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Managua, February 2007

I'm sitting at a wrought-iron table in the courtyard of Hotel Los Felipes in Managua. There is a row of bird cages behind me, and the noise is deafening. Parrots and I think cockatoos, and they are speaking non-sensical human to me (spanish and english), and straight bird to each other. The shade trees make this a great place to sit and type.

We've been lounging here for a few days now after visiting the Corn Islands and the upper part of the San Juan River. Unfortunately I don't have any photos to show for it, because a few nights ago a pack of dirtbags mugged us and stole the camera. So if you get a great deal on a Minolta DImage Z5 and you find some pictures of Gregg's famous moustache, do us a favor and send us a few pics.


Big Corn Island

Big Corn Island is beautiful. We lucked into a room on the best spot on the island, but we didn't realize that until we had stayed for a few days. Beautiful views, great room, sweet people, great food. We stayed at a room rented by Senora Victoria, across the road from the beach with a great breeze, at 300 cordobas a night (abt $17). The price is a bit higher than we have been paying since, but was well worth it for the location.

The first night in, we wandered up to Seba's, a fantastic restaurant 200 yards away, owned and run by some sisters. After a great fish dinner cooked by Seba herself, we had an impromptu rum party. Seba, Poof, Marilyn, Hans, and Felix made us feel really welcome and we had a lot of laughs.

The swimming was great, you just have to be sure to wade in and out where it is sandy and there aren't so many rocks. The food was just amazing. Dorsey Campbell orchestrated cooking "rundown" one day for us, which is this thick stew of coconut milk, banana, plantain, flossi, fish, fresh herbs and more that I don't remember. One day Sra Victoria and her husband made "naca tamales" behind her store, and they were very kind to show the whole process of making them including marinating the meat, cooking the cornmeal, and wrapping them up. A few days Gregg ran into a fisherman and put in an order before he went out, and we'd cook fish whenever he got back. Stanley Carlson and his wife lived next door. Stanley was really kind to share lobster with us, and his wife made and sold bread and pastries for very small amounts.

We were treated very well by Felix, who is the local handyman and often works for Sra Victoria. He cooks rundown, cleans fish, gets the hot water working in the room etc. Also we were really lucky to meet a wonderful German guy Hans. All in all it was just a wonderful experience, mostly because of the great people we met.

We can't say enough good things about Dorsey Campbell, who takes people snorkeling and is a great guide. He also has a small cabin for rent and you can ask for him by name almost anywhere on the island. His info is:

Yellowtail House
Sally Peachy
Corn Island
659-3634