2013, a year of extremes in pictures

I’m gazing out of the window, the rain is lashing down in ‘sheets’, driven by high winds that are bending trees at an alarming angle. Although only early in the afternoon, the light has already started to fail, making it seem more night than day. The traditional New Year’s Day walk has been postponed – in truth cancelled – due to a general reluctance to endure the terrible weather in person.

My mind keeps wandering over the year just past: this time last year we were celebrating the arrival of 2013 in Sucre, Bolivia, our home for a year. Although we would spend another few months in Bolivia, we were already planning a journey north that would take us through Peru, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, before returning to Bolivia. In between, we’d visit Argentina and Chile, Bolivia’s wealthier neighbours, for a change of scene and cuisine.

The Fiesta de Virgen de Guadalupe, Sucre, Bolivia

The Fiesta de Virgen de Guadalupe, Sucre, Bolivia

The Fiesta de Virgen de Guadalupe, Sucre, Bolivia

The Fiesta de Virgen de Guadalupe, Sucre, Bolivia

So, with one eye on the coming year, here’s my homage to 2013, a year which took us from the heart of South America to the heart of Central America. A journey from the high Andean mountains of Bolivia to the turquoise waters of Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, and back again, before returning to Britain.

Adobe church and Vulcan Sajama, Sajama, Bolivia

Adobe church and Vulcan Sajama, Sajama, Bolivia

Siloli Desert, Bolivia

Siloli Desert, Bolivia

Salinas Grandes, Argentina

Salinas Grandes, Argentina

Cemetery in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Cemetery in the Atacama Desert, Chile

Fiesta in Cuzco, Peru

Fiesta in Cuzco, Peru

Magical Machu Picchu, Peru

Magical Machu Picchu, Peru

Oasis of Huacachina, Peru

Oasis of Huacachina, Peru

A woman sits on a Botero sculpture, Medellin, Colombia

A woman sits on a Botero sculpture, Medellin, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena, Colombia

The Panama Canal, Panama

The Panama Canal, Panama

The beautiful San Blas Islands, Panama

The beautiful San Blas Islands, Panama

The Pacific Ocean from La Cruz, Costa Rica

The Pacific Ocean from La Cruz, Costa Rica

The magnificent Granada, Nicaragua

The magnificent Granada, Nicaragua

The idyllic Pearl Keys, Nicaragua

The idyllic Pearl Keys, Nicaragua

Glorious Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Glorious Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

…finally, returning to reality in London…un feliz y próspero año nuevo por todo.

Tower Bridge, London, England

Tower Bridge, London, England

Two boats, a plane, a stopping bus and a share taxi…from the coast to cowboy country

Reluctantly leaving the delights of Little Corn Island behind, we dragged ourselves out of bed to watch one more Caribbean sunrise, packed our bags and headed to the dock to catch the 6.30am panga to Big Corn Island.

Sunrise on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Sunrise on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

In a land where travel information is unreliable, we’d heard there was a ferry leaving Big Corn that evening for El Rama, a small river port 50km inland at the end of the Rio Escondido. There we’d be able to connect with a bus for our ultimate destination, Juigalpa – home of the Nicaraguan cowboy. El Rama wasn’t a place we wanted to spend more time than necessary, but a necessary destination for the rest of our travels.

Approaching Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

Approaching Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

Approaching Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

Approaching Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

The port area of Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

The port area of Big Corn Island, Nicaragua

There wasn’t a ferry, but a cargo boat was leaving Big Corn for the mainland. It was scheduled to set sail at 9pm (read anytime between 9pm and 3am) and would take twelve hours to reach El Rama. Unfortunately, we were reliably informed, it didn’t have any cabins. It did have some plastic chairs on deck, but the prospect of twelve hours riding Caribbean waves while trying to sleep on a plastic chair was too much to contemplate.

We jumped in a cab taking two other tourists to the airport to see if it was possible to fly to Bluefields, and get an onward panga to El Rama from there. We were lucky. The morning flight to Managua was stopping in Bluefields to pick up more people and there were empty seats on the Big Corn to Bluefields leg. We checked our bags and with minutes to spare headed to the departure gate.

