top of page

Little Corn Island

          I laughed as I tossed my favorite hot pink panties down the receptacle on the 100-seat commuter airline. Smiling, I pranced out of the bathroom as I shook my ombre, sunkissed-mess of hair in disbelief that this trip was coming to an end. But I knew using my thong as toilet paper was a clear sign that it was time to go home.  I slipped back into my seat, still laughing and needing to share. I slid up close to the Israli boy next to me. He had all dark features that served as perfect backdrop to his big white smile that could melt a girl for days. I whispered in his ear, “you’ll never guess what just happened to me in the bathroom…”. The depth of his laugh rivaled mine, which is a major feat. He whispered back to me, “You’re fucking crazy. But I remember you….ahhh the girl from California, with two cigarettes”. I looked at him confused but my eyes begged him to go on. He paused as I reminisced the past 24 hours that my best friend Nelly and I had spent the Corn islands, Nicaragua.

 

         The night of our original flight, we had some transportation issues. I received a minor DUI, which meant 60 bucks and changing our plane tickets to spend another night in the “scenic” Granada. Due to the delay, we would be flying to the Corn Islands for a little over twenty-four hours so had to make it count.

 

         Little Corn Island was more beautiful than I had pictured in my mind. It was like traveling back in time. It was  small island lined with sun worn, oversized porches attached to brightly colored colonial style houses. Each house was accompanied by tropical garden of palm trees and bright pink flowers with private hammocks draped from the trees.  There were no cars or electricity on the island during the days. Dense jungle sat behind the houses and palm trees stretched to the turquoise coastline providing aesthetic beauty and much needed shade. The “town” was three or four shack-style restaurants that lined the beach and sold delicious lobster at ridiculously low prices. We took in the energy of the island, we allowed the fresh air and sun to seep into our skin as we walked seven minutes down a dirt path to Three-Brothers hostel. When we arrived, we stripped down to our bikinis to escape from the heat and headed to the beach. 

 

         Nelly is my best friend for so many reasons. She has a free spirit attitude and always has a secret plan, her brilliant ideas constantly topping one another. As we relaxed on the beach, she looked over at me, her long blond hair shining in the sun with a devious sparkle in her bright blue eyes that I know all too well, “Wanna see if we can rent a boat?!” Next thing you know, we were skipping through the palm trees, throwing our hands in the air, ready to use our charm to proposition a bar of local men to take us on a boat ride.

           Hands didn’t go flying, half of the people were wasted and the other half in lobster induced comas. One man was up for the challenge, Felix. Felix’s hygiene was a paradox to me. He was a local fisherman and under close scrutiny, it appeared the only baths he had taken for the past month were in the ocean however, he didn’t smell bad. Anyways, for $30 U.S. dollars he would Captain his boat for the day around Corn islands for us. We brought beers, Captain Felix brought a bottle of rum.

 

            Nelly whipped out her iPod and speakers to set mood with Friendly Fires, Hot Chip, and Milky Chance. We laughed hysterically out of fear and joy as Captain Felix went full-throttle with his 10-foot, wooden boat into 3-foot waves.  With every wave and beat of the music, the happier and more relaxed we fell into the lifestyle of the Corn islands. Three hours later, Nelly and I were barely tipsy, but it was clear our fearless driver’s heavy pour had caught up with his bloodstream.  He was happy as a clam, drunk as a skunk, and we were out of gas, so it was time to go home.

         “The girl from California, with two cigarettes”. Tal’s voice rang in my head. I remembered. After the boat ride, Nelly and I went to get some dinner and relax.  A guy walked up to me and asked for a cigarette. I gave him two. “You must be a happy girl to give away two, when I only asked for one”. I smiled, and just like that a boy fell in love with a girl.

         That night, I passed out listening to the waves crash in a hammock outside of the bar. The next morning, I felt heartbroken saying goodbye to goodbye to Nelly and was thankful to meet Tal on the flight home to help soften the blow.

 

          Tal was traveling for a year through Central America to surf.  His personality matched his laid back lifestyle, but he wasn’t your average sun-drenched, dumb-as rocks, surfer. He had a keen sense of humor and his intelligence came across in his wit. I asked him his favorite place, he said, “Costa Rica”. I replied, “San Diego, that’s why I live there”. He saw this as a challenge, a place to explore that sat in the back of his mind like a loaded gun waiting to strike a target. We lost each other after the flight, but not before we exchanged numbers.

 

          Six months later, I got a whatsapp from that crazy kid. “I just landed in Ocean, Beach, California…wanna grab a beer?”

bottom of page