Monday, December 21, 2009
The rod ain´t for fishing.
From El Castillo I took the slow boat for seven hour to San Juan del Norte. The trip through the jungle had trees full of monkeys and iguanas. Saw another croc but it´s head disappeared quickly under water. Loads of birds along the shores including some parrots. San Juan del Norte was a small fishing town that is known for being remote from everything. Waited a day and a half for a boat to the north.
There is now a boat from San Juan del Norte to Blue Fields. I did not know this when going down river to San Juan del Norte so I was happy I did not need to hitch a ride on fishing boat going north. It was a great boat that holds 20 people including the 4 person crew. With two 250HP Yamaha engines in the back, it could fly across the water. The crew looked a bit rough with the big guy watching over everyone. If you seen the ad for New Zealand this was the boat they take you on for fun. The river heads straight into the ocean, with a good surf to cross getting out to the open sea. We flew over the waves and crashed down the other side. We headed out into the Caribbean with the coast miles away. There was a good bit of chop which cause the big guy and another crew to member to go up front to help keep the nose down as we bounced over the waves. I could count 4 or 5 seconds of weightlessness before we hit the bottom of the next wave. It was a carnival ride that would not stop. If you asked to get off everyone would laugh. If you became annoying the big guy would probably asked you to exit the boat after returning their life jacket. An hour into the trip, the big guy ask the pilot to stop for a minute, and then had the passengers pass back his rod (his words) to the pilot.It was just a 9mm automatic. And then we went on. We did stop to have our luggage searched at an army base. This is a main trade route for pharmaceutical entrepreneurs. Everyone is on the look out for bags washing up on shore with cash or pharmaceuticals. This does happen regularly from the stories as some entrepreneurs need to empty their boats before talking with authority unexpectedly. Much of the coastal towns infrastructure was built by pharmaceutical philanthropist and not the government, so they are not disliked.
In Blue fields I decide to take take the plane option to Corn Island, as the boat takes 6 hours and it is another bumpy ride. Walked in and got a plane ticket. Caught the afternoon flight and there took a hurried taxi ride to the dock. Caught the panga to Little Corn Island which was less than an hour long. I took the front for more fun on the ride and I was not disappointed. There was plenty of hard bounces that night. The waves were 8 to 10 feet. A couple from Canada felt safer in this boat as it was bigger. That was it was almost twice as long and made of fiberglass compared to the solid plastic from the morning. Rolling sideways down off the waves was fun as we had a cross wind as always. I was reminded of the movie line "We need a bigger boat".