The airport at Bluefields, Nicaragua

The airport at Bluefields, Nicaragua

So far so lucky. We arrived for the fourth time at Bluefields dock and found the panga service to El Rama at the end of a dirty passageway between people’s houses, a butchers shop and an open sewer. We’d just missed the boat by a few minutes – well it was still in the dock, but it already had twenty people in it. No room for a couple of gringos with luggage, we’d have to wait until there were enough people to fill another boat.

Two and a half hours later we were eighteen people and our boat was ready to depart, although not before the Nicaraguan army had body searched all the passengers and a sniffer dog had given our belongings the once-over. We got into the crowded boat and, thanks to being unceremoniously barged to the back of the queue, had to sit with our backs to the direction we were travelling.

The dock at Bluefields, Nicaragua

The dock at Bluefields, Nicaragua

The lazy Rio Escondido between Bluefields and El Rama, Nicaragua

The lazy Rio Escondido between Bluefields and El Rama, Nicaragua

It was a fabulous two hour trip up the Rio Escondido. This is a poor region, many people live little more than a subsistence existence. As you motor up the river, heavy vegetation occasionally gives way to reveal simple wooden shacks without electricity or running water, miles from any services. Wooden canoes are a major form of transport. Closer to El Rama there were vast areas of forest cleared for the cultivation of cows, and some fairly large houses on these fincas.

The lazy Rio Escondido between Bluefields and El Rama, Nicaragua

The lazy Rio Escondido between Bluefields and El Rama, Nicaragua

The lazy Rio Escondido between Bluefields and El Rama, Nicaragua

The lazy Rio Escondido between Bluefields and El Rama, Nicaragu

El Rama wasn’t much to look at, just a few dirty streets leading from the port to the market area from where the buses to Juigalpa departed. Luckily, we’d arrived just in time to catch the ‘local service’ which would speed us along the 180km to Juigalpa. Four hours later we were still crawling towards Juigalpa, stopping so regularly to either pick up or drop off people that I began to wonder if we’d ever get there.

The sun set and, finally, fourteen hours after leaving Little Corn Island the bus dropped us and our baggage at an intersection on the main road.

Disoriented, hot and tired, we flagged down a share taxi and headed up a steep hill to Juigalpa’s main plaza. We arrived in a seriously subdued town. We’d forgotten that it was Sunday, pretty much everything in Juigalpa was closed and the streets deserted. No one seemed particularly keen to see us, even the receptionist at the hotel where we were the only guests. The only open restaurant in town greeted us with suppressed hostility.

Mural in Juigalpa, Nicaragua

Mural in Juigalpa, Nicaragua

We paid over-the-odds for ordinary food and terrible service. Figuring we’d probably seen all there was to see that evening and, deciding the town might feel a bit more inviting in the morning, went back to our unwelcoming hotel and got an early night…bringing to an end a very long day of travel, Nicaraguan style.

Little Corn Island, another Nicaraguan paradise in the Caribbean

After our time in Pearl Lagoon and on the Pearl Keys, its seemed unlikely that Nicaragua’s much-heralded Corn Islands would live up to their billing as some of the Caribbean’s finest islands only recently on the international travel map. We skipped the more developed Big Corn Island and headed straight to Little Corn Island, where I discovered just how wrong I was.

Little Corn Island demands superlatives. It’s beautiful, the ocean is all sparkling blues and turquoises, the seafood and rum are delicious and, perhaps best of all, there isn’t a single motor vehicle on the island. The only wheeled transport is by wheelbarrow or handcart.

The port of El Bluff en route to the Corn Islands, Nicaragua

The port of El Bluff en route to the Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Big Corn Island from the ocean, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Big Corn Island from the ocean, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Pangas on Big Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Pangas on Big Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

You can walk all around Little Corn on dirt tracks that criss-cross the forested interior en route to the ocean and not hear a sound other than birds, the wind and the waves. Its a rare experience these days to be unable to hear the ‘world’, and it creates a seductive tranquility. We stayed in a wooden cabana with refreshing sea breezes, a few steps from the warm waters of the Caribbean – from the veranda we watched sunrises to end all sunrises.

