I Need A Pullover

        Of the "stop the car" kind, not the sweater. Specifically of the please-stop-laughing-at-me-after-I've-been-writing-p-o-o-p-and-b-a-t-h-r-o-o-m-on-the-windshield-for-the-last-5-minutes-long-enough-to-tell-the-driver-I-need-more-than-a-public-side-of-the-road-facility-for-my upset-belly variety. At any rate, this problem is behind us and our back of pickup truck transport (there's a bus strike) gets us from Granada to the Managua airport.
        Opting out of the bus strike navigation, we book a flight straight from Managua to Big Corn Island. This means we'll miss some May festival in Bluefields (eastern coast), but getting straight to a Caribbean island seems worth the ~$165 per head round-trip given our current state of exhaustion. Ditto with paying ~$50 to rent a room at the closest hotel to the airport so that we can store bikes and a bunch of our extra baggage for the 5 days until we return. Best Western is the fancy-pants airport hotel; I can picture a hotel fat cat 30 years ago: "Nicaragua will be the next hot destination, I tell you: the Contras are kicking butt, and my buddy Ollie North's helping make sure of it. We need to build big, and we'll start with this great site next to the airport."
        Our baggage we leave is significantly heavier than our baggage we take, not including the bikes. I'm politely reminded by Amanda that this is her first real backpacking trip; I remind myself to keep this in mind:)
        Our flight's an ~12-person Cessna, and no messing around: we board, the pilots get on, and we're in the air within 5 minutes of them sitting down. No safety crap, no tarmac delays: a flight that flies and not much else. There is a bit of entertainment: 1 of the 2 pilots is blatantly sleeping for most of the flight, occasionally waking up to wiggle the controls and not much else.
        Big Corn Island's ~under 10,000 people and probably no more than 20 square miles. A marked move to the island lifestyle, things move too slowly and contentedly here for us to even get bombarded by beggars (a la Managua) or otherwise hassled.
        A long walk gets us to La Princesa de Isla, an Italian couple's beach front, handmade piece of paradise. Allesandro has himself crated pretty much every inch of the 3 rooms for rent, one of which is named after each of Alessandro's daughters. My favorite detail is the shower's spout: water flows out of holes he's made in a conch shell. Stretching reasonable for us at $50, but too interesting to pass up.
        A dinner of delicious mixed seafood soup and other oceanic delights wraps up a long day, and we're asleep early on our newfound island paradise:)

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