This article was written by Freda Moon, whom I met while in Little Corn Island back in August. She paints a vivid and accurate picture of the visitor’s experience traveling to Little Corn Island.
THE darkness was as deep and pure as squid ink. I swiped my foot across the ground, feeling for rocks, roots and voids. Around me there was rustling, scurrying and crashing — the sounds of creatures meeting branches and leaves. Startled by some unseen threat, I stopped abruptly, colliding with my travel companion, Ashley, who followed close behind. Each time we slammed into each other, hapless as slapstick Stooges, we were reduced to fits of hysterical laughter — laughter masking fear and frustration.
It was our first night on Little Corn Island, 45 or so miles off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua. We had just checked Ashley into her hotel on the north end of the mile-long Cocal beach, and now, as dusk turned to darkness, we were hiking to my more humble cabana, at Casa Iguana, perched on a cliff at the beach’s south end. But with no lights to guide us, we had overshot the hotel and ended up on a former pineapple plantation, overgrown with mango, banana and hibiscus.
The fact that we could get so badly lost on what we had been told would be a 10-minute walk is typical of Little Corn, where electricity is scarce and most nights are reserved for board games, books and the occasional bonfire. Though only a puddle jump from the Nicaraguan coast, the Corn Islands — Big Corn and Little Corn, a half-hour boat ride apart — are among the few Caribbean destinations that are relatively unknown to international tourists.