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Dirt Tracks through the interior, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Dirt Tracks through the interior, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Dirt Tracks through the interior, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Dirt Tracks through the interior, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

The island fun starts with the transport options to get there. You can fly directly to Big Corn Island, but we decided that taking one of the slow boats that make the five or six hour trip from Bluefields a couple of times a week would be more interesting. Once you arrive on Big Corn a panga, a small motorboat, will speed and jolt you across the 30km that separates Big Corn from Little Corn.

The panga we took normally holds twenty six; our panga was crammed to sinking-point with forty one passengers, nine of whom were standing. Regardless, our boat went at top speed across the water, crashing into fairly sizeable waves. While I was concentrating on trying to keep my spine intact, I didn’t notice the back half of the boat getting soaking wet. When we finally reached Little Corn a dozen people looked half drowned.

Welcome to the Caribbean…luckily, we arrived on Little Corn just in time to watch the sun set over the Caribbean.

Sunset, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Sunset, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Sunset, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Sunset, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

70km from the mainland, the Corn Islands’ history reflects the history of this whole coast. The population are predominately English-Creole speakers of Afro-Caribbean descent, originally brought as slaves to grow corn (in Spanish the islands are called the Islas del Maiz). Despite early Spanish interest (Christopher Columbus stopped by in 1502), British pirates frequented these waters and made the islands their base. They became a British protectorate until 1894.

The culture of the islands reflects this history but, thanks to the current boom in tourism, this unique culture has changed in recent years with an influx of Spanish speakers from the mainland.

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island is a small piece of paradise. Fresh seafood abounds, coconuts and pineapples grow and there is a natural aquifer providing fresh water – something seafarers from 1502 onwards appreciated. Tourism is putting pressure on fresh water resources, and Little Corn’s future may depend upon the island’s population being able to balance the needs of the environment against the need to develop the economy.

Many of the inhabitants of Little Corn are poor and live in small wooden houses or tin shacks. Take a walk in the right direction, away from the beaches and restaurants, and you can see the challenges facing many people and how tourism could easily become a divisive business if people don’t see any benefit from the predicable flood of tourists to the island in the next few years.

Houses, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Houses, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Houses, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Houses, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Houses, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Houses, Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

For the time being though, and hopefully for a long time to come, Little Corn Island is a wonderful place to spend a few days living out the Caribbean fantasy.

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island, Corn Islands, Nicaragua

Paradise found (again), Nicaragua’s spectacular Pearl Keys

The Pearl Keys are sublime, like being in a dream: perfect crescents of white sand, backed by swaying palms and coconut trees, hammocks slung between them; warm turquoise waters to snorkel and swim in while your boat driver cooks up the traditional seafood stew of Rondon on the beach for lunch. Thankfully, this is no dream this is the perfect Pearl Keys, an hour by boat from Pearl Lagoon off the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

As we motored through the calm waters of Pearl Lagoon towards the open waters of the Caribbean the weather looked like it might spoil our Caribbean fantasy. Large rain clouds gathered in the distance and at one point we got soaking wet as we passed through a torrential downpour in the middle of the ocean. Thankfully, on the other side the sun was shining bright and clear and we spotted the Pearl Keys dotted in the ocean.

We were lucky enough to see turtles swimming past our boat as we made our way east. This area is critically important as both a nesting site for several types of turtle, including a couple of highly endangered species, and as a prime feeding ground for them as well.

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Passing a couple of the larger Keys we were headed to Crawl Key, so absolutely perfect with its crescent beach and turquoise waters that it beggars belief. So few tourists make it to this part of Nicaragua that we had Crawl Key to ourselves – just us and our boat’s captain, a lobster fisherman during the season and a tour guide in the off season. Called Dane, he was also an excellent cook and knew everything there was to know about the Pearl Keys and this region.

There’s a reef off one end of Crawl Key, which has been badly damaged by rising sea levels and increased destruction from stormy weather. It still retains patches of living coral and its possible to snorkel out and spot quite a lot of fish, anemones and starfish, but it does leave you wondering what the reef might have looked like before the destruction.

