From the northern highlands, Nicaragua
Coffee, cacao, bananas, palm and orange trees. Cloud forest full of exotic birds. That's the lay of the land in the northern highlands.
My countryside alarm clock was the rhythmic beat of fresh tortillas being flattened by hand in the kitchen - a large stack is made in the morning to eat through the day. This was accompanied by the smell of homegrown coffee on the kitchen stove, a traditional burner being constantly stoked with more wood.
From Solentiname Islands, Nicaragua
I was relishing the breeze on my face as the outboard motor propelled us into the vast lake. To my surprise, the captain sat down next to me. He wanted to know what brought me to Solentiname, and we fell into talking in a lovely exchange of mutual, unaffected curiosity.
One thought had occurred to me though. If he's here, who was driving? ‘El niño’ had it under control. To be fair there's little water traffic to concern his baby-faced apprentice.
From Ometepe Islands, Nicaragua
I’ve never been much of a fan of time at the beach. But I had to admit that there was something rather special about this one. Perhaps it was because I knew, contrary to appearances, that it was fresh water of Lake Nicaragua, rather than ocean, lapping at the shore.
More likely it was the great volcano looming over us to our right, partly shrouded in mist. Even the local kayaker seemed to be as awestruck as me…
From Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
It seemed appropriate that, just as my guide was finishing his tale of Chico Largo - the diabolical figure associated with the Charco Verde Lagoon we were walking around - something should emerge from the murky green water.
This too was a chico – though not a big one – and happily far less diabolical. Showing no desire to capture my soul and turn me into a cow, he was more keen to show off the souls he had secured – a great little haul of fish.