot of time playing in the water. 

Corn Islanders are friendly people. The kids spend a lot of time playing in the water. 

tree nicaragua
islanders nicaragua
anastasia big corn island
water corn island
fishes corn island
Slivers of gold: this fisherman is painting his boat in the rays of sunset.

Slivers of gold: this fisherman is painting his boat in the rays of sunset.

jake corn island
One of Big Corn’s many fishermen, pausing for thought in his doorway.

One of Big Corn’s many fishermen, pausing for thought in his doorway.

Island baptism

Island baptism

Big Corn Island from above. I took the prop plane back to Managua. It’s a quick flight.

Big Corn Island from above. I took the prop plane back to Managua. It’s a quick flight.