Da Bears… This Is Why They Ended Up In The Circus!

Lake Tahoe California

Just a little visual of my new “home” ©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Well hello out there!! Sorry long time no blogging. Well, just to catch you all up on my latest travels. I have recently relocated to the CHHHHIllly Lake Tahoe California, specifically South Lake Tahoe. I live about 15 minutes between Heavenly at Tahoe resort and Sierra. Great snowboarding, and a super fun town to hang out in. I am working at a restaurant in Heavenly Village so as you can imagine I have been SUPER busy with the holiday season. Tahoe during the wintertime for tourists is like flies to honey. We are jam-packed. Works for me because it guarantees me lots of hours at the restaurant; any who, I digress. Snowboarding has been epic with lots of photos to come. I also have a big trip up to Whister, Canada in just a few weeks as well, so hopefully that will get me some fun snowboarding pictures. I am horrible at lugging around a camera while I am doing sports. Probably why I have like one picture of me surfing for the whole year and a half that I lived on the beach in Costa Rica.

Lake Tahoe California

I can’t seem to get enough of this spectacular mountainside! ©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

As the New Year rolls in I thought that I should check back in and remind everyone that, no my adventures are not over, and indeed there are tons more stories to come. One such fun story is the change of exotic animals I have en countered while living in my snowy paradise. As most of you know, just a few months ago I was working at The Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. Well let’s switch out the slow and tranquil work with my two and three toed friends, for some big furry silly beasts. Yes, California Brown Bears. So as it turns out we had a little guy living under our house a week or so ago. We were trying to make lots of noise to scare him out and he wasn’t budging. We ended up having to call the city to have them remove our little friend (we named him slippers). As much excitement as it was having a deadbeat freeloader living under our house, it was good news to have him evicted.

So yesterday my good friend and roommate Melissa tells her boyfriend, “hey we have huge bear prints in our driveway.” Tim was like oh, ok good to know. Then she comes running back five minutes later and says, “oh my god, come look at this, it’s in the tree.” So I am sure you have the same image that I did floating through your head right now. A little snugly bear hanging out up high in one of the nearest pine trees…well take a look at this circus act.

Lake Tahoe California

Perfect sized tree for this little Pooh Bear! ©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Here is a little video of him.  Not very exciting but it really grasps his carefree attitude while he is playing in the tree.

Lake Tahoe California

Lots of people around checking him out and he doesn’t seem to be all that concerned. ©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Lake Tahoe California

Looks like we aren’t in Costa Rica anymore my friends. ©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Lake Tahoe California

He is quite adorable. :) ©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Lake Tahoe California

The tree is literally like a foot off the ground. ©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

So there you have it my friends, some of my recent adventures in Lake Tahoe.  I should be writing a bit more regularly now that the holidays are done and gone.  I apoligize for my tardy reply but I hope my fun bear pictures and video were well worth the wait.

About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

She lives!! Relocation Complete! Living in Lake Tahoe, CA

Lake Tahoe, California

Day two in Tahoe, a bit overcast but a view from the gondola to Lake Tahoe
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Well, well, well.  Long time no see right?!! I know, I know. I have been all over the place, and that is even an understatement.  As some of you know on November 27th I switched adventure gears just a bit.  I hung up my surfboard, packed my summer clothes, and headed to the beautiful San Jose, California.  My hometown of course!  I got to see my parents, and my brother and sister, all of their crazy dogs running a muck through the house, and even got some work done.  Turns out moving back “home” is a stressful and difficult time, as I am sure any expat can tell you.  When I moved abroad I thought the hardest thing would be actually moving to Costa Rica.  Now I realize that even though its home, coming back to the states was no easy feat.

Lake Tahoe, California

One of my oldest friends! Now my co-worker and roommate…Life is good!
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

First things first, I had to buy a car.  I sold my beloved Volkswagen Golf when I moved to Costa Rica, to buy my infamous little red scooter.  I then had to sell my scooter to move to Nicaragua.  Well looks like my welcome home to the good ol U. S. of A. is going to come fully loaded with a hefty car payment!  It was a necessity…or that’s what I will tell myself as I write checks for the next five years for my recent purchase.  I got a 2012 Chevy Equinox.  By the way, LOVE THIS CAR!  It’s sort of like an SUV, but smaller, and better gas mileage.  Black is not my favorite color, but I suppose it will grow on me.  The Tahoe roads have pretty much turned it grey at this point so I guess I got the color I wanted after all. HA.

Lake Tahoe, California

Ha, learning how to use the iPhone camera…might just stick to my point and shoot!
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Lake Tahoe, California

Woooah, Toto, I guess we aren’t in Tamarindo anymore! Saw this chairlift bench in front of a neighbors house! Love it!
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After getting the car on my first day back, I next had to go sign up for a phone contract.  About an hour and a half later I signed up for a two-year contract with the latest and greatest iPhone 5.  I know what you’re all thinking.  Why get the newest phone when the 4G would have still been new technology to me…Well I figure for just a hundred bucks more I might as well get the phone I will end up wanting a few months down the road anyway.  So now that the phone is purchased, car is bought…it is time to get moving.  Off to Lake Tahoe I go!

Lake Tahoe, California

First day of the season. Kicking it off at Kirkwood. Just waiting in line!
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Lake Tahoe, California

Oh snow, how I have missed you!!
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Living in Lake Tahoe will now be the location of my newest adventure.  Technically I not an expat here since I am indeed from the U.S. and furthermore, from California and quite familiar with Tahoe.  However, I am new to the area so I will have a bit of adjusting to do!  I promise lots of snow photos to come.  I am still acclimating to the cold weather so pulling out my camera or phone while riding, without getting frostbite is still pretty difficult for me.  I am now adjusting to living with new roommates, and a new job, and I couldn’t be more excited!  I snowboarded the last two days and can now begin to tell you how good it felt to get my feet back into some fluffy snow.  Today and tomorrow look a bit rainy so I am going to take these days to get caught up on some work and continue getting acclimated (as well as recover from the throbbing pain in my legs from riding). I also got a gym membership all signed up so needless to say my credit card is feeling the weight of the world right now.  No worries though, I started my new job yesterday and I am sure it will be fabulous.

