Thursday, April 1, 2010

Atlantic Coast Recap Part II: Pearl Lagoon

On Saturday morning, bright and early, Dianne & I arrived at the dock in Bluefields to get on a panga (boat) bound for Pearl Lagoon.

“Welcome! So different and in Nicaragua. The Caribbean Coast is waiting for you.”

Since I couldn’t quite figure out how to get us out to Corn Island during this trip, I figured it’d be faster and easier and cheaper to visit the town of Pearl Lagoon on the body of water called Pearl Lagoon. The panga ride out was beautiful:



Slightly rundown but still lovely town of Pearl Lagoon:

That afternoon, despite a little trouble finding transportation, we went to the beach in Awas, a miskito community not far from Pearl Lagoon:

Awas is a tiny little town of maybe 15 houses, some of which are built with reeds and palm thatch roofs:

While we lounged in the water a crazy guy wandered up and offered to buy to Dianne. I kindly informed him that she was mine and I wasn’t going to sell her. Dianne often gets extra attention because she’s Korean-American, usually people call her “chinita” (little Chinese girl) but since so many people speak English we started hearing “China girl” instead. Dianne decided she prefers China girl. When we were done at the beach the sun had gone down sufficiently that we could walk back without baking.

Lots of houses are built on stilts to avoid inevitable flooding that comes from living so close to the water:


The Blue Energy turbine in Pearl Lagoon (see previous post), if I remember correctly it powers the school:

Because the world is insanely small, that evening we walked into the nice restaurant in town and found another PCV, Katie, sitting at the bar. As it turns out she’d spent the whole week there with friends who happened to own that restaurant. This is Katie the next day pumping water:

On Sunday Dianne and I made up for not going to Corn Island by visiting the Pearl Cays which, according to Katie who has been to both, are way better and I would agree. The Pearl Cays are 18 little islands out in the Caribbean and any one of them literally could be that island that Jack Sparrow is marooned on in Pirates of the Caribbean (In fact, Italian Survivor was filming on the island next to ours but we weren’t allowed to go over and say hi. Bummer.). Paradise on earth I tell you:


Our ride:

We basically had the whole island to ourselves, plus Augusto, the guy who got us out there, and the two guys who guard/take care of the place, Hector and Leon. The island also has a half-finished two story monster of a house that belongs to the North American owner. However, construction has ceased on all the islands from what I understand because ownership is contested. Basically the islands were supposed to be reserved as communal lands for the indigenous community and yet several were sold to private owners. The issue has not yet been resolved.

Luckily that wasn’t a problem for us, so we went snorkeling and saw some cool fishies and crabs and starfish as big as my head. After that we spent most of the rest of the day lounging in the shallows and sitting on the beach chatting with the caretakers. Both are mestzos and both moved at some point in their past from the Pacific side to the Atlantic side. I was talking to Leon about Bluefields to see what the mestizo perspective was, which turned out to be pretty much what I expected. He said that it’s not that the blacks are discriminated against but that they don’t want to work. I chose not to argue with him.


Hector cut down coconuts for us so Dianne and I got to enjoy some agua de coco (coconut water):

And for lunch Augusto went fishing and came back with red snapper, which he promptly fried up. Can’t get much fresher than this:

This is the island dog, Duende. Duendes are basically elves that, according to Nicaraguan legend, will steal children who are outside too late at night:

The island behind me is where they’re shooting Italian Survivor, you can see the broadcast tower:

Two very happy travelers:

1 comment:

Laura said...

Looks amazing! Wish I could visit again so we could go :) Glad you had a great time! xo