Boquete Travel Blog

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From the island of Bocas del Toro we were off to the inland town of Boquete. We took another speed boat back to the mainland and then got a bus to Boquete. The town is small and is situated on a fast flowing river, which attracts tourism for the adventure sports. After lunch we went to a tour agency to book a white water rafting trip for the next day. Usually the rafting trips on the river are class 4 rapids but the water during the season is low so it was class 3 rapids instead.

After booking the rafting I went to an ATM to withdraw $US1000 that I needed for my South America tour. The ATM didn't say anything was wrong with that and gave me a receipt for withdrawing $US1000, but then when I got back to the hotel I realised it had only given me $US500 in currency. I rushed back to the bank but it was closed for the day, and I was out rafting all the next day so I wasn't sure how I was going to claim the other money back. Luckily I then checked my internet banking and saw that only $US500 had come out of my account, and so it was just that the receipt was wrong from the ATM. Thanks a lot, Banco Nacional de Panama.

The next day we went out early for our white water rafting trip. We got a van out to the start and after the rafts were inflated the guides gave us all the required instructions on how to go about the trip. We had two rafts, one including Gary and myself, and another including Tim and Dave. It was my first time rafting so even though they were class 3 rapids it was still a lot of fun to go down the tricky parts.

The guides were very strong and had a lot of control with where the rafts were going, so to make up for the lower rapids the guide on our raft was purposefully getting us into tricky spots. It didn't take too long before he guided us into a rapid that threw me out of the raft and into the rough water. Gary came out on another one and then I came out again after trying really hard to hold myself in with the weight from my feet wedged in the raft. The raft went over me as I went under, so I had to force myself out from under the raft to get back up to the surface again. Meanwhile the guide on the other raft was playing it safe and nobody was falling out of theirs.

After a couple of hours we stopped on the river bank to have lunch. The rafts had carried some water proof sacks that they got all the food out of and we made sandwiches. It was good food, and after filling up we kept going down the river. There were some exciting rapids that we went down fast and hard into. Right near the end we went into a big long rapid and I got knocked out for about the sixth time, but this time before I could even surface my lower back smacked hard into a rock under the water as I was going down the rapid. It gave me a strong jolt of pain so when I was pulled back up on to the raft edge I was too exhausted from struggling to get to the raft that I fell back in and had to be lifted up again. Thankfully it was just a bump so I was alright and just had a sore arse for a few days afterwards.

At the end of the rafting we got changed at a service station right nearby and then got a van back to Boquete. We went out for pizzas for dinner and then had a couple of drinks at a nearby bar.
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photo by: Makkattack