Lake Tahoe, California

The view from my work, looking out the ice skating rink in Heavenly Village.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

For anyone looking to take the plunge either to a foreign country or the return trip home, my advice to you, is just enjoy the crazy for a little bit!  Because it will indeed be crazy.  Loads of money flying out the window, operating at full speed, all the while wanting to catch up and see everyone and everything.  Just accept that there are 24 hours in the day, and if you plan it right, you may even be able to sleep for some of those hours.  Nothing will ever pan out just like you expect it, so change your expectations, and prepare to be flexible.  It will all be organized soon enough, and when you accomplish it you can sit back and realize that anything in this world is indeed possible if you just put your mind to it, and are patient when it may take more than one try.  Until next time, happy wandering, and pray for snow!

About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. Nothing but lefts and rights

nicaragua

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Having now fully recovered from my misfortunate event of placing my foot oh so delicately upon the majestical back of a friendly stingray, I would like to now share some of the beauty that San Juan, Nicaragua has to offer along with the great surf at Playa Madera.  Having visited this small surf town before on a boarder run to get my passport stamped, I remember it as a cheap, fun party town for tourists, and a surfers paradise for those looking for solid left and rights.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Playa Maderas, Nicaragua
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Tons of hostels all offering great deals around $10 a night.  My favorite was Casa Del Oro, which I visited on my boarder run back in April.  We got a room with about four beds and we actually had two guys in our room but they were super nice and chill. No loud partying at night and the bathrooms are shared per two dorm rooms, which was nice for a bit of privacy.  Breakfast was included and this place was clean, safe, and helpful with catching taxis.  Highly recommended for solo travellers or small groups looking for a good deal, if you are looking for a party house there are tons of them, trust me I know, we stayed our first night in Pacchu Mama and I just about shot myself in the face.  Most belligerent drunk foreign girls I have ever met in my life.  I will have to share this story some time as well but lets just say one actually peed on her friend’s rucksack in the middle of the night thinking it was a toilet.  I watched the whole thing happen…you wake me up at four am…I will watch your friend urinate on all of your clothes, and let you both know about it in the morning!

Casa-El-Oro-Lilly-Downey-2-of-13

http://www.casaeloro.com/

Any who, the town is fun and offers lots of cute bars, and restaurants at great prices!  This last trip however I spent most of my time at the beach, as you know from my last blog.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Playa Madera, Nicaragua
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

How to get to playa Maderas:

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Nice to see signs, lots of Central America doesn’t deem them necessary.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

From San Juan Del Sur, go north on La Chocolata – it’s the only major road headed north before you come into town, so it’s hard to miss. Then, just stay in this road for about 15 minutes. Just before a wheel falls off your truck, you’ll go over a tiny bridge. Take the next Left. You’ll cross through a riverbed (a river in the rainy season – don’t worry, you can make it in a 4wd). After that, stay left at the Y, following the signs to Playa Marsella. At the next two Y’s stay Right. Go up and over the big hill and then you’ll be there. If you get lost, ask somebody. Maderas is a popular beach and everybody knows how to get there.

Directions from www.wannasurf.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Just another friendly surfer at Playa Madera
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Once you get to this consistent beach break with pretty much white sand bottom, other than a few areas with rocks, you will encompass some of the most beautiful beach settings you could imagine. Other than the unfortunate stingray incident it truly was an amazing day of great waves, friendly surfers on the water, and a decent size of about 3 to 4 feet.  This is the beach to check out if you are looking to surf.  The World Masters Surf Championship actually took place on this very beach earlier this year!  I am super stoked to be able to say that stingray aside; I have been able to surf yet another one of the worlds most amazing surf beach breaks.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Beautiful Playa Madera, Nicaragua
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Playa Madera, Nicaragua
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Trying to be cool like Ariel and the little mermaid. This thing was covered in BARNACLES and this was very painful!
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

I could soak up this view all day at Playa Maderas, Nicaragua
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Even if you aren’t planning on catching some waves the beach itself is quite gorgeous with stunning rock shelves and blue waters in the distance.  Great place to relax, enjoy some sun and cocktails.  Hope all of you travellers have a chance one day to see this rightly famous surf spot!  Anyone have some fun beach travel stories?  Would love to hear them!  Until next time, Happy Wandering!!

About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

How To Treat a Stingray Sting!

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua Playa Maderas
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Surfing Playa Madera, Nicaragua
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Welp, yesterday I finally had an amazing day of surfing ahead of me at Playa Madera, in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua.  After about three months without surfing I was so stoked to finally be able to get back into the water.  Now, I know what they say, you should shuffle your feet when you are on the beach to avoid stepping on a stingray.  Well I have always heard, and have even said…”they are more afriad of you, then you are of them…”  Well that may no longer be true…Stingray 1 : Daniella 0.  I was hit…man down!!! We have a man down people!

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Great start to the day, Playa Madera
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

I have always heard that it is really rare to be stung by a ray…That’s funny since, my aunt Scarlet, Tio Ariel, and myself have all been stung in our lives.  Guess us three should all play the lottery because thats three out of the five people I was at the beach with yesterday.  Ha. Anyway, I know, I know, it was just a freak accident.  Normally while surfing I am very careful in the water, and shuffle my feet.  Yesterday however, I was helping show my aunt and cousin how to surf, therefore I was wadding in the white water longer then I usually would.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

What a stingray sting looks like
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San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Mixed in with some sand and blood.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

What a stingray sting feels like.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

When my uncle explained that the pain was about to get worse…This is my “Are you f&^*NG kidding me face”
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So what does it feel like you might ask…Well imagine getting electrocuted…but imagine that you not only got shocked by a metal rod, but imagine that that rod was simultaneously skewered into your foot while shocking you…That sounds about right. At first it hurts, worse then a jelly fish, but nothing unbearable.  You WILL know its a stingray.  It is a very distinguished feeling.   After the sting, I luckilly had my aunt and cousin near shore so I calmly let them know I was stung.  My aunt, thinking I was confusing my spanish kept clarifying, “un rayo??” “Si tia, yo puse mi pie en un rayo”.  Luckly, or rather unluckily, like I said my uncle and my aunt Scarlet had both been stung in their lives so they coached me through the tramma.  My uncle said we should get back to the restaurnat before the pain got worse. I beg your pardon?!? WORSE??!? Yea, he was right.  I hobbled back to the restaurant just in time.  This little bloody scrape on my foot did no JUSTICE to the pain that would start to radiate through my calf, then to my knee, and up into my thigh!