Palm tree shadow, Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Palm tree shadow, Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Other than snorkelling and swimming, Crawl Key offers little but swinging in the hammock while waiting for the Rondon to be cooked. Part stew, part soup, Rondon, or Rundown as it is sometimes known, is a speciality of the region. Slow cooked fish, prawns, crab and (in season) lobster, mixed with vegetables and steamed with coconut milk. Its absolutely delicious, especially eaten overlooking the magical turquoise waters of the Pearl Keys.

Like several of the Pearl Keys, Crawl Key has been bought under circumstances locals claim as suspicious by a wealthy American, who has started construction of a monstrously ugly house overlooking a beach that was an important Hawksbill Turtle nesting site. Community pressure seems to have ended the construction and the house is slowly decaying hidden from sight by the towering palm trees.

At least the owner allows people to spend time on the island, two others owned by British people are completely out-of-bounds.

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Crawl Key, Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

The indigenous Miskitos communities of this region are trying to wrest control of the Pearl Keys back for use by the community, but it may be some time before they are successful. Until then some of the most spectacular islands in the Caribbean will be off limits to both them and any travellers who make it this far.

Sunset returning from the Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

Sunset returning from the Pearl Keys, Caribbean, Nicaragua

The seductive charms of Pearl Lagoon

Pearl Lagoon, or Languna de Perlas in Spanish, is just about as authentic, non-touristy and undeveloped Caribbean as it is possible to get without dropping off the map altogether. Time seems to slow to a standstill, the delicious seafood is cheap and plentiful and the rum flows freely. Within a matter of hours we’d fallen under its spell and instead of the two days we’d planned for, finally dragged ourselves away six days later and only then reluctantly.

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Fishing with a hand net, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Fishing with a hand net, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

A small, traditional Creole and Miskito fishing community on the edge of a large and tranquil lagoon on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, Pearl Lagoon is just waking up to the possibility of tourism. While the spectacular Pearl Keys are reasonably well known (although difficult and expensive to get to), community tourism to Miskito and Garifuna villages around the lagoon is definitely about to make its mark. Visit now, because things will have changed in a few years.

This part of Nicaragua is chronically underdeveloped. There is little infrastructure – regular water shortages and power cuts, no paved roads – but its friendly, easy-going people and its beauty have a seductive charm that captured our hearts. Plus, no roads means you get to spend a lot of time in boats zipping from one place to another.

Reggae music is the norm here, and you can almost forget that you’re technically in a Spanish-speaking country – Creole and English predominate.

Small fishing boat, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Small fishing boat, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

This region was controlled for decades by an alliance of the British Government and the indigenous Miskito people, who were the regional superpower before Europeans arrived. This alliance effectively kept the Spanish out of the whole region, which, with the importation of Afro-Caribbean slaves and Jamaican migrants, developed an entirely different Creole-Miskito culture to ‘Spanish’ Nicaragua.

The area is also home to a sizeable Garifuna community. The Garifuna can be found all along the Caribbean coast, from Belize to Costa Rica, and were either escaped slaves who rebelled, freed themselves and established free communities on the coast; or, as some anthropologists believe, made their way independently from Africa two centuries before the slavers.

Small fishing boat, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Small fishing boat, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Moravian Church, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Moravian Church, Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

The British ceded the region to Nicaragua when it gained independence from Spain in 1821, but Nicaraguan control was non-existent until they took it by military force in 1894. The region overwhelming opposed the Sandinistas, and with US support launched an armed uprising against the Sandinista government in the 1980s. Which explains the government’s lack of investment in the region.

The lack of government interest in the ‘English’ part of Nicaragua has, in part, been filled by Colombian drug runners. Once-upon-a-time it was rum runners, times change but things stay the same. Drug boats bound for the United States frequently take refuge in the islands off the coast in bad weather or when being chased by law enforcement. To maintain local support they have invested more money in the region’s infrastructure than the government.

This includes a ‘donation’ of the region’s only high-speed internet cafe on Pearl Lagoon’s main street. Sadly, you still need electricity to have the internet and when we were there the electricity barely functioned. Still, you’re unlikely to win a ‘war on drugs’ when the drug runners are more philanthropic than the government.

