In 2002 I visited the island of Koh Chang in Thailand.
Though I was hardly a well traveled soul at the time, that shouldn't detract too much from the fact that I had never seen anywhere like it in my life.
It was just gorgeous. I spent less than a week there but I it felt like some wonderful dream.
I returned three years later. The Thai government had invested heavily in beefing up the island's tourist infrastructure. The place was wrecked. It was full of drunk people who wanted to fight each other. It was horrible and heart breaking.
A few years later I visited Mango Bay in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. Actually if I am honest I went there because I was losing it slightly over a girl and needed a break. It looked so much better than I felt. Despite my general mood I was bowled over by the place.
Being the luckiest man in the world I later took the same girl (we patched it up) to see the place. We booked in shortly after a small typhoon had left. It appeared to have left every plastic bag in Asia on the beach.
Going back doesn't seem to work. Can great places only get worse? Can perfection only be ruined?
I ask because this weekend I am going back to Ometepe. In the past when I have compared paradises with travellers I have named this place as The One. Absolute heaven. Total beauty. If you've never been there then you've never lived. Really.
I remember being very happy there. Happy for no other real reason than I was in total awe of my surroundings. See the pictures above.
I'm tempting fate. I am staying at the same hostel. Then it was a shed. Now it appears to be, well, solid and big and incredibly popular.
Can the most beautiful place in the world have kept it looks?
It seems too much to hope for.
But I hope so.