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Crazy hot water, and a hand of experience
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Need to get out all the venom and blood.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Start drinking away the pain!!
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We had the cook at our restaurant(another stingray survivor…that makes 4!), an experienced person with such situations come to help me.  First he started boiling some water.  To get out the venom, you need to soak the foot in freakishly hot water, as hot as you can handle.  You would think that with the worst pain ever, it couldn’t get worse right?   Well the hot water, felt kind of like if you were getting electrocuted, and someone set you on fire simultaneously.  Oh yea, then they had to pour vodka on the cut and clean the sand out of the throbbing center of my foot…remember the feeling that your foot is on fire, and being electrocuted, now imagine that someone is cleaning out a hole in your foot, with Vodka, and sand paper.  FML is this shit for real!?!?

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

WHAT!!! Not even a spot to show for all of this?!?
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Oh yea, then it gets worse.  You have to squeeze out the blood, which has the venom.  I felt like someone had made my nerves about 3000 times more sensitive then I ever could have imagined, then the throbbing starts to travel up your leg.  I kept having to stand up just to change the pain.  I was shaking and convulsing and everyone kept asking if I was cold.  “Nope not cold, I am dying.”  If I knew how to say “amputate” in spanish, I would have been asking for it.  Luckily for me, my family, the wonderful people that they are, ordered me about 5 double shots to help me with the pain.  HAHA oh Flor De Cana, we meet again.  Once the “doctor” was able to squeeze out all the venom, he left me to soak my foot for a bit longer.  Thankfully, with all of the great people I had surrounding me, with lots of knowlage of the subject, after about a half hour, the pain went down to a low throb.  With that I would like to SHARE with anyone who may be stung later in your life…These steps to help a stingray sting…From my experience.

1. If it is a severe sting get to a doctor, fast.

2. If #1 isn’t a possibility, follow the rest of the directions here.

3. Get comfortable, because you are about to feel like shit for the next half hour to hour of your life.

4. Apoligize to your friends and family because you are about to become a miserable, whiney little jerk.

5. Get HOT water, as hot as you can handle.  Don’t burn your foot of course, but you need to get the venom out.

6. Clean out the cut.  This requires someone squeezing out the cut, getting as much blood, and venom out as they can, the sooner you get it out, the less time you will feel like you are dying. Use a hot towel to help get the cut clean.

7. Take shots.  This is a drinking game I like to call “chase the pain away.”  You chase each shot of rum, with another shot of rum.  About four or five in, you will start to relax a bit and breathe. Luckily I was with good family who didn’t mind drinking along with me.  Good family indeed. :)

8. Once the pain subsides, dry off your foot, apply neosporen as soon as you can, and put a band aid on it…

9. Call your doctor, you might need a tetnus shot.

10. Drink lots of water, and eat something…You might just have a wicked hangover the next day.

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

“Chasing the pain away!”
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

And away!
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Wait, why am I so drunk?
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Stingray buddies!!!
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San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

The cook, and another stingray buddy!
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

So there you go….Ten tips on how to heal/nurse a stingray sting!!! Shuffle your feet people!

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

This was not the culprit…this little guy was in The Corn Island..just wanted to show one.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Until next time, happy wandering!

About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

Nicaragua You Will Not Be Forgotten

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Just two more weeks in paradise.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

For anyone who has been following along in my adventures from when I started my blog at the end of my stay in Costa Rica, then off to the The Sloth Sanctuary, and then now in Nicaragua, I am sure you are wondering…so what’s next?  Well as “the wander” I guess not even I know the answer to that, but I do have the plan for what I will be doing in two weeks.  Next week I will be finishing my classes for spanish at the university of UNAN, and I will be returning home for the holidays to sunny California…Sort of.  I actually have plans to live and work in Lake Tahoe, California for the snow season!  Anyone that knows me, knows that I am obsessed with the snow, snowboarding, and everything else that comes with it.  So this new adventure should be a blast.

I guess it means I will be resettling into civilization.  I will need to buy a car since Lake Tahoe is about 4 hours from my home in San Jose, California.  I also need to move all of my stuff out of a friends garage, and move it either into a storage facility in San Jose, or bring it to my new apartment in South Lake Tahoe.  For anyone that was wondering, don’t worry, I will still be continuing my blog.  I will be sharing my stories of living in the snow, as well as catching up on some long over due stories and adventures from my year and a half living in the beach town of Tamarindo, Costa Rica.  While I am super excited to be living in California again, I definitly have some nerves about adjusting to the cold, to a regular schedule, and to living in my snowy paradise!  I wanted to share some of my favorite and interesting moments of Nicaragua that I never will forget, before I finish up my time in one of the most beautiful country on earth.

Nicaragua Adventures

The water tanks all over Nicaragua, kind of an eye sore if you ask me, but its that or bathing in a tub.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

1. The water in Nicaragua will not be missed.  Of course they have come a long way from dengue, malaria outbreaks, and now have a great supply of clean drinking water; however, Nicaragua still gets a limited supply of water each day.  This huge tank is in each persons yard and once your water is empty, you need to wait for it to refill at night.  If you’re lucky you have a pump that helps you use every last drop with full pressure, rather then the usual trickle that you get once the tank is low.  I have to say I will not miss having to turn the pump on…or even worse, when you are in the shower, and you have forgotten to turn it on(the switch is in the back yard).  It is kind of like taking a shower underneath a water filter attached to your sink at home, one drop at a time.  Ha, oh regular showers, I can’t wait!

Nicaragua Adventures

The modern day “Suicide Shower”
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2.  Speaking of showers, have any of you ever used a “suicide shower”?  Ha…Imagine an electronic shower head that is plugged in to an outlet above your head.  Usually in hostels and cheap hotels these are the absolute worse.  Wires are hanging out haphazardly and to adjust the heat you need to touch the shower head (while plugged in to the wall) and you get a nice solid shock through your hand and up your arm.  If you are smart you will use a plastic shampoo bottle to adjust the shower head to avoid the jolt, or even better ajust the temprature before you are soaking wet!  Luckily this suicide shower didn’t have the electronic cables dangling in the stream of water, so I didn’t have to deal with the electrocution every morning.  Only problem is, this country has its electrical outlet conveniently located next to where the shower head is plugged in…which means I was having to charge my electrical toothbrush in the plug next to my TV.  That was until during a storm, a surge of electricity melted my charger and fried my toothbrush… Oh third world problems…you get me everytime!

