Back to the Caribe!

Bocas del Toro Travel Blog

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so after an easy bus ride headed south, and a smooth border crossing we found ourselves in Panama! ...too easy!

we arrived late to the CR/Panama border on the caribe coast. A fairly typical looking border crossing for these parts, couple of little shacks either side of a bridge over a muddy river. This one however, was a little more low key. Busting to go to the toilet, I paid some dude to help me find a toilet (which was a drama as the town had no water) & get us across the border (which was very straight forward, but we already made a friend so we had his help). We were haggled by jerks at the border trying to charge us a fortune to drive us to the ferry out to Bocas del Toro. We were resilient, and decided to stay in the town of Changuinola near where you catch the boat to Bocas.

playa wizard... isla bastimentos... bocas


A few things struck me about Panama right away.... everyone (besides the usual creeps at the border) was very friendly, shops were absolutely loaded with goods, oh, and it was hot.

Still feeling very ill, I dragged myself onto the bocas bound boat the next monring... which turned out to be a bit of fun.... a speedboat ride thru the canals in the farmland & coastal  forest with the occasional house.... more than once I turned to broomy & said something along the lines of "I wasn't expecting him to turn here"... as we charged thru reeds and lillies and under overhanging trees.

Anyway we got to Bocas Del Toro... a lush as lush set of islands on the carribean coast.

The first thing that hits you is the nautical atmosphere... boats buzzing between piers & restaurants & hotels perched above the water. The water is clear, warm & clean and has fish jumping every minute or so... nice to see!

We decided to stay in the "Aqua Lounge" on isla carenero, which didnt turn out to be the best spot to get over the flu. All day thumping music rocked its pylons... which sparked a decent party. The setup was awesome, the hostel was built over the water complete with a cut out in the deck for a swimming pool in the water beneath... it even had a diving board into the pool! For 3 days we didnt do much of anything but holed up in party paradise... both trying to get better, and get the immune system up and running again.

Soon enough we moved over to Isla Bastimentos - another island in the bocas area.

russian survivor!
It was a tip from someone I met in Nicaragua... turned out to be a good tip.. the locals on the island were keen to have a super friendly carribean chat (hard to understand). They left an impression of integrity & content... which is always good. But that wasn't all, we soon discovered the island had some brilliantly beautiful beaches... that good, in fact, the russian series of 'survivor' were filming the day we decided to visit.... which gave us something to look at and talk about.

We also took a bit of a trip around to a few other islands for a day... snorkelling, 'doplhin spotting' (it was part of the deal... we didnt request it something we're lucky enough to see alll the time at home), & visitiing isla Zapatilla.

Isla Zapatilla was great... postcard perfect island set in clear torquoise waters, alive with marine life (its a national park).

more survivor
Whilst we were on the island, a local wilderness type was digging up a recently hatched turtle nest. The eggs had all hatched and for some reason the baby turtles (what do you call a baby turtle?) were dying under the sand... they couldnt get out. Amazed at the little tiny creatures, we all slept well that night, knowing that we did our little bit in help carry them to the water line, watching them swim off into the big blue.

But I can only take the carribean for so long. The beauty of it in its own doesnt really do it for me.... and drinking pina colada's all day, to me, doesnt constitute a recreational activity... so its off to the pacific!!!

PS sorry for spelling and grammer... im typing this very rushed from written notes!!! ...but you get the idea!

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playa wizard... isla bastimentos..…
playa wizard... isla bastimentos.…
russian survivor!
russian survivor!
more survivor
more survivor
the local church
the local church
the caribe front door!
the caribe front door!