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Bocas del Toro Travel Blog

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View of the bay

Today we were headed back to Panama City, but not until 4:30, so we still had a bit of time to enjoy Bocas.  In the morning, we had breakfast again out on the patio (or dock) of our waterfront 4-room hotel. 

Afterward, we poked around town looking for a 2 or 3 hour boat trip to another of the surrounding islands.  But we couldn´t find a captain with an agreeable price.  (It wasn´t really the captains´ fault - taking only two people out on a boat is fairly expensive on a per-person basis due to gasoline,  time, etc.  Better for them if they can fill up the boat, obviously.)

So we decided for a cheaper and equally fun alternative.

Our sweet bike rentals
  We rented bicycles (a couple of beach cruisers with baskets - classy) with the intent of exploring the island we were on.  I say "intent" because it took us a couple of tries.  The first bike I rented had a broken chain issue.  We got a mile out and the chain became derailed.  I fixed it, went another few hundred yards, and it broke again.  So I rode it carefully back to town and exchanged bikes.  We set off again - this time successfully.  The heat was pretty brutal, but it felt good to get some exercise, too.

We road up the coastline and found some neat little beaches and houses.  Then we turned inland and rode up a small hill to a couple hilltop houses under construction.  The scariest part was passing a huge, slow moving flatbed truck (with a gigantic bulldozer on the back, swaying to and fro) while navigating a curvy, pot-hole filled mountain road.

Dan and his pink bicycle
  But we made it. 

Eventually, back in town, we returned the bicycles and had lunch a traditional cafeteria corriente - basically a cafeteria style place with ready made meat dishes.  Adam had pork and rice, I had chicken and rice.  Good, hot, cheap.

At 3:30pm we checked out and headed off to the tiny Bocas del Toro airport / playground.  No joke, the school´s playground (or at least soccer field) butts up against the end of the runway.  There´s no fence or anything.  Soccer game could be interrupted by the jetwash of plane taking off!  The other day when we landed, there were kids on the field just standing there watching the planes taking off.  (which apparently happens only a few times a day.)

Anyway, our plane was a bit late, but we made it back to Panama City, a short 55 minute flight.

The road - man it was hot

Bruce was there waiting for us, and - after fighting brutal traffic back to downtown - he took us to our new condo where Adam and I would stay for the next 6 nights.  A decent place with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, living space, kitchen, washer/dryer, and live-in maid´s quarters (room/bathroom).... but unfortunately no maid.  All this for just over $100 per night.

I sent Bruce off to dinner with Adam, and I met up with my friend Dayana for dinner.  She took me to a sushi place she used to work at.  Decent, but her noodle dish was better than my sushi.  Then the plan was to pick up her friend Janet, and meet Bruce and Adam at Sapore de Mare. 

Well, we made it but only after one minor setback.  After picking up Janet, we were cruising in a cab down Via Espana when traffic stopped.

Streets of Bocas
  Suddenly BAM!  We got rearended.  Our driver was of course pissed off, so he jumped out to investigate - while the three of us sat in the back nervous that we now were stopped in the middle of a very busy street with crazy drivers all around us.  (Fortunately it was not a collision of whip-lash severity.)  Our driver came back a few minutes later, and to our suprise, we just got underway again.  Apparently the guy that hit us was SO drunk, that our driver unsuccessfully negotiated with him.  He just decided it wasn´t worth the hassle.  No major damage, no injuries, just move on.

So after that, we did make it to Sapore and met up with Bruce and Adam.  The bar tonight had some, um, interesting entertainment.  Topless male waiters, who then later did a strip tease much to the liking of the crowd (and Janet and Dayana).

Streets of Bocas
  Janet was even chosen to go on stage and be one of three recipients (and judges) of lap dances.  Pretty funny for them.  Bruce had left at this point, and Adam and I were trying to, but our lady friends were enjoying it too much.

We finally pried them away, though, and we headed down the street to Voila club.  This place was pretty packed with pretty people.  Plus strobe lights, smoke, and blaring music.  A steep cover and steep drinks, but we hung out for a bit.

By 2:30am, we bid the girls farewell.  Adam and I hit another club til 4am, and finally called it a night. 

What a long day!

 

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View of the bay
View of the bay
Our sweet bike rentals
Our sweet bike rentals
Dan and his pink bicycle
Dan and his pink bicycle
The road - man it was hot
The road - man it was hot
Streets of Bocas
Streets of Bocas
Streets of Bocas
Streets of Bocas
Streets of Bocas
Streets of Bocas
El Pecado
El Pecado