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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Red Frogs of Bastimentos

PANAMA | Friday, 12 November 2010 | Views [3641]

Ahhhh, Isla Bastimentos! My favourite island of the Bocas archipelago. Of all my fine moments in Panama, seeing the colourful red frogs of Bastimentos must be my finest Panamanian moment. One to celebrate over a cold beer or a warm cuppa.

For years I've dreamt of going back in time, perhaps into a deep jungle, and as I sit there, croaking frogs jump toward me, gazing. Perhaps the closest I've ever come to that dream was today! As I disembarked at Bastimentos (the name rolls off the tongue in a rather rhythmical way) I visited a pizza place; an oddity for a Caribbean island with no vehicles. The owner's wife, Nicole is like eight months pregnant and is from the U.S. When I asked her about the red frogs, she said the best place is Red Frog Beach, a good two-hour walk away. I wasn't ready to do that, but she said if I'm going frog searching, I have to look carefully because they're only about the size of your thumbnail and they're usually under vegetation. Going along the walkway, I thought I'd do what is advised best: ask a local. Showing up at a local village slightly east of the town, I asked a young man named Connor, who's about my age if he could show me some red frogs. He took me up a hill and he seemed to know just where to look. Lifting up some leaves and twigs, suddenly a little tiny frog started hopping around. Never have I seen frogs in the wild that are so colourful! Connor said the frogs aren't poisonous, but be careful; some really colourful frogs are so lethal that one drop of their poison can kill a human. Heed that advice: ask a local! As I admired these beautiful creatures, I used my digital to snap away because the best way to master wildlife photography is to practice, practice, practice! That's the beauty of digital: you can take as many photos as you need to, review them later, and keep the best! Sometimes I feel like I'm too worried about my battery dying, but they last a long while! We must've seen more than a dozen frogs in red and orange. Connor told me there's also green and black frogs on the island. It's the red frogs that are found on Bastimentos and nowhere else! Today was special. To get to the frogs we had to walk through swamps, over a bridge, and up hills.  

Two days later: 

As I went for a hike, it was muddy; the day after a torrential downpour. Instead of bringing along my hiking boots I decided to hike in jandals...otherwise I'd have to let my wet boots dry for the next three days. At this point I just didn't care so I decided to put my jandals in my bag after I broke one of them and then just hike barefoot. Some would say it's a recipe for disaster; others a natural habit. Slogging through the mud deep on a little island in Panama! What more could I ask for. Twenty minutes after leaving Bastimentos town, I got up with Friederike, Andreas, and Anton: a family who has travelled from Baltimore to Panama and heading back up! Anton is only 18 months old! Lucky him! I've been talking with them since yesterday, and they might even change my perspective on whether or not you could travel with children. At Wizard's Beach, I lay in the waves for a bit because we go in search of red frogs. Toward Red Frog Beach, it wasn't just a walk through mud, I was slogging through the mud knee-deep. It looked like I had nylons on (I don't know how that'd look in front of the ladies!). Suddenly a red frog jumped out. I caught it and showed it to Anton, and Andreas put his finger near it and took a photo to show the size of the frog. These creatures like many others on Earth are unique and beautiful. 

Red Frogs of Bastimentos

Tags: frogs

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