What these death traps usually look like!
http://johnnyvagabond.com/travel-tips/survive-suicide-shower/

Check out one of my favorite blog writers Johnny Vagabond’s account of a suicide shower in Guatamala…Happy to know these little death traps are located all over Central America!

3. Laundry day.  Imagine if you  had to wash your laundry by hand.  No, not just your delicates, or those fancy shirts that have a label that says “handwash only.” I mean all of your clothes, and throw in your towels, sheets, and anything else you would normally put in the wash.  Lucky for me, our house has Dona Indiana, and she does all the washing for us. Talk about working your hands to the bone! Could you imagine washing all of your clothes on this thing! I don’t like laundry day when all it means is throwing your close in the washer adding a cup of soap, and waiting for the buzzer so you can put them in the dryer.  Thank goodness for Dona Indie because I could not do this everyday.

Nicaragua Adventures

Typical washer in Nicaragua
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4.  Guess what!?! Not only do you have to wash all your clothes here by hand, but you also need to dry them.  If it is a rainy day, that means you hang them in the shade and hope that they stay dry during the storm.  Another bummer of not having a dryer: means you need to iron everything! You can’t just throw a shirt the dryer for a minute to freshen it up, everything needs to be ironed.  Screw being a housewife in this country!

Nicaragua Adventures

The never ending cycle of laundry in Nicaragua.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

5. The siesta. I had heard about these so called mid day naps, little did I know they would become a necessity in my daily life!  Now that I am accustomed to coming home, having a nice hot lunch waiting for me, and my hammock just calling out to me, I can’t imagine a day without my two-hour break from life, to read, write, watch T.V. or of course just sleep.  Everywhere in the world just needs to embrace the magic of the “siesta” and every house should have a hammock for these very occasions!  Siesta…you will be greatly missed!

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

The Corn Islands was one of my favorite locations for a siesta.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

6. The trademark infrindgments are out of control in Nicaragua.  Whatever you buy on the street you just know without an once of doubt, that it is a knock off of the real brand.  Without any laws or anyone to enforce such rules the country of Nicaragua is laiden with stolen brand names and logos from U.S. products.  Bootlegged DVDS, purses, Ray-bans, and even stores like The Apple Store, and shoes using the REAL logo just glued in.  As a marketing major I know this is a real problem for the actual name brand being portrayed, however as a regular person…I just think its hilarious!

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Next time you paint a Coca Cola logo on your store you should probably not drink so much before hand.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

7. The bugs, oh the bugs, how you will be missed.  Throughout my blog I have shared some of the many bugs, and reptiles of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and I still just love how out of control they are…Literally, like right out of a kids worst nightmare.  Luckily, I only had two bad run ins with scorpians, a bagillion mosquito bites: sans the dengae, and of course a few hundred jelly fish stings. Other then that my time in Central America has been more to enjoy the insects rather then to be terrified by them.  None the less, always a fun thing to catch on film!

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Carnivorous tarantulas in Corn Islands, Nicaragua
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Spotted Dart frog

A spotted dart frog in the Caribbean of Costa Rica
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Costa Rica Iguana

A massive Iguana at Sueno Del Mar in Tamarindo
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Costa Rica Neon Green Lizard

A neon green lizard at Sueno Del Mar, Tamarindo Costa Rica
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Scorpian Costa Rica

This little guy did not get his stinger on me this time! At Sharky’s in Tamarindo Costa Rica
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Jelly Fish

Oh jelly fish, you can be quite the asshole!
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8.  The food, how bittersweet you are to me.  The issue is, in this warm tropical paradise, that many of the foods include rice, beans, tortillas, cheese, tons of butter, and of course beer and rum.  The vegetarian salad lover that I am, has definitely enjoyed my fair share of indulgences on this extended vacation; however, upon returning to real life in the states I will resume my more healthy leafy green diet that I prefer.  Not that I didn’t love putting on every last pound while I was here, I will be happy to get back to my salads and vegetables! Good bye “vacation love handles” you will NOT be missed!

Nicaragua Adventures

Cocoa is a typical breakfast drink=a milkshake, with some eggs, gallo pinto, tortillas, and a loaf of cheese.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

9.  Flor de Cana…While I know you have also been the culprit of my extra pounds during my extended “Nicaraguan Vacation” I can’t bare to leave you to blame.  You are a deliciously sweet rum, able to be purchased by the bottle at any local bar or restaurant for about $12.  When I return to California to pay $8 per drink, I will indeed miss the good times we had in Nicaragua.  My delicious Nicaraguan rum…You were so good to me.

Apoyo Volcano

At the Apoyo Lagoon, relaxing with good ol Flor De Cana
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10.  And lastly, I will miss the adventures.  In Central America you have waterfalls, lakes, beaches, volcanos, trails, surfing, hiking, paddleboarding, tubing, ATVing, culture, adventure, and litterally anything else you could imagine.  Don’t get me wrong, I do miss snowboarding and mountain biking in Tahoe so I am excited to get back to all of that, but I have to say that the adventures that await you in Nicaragua and Costa Rica are indeed endless!  Thank you Nicaragua for all of the good times.  I know I have two more weeks left, and few more great memories to be made, I just wanted to say thank for all of the good times you gave me!!  Until next time, Happy Wandering.

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Soaking up some sunshine in Corn Island, Nicaragua
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Check out tons more photos of Corn Island!

Mombacho Volcano, Nicaragua

Hanging out in “The Tunnel” on the Mombacho Volcano
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Check out more photos of Mombacho Volcano!

Snowboarding down volcano Cerro Negro, Nicaragua

Hiking up and snowboarding down Cerro Negro, Nicaragua
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Check out more volcano boarding photos!

Nicaragua Adventures

Visiting the volcanic islands of Ometepe
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Check out more photos of Ometepe Volcano!

Nicaragua Adventures

Tubing through Lake Granada.
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Check out more photos of tubbing in Lake Granada!

Nicaragua Beisbol Boer’s Game!!

The inaugural national game of the Boers!
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Check out more photos of the Boer Game!