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Let me just say it once more, “We loved Pearl Lagoon.” If you go there, try to stay in one of the stilted cabanas at the Queen Lobster restaurant. Owned by a young local woman and her Spanish husband, this is one of the friendliest and most pleasant places to stay imaginable. Plus, the restaurant serves some of the best seafood in town – although for the very best food try Warner’s Place a block or so behind the Moravian Church. Delicious.

Cabana at the Queen Lobster Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Cabana at the Queen Lobster Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Cabana at the Queen Lobster Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Cabana at the Queen Lobster Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

The owners of the Queen Lobster will also arrange trips to other parts of the area, including to the fabulous Pearl Keys. We went only for a day trip, but wished we’d spent the extra cash to stay overnight on one of the keys. Next time.

In the meantime, if you go to Pearl Lagoon for no other reason, go for the sunsets…

Sunset over Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Sunset over Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Sunset over Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Sunset over Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Sunset over Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

Sunset over Pearl Lagoon, Nicaragua

“We been drinking brew for breakfast, so Rudie can’t fail.” Welcome to Bluefields, home of the breakfast beer

I’d never really given the lyrics of The Clash’s Rudie Can’t Fail much thought before coming to Bluefields, but a day and a night in the city and a couple of transits through it helped lend perspective. A few cold beers for breakfast seems pretty normal in Bluefields…and it helps explain the number of drunks weaving their way through the commercial district and port area.

Bluefields from the water, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields from the water, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields from the water, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields from the water, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields from the water, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields from the water, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, the major city on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, is a seedy introduction to the eastern side of the country…and as a hard working but impoverished port town, its as far from most people’s idealised vision of the Caribbean as possible. Since it connects the rest of Nicaragua to the Caribbean coast and the Atlantic, if you want to explore some of this region Bluefields is pretty much unavoidable.

I don’t want to be unkind to Bluefields because for decades it, and the rest of the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast, have been treated with contempt and neglect by the Nicaraguan government. It is the least developed part of a country that is second only to Haiti in poverty terms in the Americas, which is all you need to know about the state of things. Unemployment and underemployment are seemingly entrenched, little is being done to improve things.

Bluefields Bay, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields Bay, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields from the water, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields from the water, Bluefields, Nicaragua

More positively, Bluefields has one of the most interesting histories in the region – its named after a Dutch pirate and was a centre of British activity in the Caribbean. Which is why many of its inhabitants are of Afro-Caribbean descent and English is spoken as often as Spanish. There is a museum in town that is supposed to tell this history, but doesn’t really get to grips with it.

The city also has a magical location, situated on a series of headlands that jut out into Bluefields Bay, a vast tract of water that sparkles a brilliant blue in the morning sunshine. It is also the gateway to the intriguing expanse of the Nicaraguan Caribbean, but none of this seems to matter when confronted with so much seediness.

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Advert, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Advert, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields’ cause wasn’t helped when, in 1988, Hurricane Juana swept in from the ocean and literally destroyed 90% of the city. Miraculously only a small number of people died, but most of its historic wooden, Victorian-era houses were little more than matchsticks after the hurricane passed on. The city has been rebuilt with concrete houses which lack any charm what-so-ever, but which tend to perform better than wooden houses during a hurricane.

Fending off the advances of several people intent on parting me from my money, I went for a walk around town one afternoon. Once away from the seedy commercial and dock area the town becomes a lot more open and friendly. People smile and say hello, the central park was full of families and young people enjoying themselves, and no one tried to shake me down.

The History of Bluefields in street art, Nicaragua

The History of Bluefields in street art, Nicaragua

Surviving historic house, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Surviving historic house, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Girl Power street art, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Girl Power street art, Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields, Nicaragua

Given enough time Bluefields is probably the sort of place that would grow on me, even then I wouldn’t walk around at night. Still, the rewards of visiting this remarkable part of Nicaragua…Pearl Lagoon, the Pearl Keys and the Corn Islands – far outweigh the perils of spending a bit of time in Bluefields.