Travel: Love Story in a Caribbean Island | Pinay.com
I once met a Spanish dreamer who said that “travel is a love story.”
My husband and I had just arrived at her little rustic inn hidden by trees from the rest of Little Corn Island, and she had asked me what I did for a living. I told her I was a travel writer which started her waxing poetic. Watching her looking out at the sea, her eyes reflecting the quiet ebbing of the waves, she got me thinking of what we had to go through to get there.
Sitting on the edge of the Caribbean, Little Corn Island is one of Nicaragua’s best kept secrets. To get there, my husband and I had to get on a 10-seater plane from the city of Managua. After lurching and wobbling through the clouds for one and a half hours, it got us to Big Corn Island in one piece.
At Big Corn, a cheerful Creole drove us to the dock where we waited for our boat at a restaurant by the water, observing dark-skinned fishermen clean their catch on the shoreline. We watched the fish being gutted and its blood streaming like a dream into the water. Our ceviche was as fresh as could be.
The boat was larger than our plane, but we were packed like excited sardines baking under the sun. It rocked uncertainly under our weight. When we finally arrived at Little Corn, the journey was far from over. We walked for 30 minutes, dragging our heavy bags along a roughly cleared path through the jungle. Coconut trees nodded overhead as if to say, “welcome,” but I hardly noticed. I was thirsty, tired, and my shoes were digging blisters on my heels. I wanted to blame my husband for choosing a place so difficult to get to. Instead I bit my lip, because I could hear him cursing under his breath, having to carry my extra load.
And just like our long slog to reach the island, our personal journey was just as trying. After surviving a long distance relationship for years, we were reunited by an ailment that almost took my husband’s life. Recovery was long, and barely had we settled into marital bliss, when the little one came, consuming our days. He is our big blessing, but he came with sleepless nights and never-ending demands. Before long the distance grew between us again, separated by the stress of parenthood, a new career, a new environment.
But our journey brought us finally to Little Corn. Soon thick foliage gave way to a grassy expanse, then the sand, and finally clear blue waters. Then I knew that part of what made this place so special was that one had to work hard to get there.
My shoulders had not seen the sun in months, and to feel it burning was bliss. The view, devoid of restaurants and vendors common of popular beaches, was like a tall drink of cold water for our parched spirit. With every breath I took, I recovered what was misplaced. The air smelled like a newborn’s breath. Suddenly I was missing my son who was vacationing with his cousins. I was excited to explore the island without having to run after him, but I was also looking forward to going home with a new sense of purpose.
We stood for a second, taking it all in. My husband dropped the heavy load he had been lugging and held my hand. Suddenly, we were back to where we started, back to the time when love was young. Forgetting our aches, we were raring to get to know Little Corn. We would let her nurture us with her beauty and her modesty.
There was no hot water. No Internet. No menus. Every day we sat around the table like a big family: a Norwegian couple with their kids, the American free spirit with his Spanish partner, and my American husband with his Filipina wife back in her element, all of us sharing one huge platter piled high with steaming beef in tomato sauce and plantains.
On our last night, we sat in the open dining area on handmade artisan chairs, listening to the song of the wind, with tummies filled and souls overflowing. I looked over to the Spanish dreamer swinging lazily on a hammock and told her, “You know, love too is a travel story.”
Ana Maria Lykes writes a travel blog. You can read more about her trip on Ana Viajera. All photos here were taken and provided for by the author.