Apoyo Volcano

Swimming in the Apoyo volcano.
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Check out more photos of Lake Apoyo!

About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

Tips for Planning a Trip To Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

The perfect location for anyone needing a vacation. Casa Del Oro Negro, Corn Island.
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Nothing but love for this country!! Nicaragua Love!
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Now that all of you have seen this little slice of paradise, I thought that I would share a few tips about visiting there.  A few of my friends fell in love with the photos and were asking me for some details, and I thought, maybe more people would be interested in visiting if they just had some more information about visiting there.  I will share what I know and please feel free to comment if you have any questions or want any information from my trip.  I hope you all find this information helpful and I hope even more that some of you have the fortune to visit this beautiful little Island off the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua in your lifetime!

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

My plane ride flying over Lake Managua on my way back to Managua.
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Buying tickets:

We booked our tickets when hearing about a special that was being advertised in a coupon book.  Turns out this special is ran quite often so just contact a travel agent and ask for specials.  We flew out of Managua, Nicaragua.  We booked our vacation with the travel agency “Schuvar Tours” located in Managua, Nicaragua.   Our flight was booked with La Costeña.  The special was buy 2 nights get 1 free.  This came out to a plane ticket of $161 per person round trip from Managua, 1 stop in Blue Fields, to Corn Islands, a trip that lasted just about an hour and a half.  The plane ride offers a soda and a small pastry, and they is also a small café in the Airport in Managua where you can get a coffee and snack.  Our full price of the package was $244 for my aunt and uncle sharing a room, price per person.  And my price was $296 for my own room, which included my plane ticket, and 3 nights 4 days at Hotel Arenas Beach, a 4 star hotel in the Corn Islands.

My hotel:

Arenas Beach was nice.  We did however, have the misfortune of coming during a time when there were tons of jellyfish in the water.  The white sand beachfront was magnificent, but to enjoy the water we had to go to the North Side of the Island, I have a great location for you there if you want to try out a different hotel.  Arenas Beach Hotel however, offered a continental breakfast of toast, coffee and juice.  Each day we opted to actually order breakfast at the great price of $5 from the menu.  The food there was good, and very affordable.  Lunches around $6 and dinner around $12.  We got a medium cheese pizza for only $6! The rooms were nice, had cable, Wi-Fi, hot water (for the hot water turn the knob on the left and wait about 4 minutes…I learned this on day three, so I thought I would share), air conditioning, and good service.  Only thing that sucked were the sand fleas on the beach, and the hoards of jellies.

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

White sand beach in front of our hotel Arenas Beach.
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Just about a bagillion of these little jerks in Arenes Beach.
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Cabinas, lawn chairs, parasols, and beach service, just a slice of paradise.
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Not a bad view at Arenas Beach.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

These are the beaches that painters, paint their sunsets of.
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Our last day, we went to the other side of the island, where the locals said there wouldn’t be Jellyfish.  Upon the recommendation of our cab driver we went to Casa Oro del Negro (The house of black gold) apparently named for a place that used to have a lot of drug deals where the dealers would toss the drugs or their money and run when there were police.  This was a long time ago, and is now just a beautiful, gorgeous, stunning beach and hotel.  Great bar, amazing view, cute rooms, crystal blue waters, fantastic food, good service, and best of all NO JELLY FISH!!  For lunch I had one of the best lobsters of my life for only $13 for a huge plate of food.  They also told us that a room for two people is just $30 a night per room (not per person), including breakfast.  I would highly recommend anyone to check this place out!!! I would have loved to stay here! For reservations call 505 8519-4332.

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Casa Oro del Negro beach view.
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

No jelly fish here! At Casa Oro del Negro beach.
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Casa Oro del Negro beach
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

My $13 lunch at Casa Oro del Negro, coconut rice, steamed veggies, tostones, and the most amazing lobster ever!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

The view during my $13 lobster lunch!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Now this is what I call relaxation. Casa Oro del Negro beach.
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Another tip is to check out the restaurant La Princesa de la Isla.  It is on the beach and ran by a family of Romans.  They are by reservation ONLY, as the restaurant operates out of their house.  We all ordered the Lobster dinner for $22 which included a little appetizer, lobster pasta, a plate of lobster, a salad, and of course a tiramisu like dessert.  We also bought a delicious bottle of Italian wine for $22 to go along with dinner.  The owners, a father and his daughter and her husband are amazing company, great servers, and all around just really sweet good people.  THIS IS A MUST VISIT while on Big Corn Island.  Well worth the price, if we had longer we would have come again.  They also offer breakfast and lunch with reservation. Call for reservation at 505 8854-2403 or email at info@laprincesadelaisla.com.

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Dinner at Princesa De La Isla.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

$22 bottle of Italian fine wine.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Delicious little fried fish balls to start off the evening.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Second course, lobster pasta! Sorry it is a bit blurry, I really enjoyed the wine :)
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Third and Fourth Course Salad and a fresh lobster.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

I was never a huge lobster fan, but Corn Islands you have ruined me!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Fifth Course, a Tiramisu like dessert.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

My aunt and I, and the Father, employee, husband and wife(daughter of owner).
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Fine Italian hosts, offered us a little Lemonchello to finish off the meal.
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We also snorkeled on Little Corn Island with Coral Reef Snorkeling Tours.  David helped us book the tour on the island and his number is (8429)-(3241) a Nicaragua number of course.  Tatoo was our Captain and we had an amazing guide.  The price for our 2.5-hour tour with equipment was $15!  I would highly recommend booking with this company.  Do not do a tour on Big Corn Island.  They are triple the price, and they are just going to bring you over to the reef near Little Corn Island anyway.  The boat shuttle to Little Corn Island is about $6 per person, in each direction.  We caught the boat at 10 AM, but get there a bit early because the boat will quickly fill up.  There is then a 1:30 PM boat headed back or a 4:00PM.  There are other times as well but some boats are slow taking about 2 hours travel time, where as the little boat is a 30 minute ride.  When you get to Little Corn Island check out Casa Iguana.  It is a little Hotel/Hostel overlooking the blue waters.  They also have amazing service, and great food. The prices there are $35 or $75 per night in low season depending on the type of room, or $45 or $85 in high season.  Worth the price, this place is beautiful with little cabanas overlooking the water.

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Snorkeling Little Corn Island
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Clarity for days!!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

This is the dock you will leave Corn Island to get to Little Corn Island. You will need an i.d. or passport number.
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Another fun activity to try on Big Corn Island is to rent a golf cart to tour the Island.  We rented one from the business next to Arenas Beach Hotel.  The cost was $25 for 2 hours, and $5 for each additional hour.  They need to be returned by 6 PM at night.  They also let us split our two hours between two days.  Very nice family, not the best carts, but they worked fine and were a great deal.

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Golf cart tours.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Golf cart tour great near sunset when it’s not as hot out. ©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

Well there you go, some tips for anyone looking to travel to Corn Island, or Little Corn Island in Nicaragua.  I would highly recommend both of these places and insist that you go for a snorkel tour!  And eat the lobster!! It is Corn Islands main export, and you will quickly know why! Also remember to tip, these workers work off their tips, and many restaurants do not include the tip in the bill.  I hope that helps anyone looking to visit, please feel free to add on any tips or corrections if any of you have been here!! Until next time, happy wandering!!

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Casa Del Oro Negro beach.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

Snorkeling Little Corn Island, Nicaragua…Sharks, Rays, and corals, OH MY!!!

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Coral reef Caribbean Sea, Little Corn Island.
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Today was one of the best snorkeling days of my life.  I have snorkeled in Roatan Honduras, The Grand Caymans, the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica and Panama, Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Oahu, Mexico, Florida, and of course Southern California.  I am by no means an expert, nor a diver, but I would have to say Little Corn Island, in Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast was one of the most breath taking locations I have ever had the pleasure of visiting.  Rather then some clever story line, I thought this adventure is better shown through photos.  I will add the story into the captions of the photos, if you care to read along…I hope you fall in love with Little Corn Island as I have indeed!

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Yea its really like this in REAL life. Stunning!!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

When arriving to the island it is a short walk to the other side where we took out tour.
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Sun is shining, a perfect day for some snorkeling
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Stoked to get in some sea, sun, and swimming
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Amazing company with amazing guides Coral Reef Tours!! $15 for a 2.5 hour tour to two different locations!! Highly recommended!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Ready for my snorkel trip!!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Haven’t seen this much clarity since I last looked through a window!!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

First location was fairly shallow, between 10 to 20 feet deep.
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

So beautiful to just to into the distance and see on for days!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Nice to see the coral intact and preserved, last time I snorkeled in Costa Rica, most of the reef was damaged by tourism.
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Not sure of the name of this fish, but I love its color!!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Interesting Coral indeed!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

One of my friends up ahead snorkeling away!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

I could be down here all day!!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Who doesn’t love a little brain coral!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

So beautiful!!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Caribbean fishie
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

1 fish 2 fish, red fish, blue fish.
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

I can now die happy :)
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Meet “Sharkie” one of a few Nurse Sharks I met today!
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Video of the nurse shark we found while snorkeling!!

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Hanging out with some needle fish.
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Lots and lots of amazing fish to be viewed!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Pretty sea anemone
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Beautiful video of my snorkel trip in little Corn Island

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Not to bad of a snorkel trip if I do say so myself!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Finding Nemo ain’t got nothing on this!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

BEST DIVE EVER!!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

The we switched over to a deeper area of the ocean
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As soon as we got into the ocean we saw three spotted rays.  Sorry for the poor film quality, the waves were a bit choppy, it was pretty deep, and I was a bit freaked out…LOOK at those stingers!! I was all by myself when these beauties passed by!

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

What amazing beauty the ocean has to offer us!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

UGH the trade off to an amazing camera of not getting robbed and not drowning a $2000 camera sucks some times. This was way better in person but I want to share all of my adventures!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

How graceful spotted rays and sting rays swim through the sea
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Our guide swam about 30 plus feet to show us this cool Conch shell!
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As always…it was catch and release!  I took this video to show how deep the water was and how clear it is!!!

Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Another sting ray at the bottom of the deep. The guide took this photo for me as I can’t swim much deeper then 15 feet without my ears throbbing!
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Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Well there you have it!! My amazing trip to The Little Corn Islands in Nicaragua!
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Anyone that is planning a trip to the Corn Islands in Nicaragua, I will share some more tips and ideas in my next blog.  But for now, I wanted to say that Coral Reef Snorkeling Tours on Little Corn Island was amazing.  We met one of the sales people (David) when we got off the boat the day before, due to all the rain we decided to put off the trip.  He gave us his card with his information, and we called to book a tour with him.  He let me know over the phone that the tours are offered at 9 am and 1:00 pm.  I let him know that we couldn’t do these times as we wouldn’t arrive on the Island until 10:30 pm, and we would be leaving at 1:30 PM.  He said, no worries we will do a tour for you guys at 10:45 then!  David was ready waiting for us at the dock when we arrived at Little Corn Island, and brought us to the other side of the island for our tour.  There Captain Tatoo(spelling not quite sure), and our guide was waiting to take us on our tour.  I don’t remember our guides name but he was awesome!! Showed us sharks, rays, lobsters, and more during our two and a half hour ride and snorkel tour.  If your looking to book a tour David’s number was (8429)-(3241) a Nicaragua number of course.  The tour was $15 about $5 less then other tours and was SPECTACULAR!! HIGHLY recommended!! I hope you guys enjoyed my snorkel tour at Little Corn Island. *I was not paid to say any of this, although I am waiting for the day that I am offered free swag for my advice, this is simply to share a great company with fellow travelers. As always lots more photos to come.  If you ever want to see my entire group of photos check out my flickr account at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thewondersofwandering/ Thanks for sharing my adventures!! And until next time…Happy Wandering!!

 

About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

Arriving in Corn Island: Day 1 Continued

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Our drive around Big Corn Island.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Driving Miss.Dizzy!!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

My crayon box doesn’t even have these colors!!
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With our flight booked for early morning we had the luxury of arriving on the Island at about 8 am.  Starving and ready for some sunshine we took a short cab ride, just about two minutes to our hotel.  We are staying at Arenas Beach Hotel located right in front of one of the most beautiful sand beaches I have ever seen.  Unfortunately, we are just arriving at the end of rainy season so on day one we had a bit of drizzle (seeing as day 2 was a monsoon, I really realize that day one was quite delightful!).  We also had the great fortune of a tide that brought in a variety of jellyfish.  Just goes to show, that it’s not always sunny in paradise!  After I got my fill of electric shocks, we cleaned up and suited up for the next activity.  Right next door to our hotel you can rent golf carts to tour the island.  They are $25 for two hours and $5 each additional hour.  Seeing as the sun only had about an hour left, they said that we could split our time into two days.  Super nice people, as always, in Nicaragua.

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Things this cute can’t carry disease right?!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little bit of fair grounds.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Beautiful afternoon
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

This island is stunning!!!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Beautiful Corn Islands
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

For a small island they had quite a few nice churches.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Another church.
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My uncle, the brave man that he is, decided to let me have a hand at the wheel.  With every intention of driving full speed, pedal to the metal, I hit the gas.  After just about flying into the ditches on the both sides of the road within minutes I realized this fine piece of island machinery would require a bit more finesse.  Turns out the alignment, or lack there of, was a big off… Turn right, the golf cart went left; turn more right, and you would swerve right.  I hadn’t been drinking but this cart made me feel like I was 5 deep.  It didn’t help that there were tons of kids playing soccer in the street, or speed bumps the size of a coffee table, and just about as smooth to bang over in a golf cart.  Nonetheless, our tour of the island was beautiful.  Even with a bit of cloud cover, I honestly can say The Corn Islands in Nicaragua, are one of the most beautiful places on earth!  Enjoy some photos from my tour around the Island with my Aunt and Uncle, and no, I did not crash the cart, on day 1 anyway.

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Quaint little ride on my swerving golf cart!©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

One breathtaking view after the next!!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

I love all the colors of the houses and buildings in the Caribbean.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Me and my aunt enjoying the sunshine!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Because all too soon in rolled the clouds!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Even with very little sun this place still sparkles.
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Lots of boats.
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We finished off the night at Casa Canada.  The only five star hotel on the Island.  Our hotel is 4 stars, the second highest rating on the island.  Having heard great things about the view and the food we decided it was a great place to have dinner.  The night started out with a bang…HAHA to say the least.  My uncle said I couldn’t tell this story or he would cut me off…Haha I guess we will find out if he really reads my blog.  So anyway, they have these cute swings at the bar in Casa Canada, and I thought what a cool spot to take a picture.  My aunt and uncle sat first and I explained to the waitress how to use my camera, it’s a bit complicated you see.  You have to push the largest button on top, it’s located on the right hand side, where your index finger conveniently lands…I know its complex, but conveniently all camera companies have stuck to this model for the convenience of the world, just since like, the beginning of time!  I would say this is just a third world issue, but some how older people, people from all over the world, and people of all levels of intelligence all ask, “so which button do I push…” Man, if I had a dollar for every free lesson I gave on the basic infrastructure of a point and shoot, I would be able to bring Nicaragua to Second World.  Alas, I digress.  So after the lesson, I walk over to the swings to sit down.  I guess my uncle had one hand on his cocktail, and another on my swing so when I moved it to sit down he actually fell off! Not how you would imagine, in one embarrassing swoop.  He didn’t want to drop his drink, so the whole fall was acted out in a slow, awkward, slide out of the swing onto the floor, motion.  Ending with his butt on the ground, drink in his hand, and his feet dangling well over his head, pressed against the wall.  HAHAHA I was in hysterics.  Unfortunately I don’t have video, because I didn’t get into that lesson yet with the server and my camera.  Anyway that might be why we are all grinning ear to ear on our swing picture!

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Funniest fall ever!!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

It’s ok, My Tio is fine!!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

How bout an evening Kayak tour!!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

I don’t have a surf board to watch the sunset so a kayak is my next go to.
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As for Casa Canada, I started off the night with a mudslide. A delicious mix of Vodka, Kahlua, Bailys, and cream, blended into a delightful, liquor filled milkshake.  Not normally my cup of tea, but after the traumatizing experience with my uncle, I felt like living big, hey you only live once right! Turns out we were the only ones at Casa Canada for the night, and I would like to leave a raving review about how amazing this place was.  Sadly this was not the case.  Service was great, drinks were great, prices were very reasonable, and the food was even quite tasty; however, it took 50 minutes before we even got our salads.  I am used to the slower relaxed service of Central America, but keep in mind this was at 7 pm, peek dinnertime, with zero customers!!  At about 8:30 PM or an hour and a half after we had ordered my Uncle finally cracked the whip and let the server know that if we have to wait much longer we will have to eat somewhere else, or perish of starvation.  Finally our food came out, and it was good like I said, and the manager did discount the bill 15%, and I am NOT one to complain, but it really was kind of ridiculous, and there are many other places with just as good food and PHENOMINAL SERVICE Like our hotel, or Casa Iguana on little Corn Island.  Anyway it was a fun night, and a tasty end to the day.  We hit the sack early to get an early start on our adventures for the next day.  Hope you’re enjoying my trip through Corn Island; check back in for more stories and photos tomorrow. Until then…Happy Wandering!!

The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

This is the HEAVIEST OAR EVER!!!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Help, the sky is on FIRE!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

My and my aunt enjoying the deep sea!
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The Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Beautiful!
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About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

Vacation Day 1: Flying to Corn Islands

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Enjoying some sun, sand, and crystal blue waters of Corn Island.
©www.Thewondersofwandering.com

I start off my adventure with a hop, skip, and a Jump to the small Islands located on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua, known as Corn Island, and Little Corn Island.  We used a local travel agency for a deal on our flight.  Buy three days get one free.  Lucky for us it is a great time to leave the City since it is election weekend.  Many businesses and schools are closed Friday and Monday due to a history of riots and at times even violence.  While it would have been cool to see what the city looks like during election time, if locals say its dangerous, I will be happy to be in a different part of the country.  Worked out well too since we won’t be missing work/or school during our 4 day weekend.

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Our wooden boarding passes.
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Corn Islands is where the star is.
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

This was our little plane.
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

6 am, ready to go!!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Flying lower has its perks…What a view!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Flying over Lake Managua.
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

So Beautiful!
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We get to the airport at the ripe time of 5 am with luggage’s packed.  My uncle had a quick scare when he thought he forgot to bring the tickets.  Luckily we had them in his luggage.  When you enter the national flight area you have to pay your airport tax.  This was just 50 Cordobas, or a little more then $2.  You also receive your “ticket” which is a piece of wood that has been used for years and years.  Way to save paper right?!  When you leave to board the plane they ask for your “boarding ticket” or small plank of wood back.  The first part of the flight was beautiful.  The small plane that sat about 100 people was half full.  We landed for a quick stop in Bluefields, a city in Nicaragua, and this is when the real adventure started.  My Uncle went and talked to the pilot, and the pilot offered for him to come check out the cockpit.  Of course my uncle told me to grab my camera to come along.  With my “kid on Christmas grin”, that I never can seem to hold back, the pilot asked if I would like to sit up front with them in the jumpseat between the captain and his copilot.  BOY WOULD I?!?!

Video of us landing!

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Hanging out in the cockpit!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Ohhh soo many buttons, so little time to push them all!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Couldn’t have picked a better flight to sit shot gun!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

The view of a pilot is quite pleasant!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

THERE IS CORN ISLAND!!!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

That Runway looks a bit short!!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Can’t wait to snorkel!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Pilot and Co-pilot, my new buddies!
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I then took a seat in the cock pit to enjoy my V.I.P. ride to The Corn Islands.  Funny thing is if you bring eyedrops or hand sanitizer on a plane in the U.S. you are a terrorist, but in Nicaragua, the Captain meets a nice guy and invites his niece to sit up front and take photos.  HAH.  Oh how the world varies.  None the less, It was an amazing ride, absolutely breathtaking!  Check out the video from take off that I took.  The pilot Aron Guerrero and co-pilot were super sweet, and were great tour guides.  The photos through the front window show the amazing view to the crystal blue waters of Corn Island.

Corn Islands, Nicaragua

My fancy seat up front!
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Corn Islands, Nicaragua

I know what your thinking, SMIRNOFF?!?! HAHA but in Central America it is not as lame as in the states…Plus its easier to drink on the beach…Don’t judge me :)
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We spent the rest of today in the water, enjoying the sunshine, and then rented a golf cart to tour the island.  I will save those photos for next time.  Tomorrow I am off to “Little Corn Island” to hopefully get in some snorking!  Ready for a good nights sleep for now.  Until next time…Happy Wandering!

About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.

Los Agüizotes, Halloween Festival Nicaragua

Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

El Enano Cabezon is one of my favorite folklore, with La Gigantona behind him.
La Gigantona is a type of a big doll, three meters tall constructed on a light wood frame and covered with a colorful dress and lots of ornamentations. She represents the big white Spanish woman with elegance and power. El Enano Cabezon is a small fabric custom figure with a big head symbolizing the underestimated mestizo by the Spanish domination.
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Well life is good down south!  Last sunday my beloved San Francisco Giants just won the World Series!  Full on SWEEP of the Detroit Tigers.  Not a bad weekend.  I also had the chance on Friday to head out to Masaya with my Aunt and Uncle to experience Los Agüizotes.  This is a big Halloween, like celebration in Nicaragua, featuring spirits of the dead and characters from indigenous horror stories (many originating from the Spanish conquest). The Headless Priest and La Carreta Nagua (Chariot of Death) are used throughout the year to scare children into better behavior, but on the last Friday in October they make their rounds through the streets of Monimbó and Masaya.

Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

This one was a bit freaky.
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

Cool family dressed up, not sure which fable this is for.
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

Everyone partying with a flame in their hands…Very safe.
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

Crowds upon crowds… Reminds me of Bay to Breakers in San Francisco…only no naked people.
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

This Dia De Los Muertos was one of my favorites
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With the thousands of people heading to Masaya for Los Agüizotes, you can expect to wait a while to find parking.  Lucky for us my uncle knew someone that lived in Masaya and we just parked in front of their house.  After parking you wander your way to where the “parade” is held.  This is not your typical parade.  The locals all make, and put together their costumes and do laps around a big block in Masaya.  There were musicians, floats, and lots of fire and gore.  None of this is organized, just a tradition.  if you are in your costume you join the “parade” and dance around with the rest of them.  Tons of street vendors selling candies, light up toys, and of course sodas and Tona.

Seeing as this is not a regulated activity…I have to say it was a bit dangerous.  About 50 people carry around a gas fueled candle, and a can of hairspray, or lighter fluid and go around spraying the flames everywhere.  HAHA super safe in a jam packed crowd where no one has anywhere to go.  One kid had a freaky costume, and on a stick he had animal entrails dangling.  This was by far my most traumatizing part of the night…as an American, we have regular social norms and boundaries that you do not cross…Apparently at Los Agüizotes accidentally setting someone on fire, and dangling a cow liver, and intestine in a strangers face, does not cross a line here.  There was also some people carrying a tank of paint and squirting it on everyone.  It got all over my arm and purse, and it had the same color and consistency of blood, and after having the entrails shoved in my face, I started to question what was considered going “too far” at Los Agüizotes?!?

Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

Who doesn’t like fire sprayed in their face!
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

The band strolling through…see more fire in the background.
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

Home made Chuckie mask. Pretty creative. See the paint on his overalls…That was what people were spraying everywhere. BTW it did not come out of my sweatshirt, nor my purse…well more memories I suppose. :)
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

“Whose bright idea was it to carry a coffin around for 3 hours!!”
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

Mi Tia enjoying some light up devil horns for the festivities.
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

One of the “floats” in the parade.
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

This kid was rocking out and dancing, the band was in front of him.
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Los Agüizotes Festival Nicaragua

Sadly we didn’t dress up. I wasn’t prepared for an impromptu halloween.
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None the less this was an amazing night, seeing all of the traditional folk stories acted out in costume, the enthusiasm of the locals, and the music and dancing.  Just another great adventure.  Still pretty bummed that I won’t be able to celebrate another american halloween this year, but maybe next year! Always a good time, no matter where I manage to find myself.  Until next time, Happy Halloween, and haunted wandering!!

Halloween Costumes

Well since I couldn’t dress up this year, here is my skunk costume from last year with my dear friend Erin dressed up as a Ring Leader for a circus.
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Halloween Costumes

This was Halloween 2010 that I was able to spend in Sacramento with my friend Davey!!! Too much fun this night!
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About Daniella King

Daniella King is a California girl, traveling the world not to accomplish anything in particular, but to instead relish in the beauty that each new destination has to offer.