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Dalama Adventures Tale of two corporate types ditching their jobs and traveling the world for 14 months... check out all photos, blogs & interesting tid bits at http://www.dalama.net

It's a Small World: Bocas del Toro

PANAMA | Saturday, 20 October 2007 | Views [966]

We spent our day navigating the mini-van system here in the Panamanian Province of Chiriqui, and eventually make our way up to Bocas del Toro.  It's been pouring rain all day, no different than any of the others we've had since arriving here in Panama.  We reach the bus station, a corner shop and gas station, in the Caribbean coastal town of Almirante, and wait for a ride to the ferry dock.  Almirante is a banana town - I think everyone who lives here works for Chiquita Banana Company.  We sit and watch massive truck, after truck, pull out of town, loaded with bananas.  A rastafarian dude tries to be-friend us and get us to stay at a dive hostel on the Island, where he collects a commission. We wait another 30 minutes for more passengers to show up, and our Rasta dude takes over the wheel, skidding us across the glassy, stoic waters of the Caribbean.  The rain has subsided, and for the first time we actually see the sun.  Getting away from the Almirante port is good, the waters lapping up against the shore were polluted, with all types of trash floating on top of the water.  We're headed to Isla Colon to spend a night in Bocas Town before heading off to Bastiamentos Island.  I immediately breath a sigh of happiness, we're cruising on the surface of emerald green waters, so clear we can see the seaweed and sea life just below.  The water sprays our faces as the boat skips across bumps from other nearby boats.  Green bushy islands dot the horizon in front of us; it's great to be back on the water.  The weather is hot and sticky, but the wet, salty air is cooling in the breeze of the boat.  It feels a bit like Laos, 4000 Islands in the Mekong Delta, but with amazingly crystal clear water.   While the mountains and streams of Boquete were beautiful and refreshing, something about being out on the ocean just brings life and energy rushing back into me.

We decide to stay the night at Azucar Surf Camp... yep, a chick's surf camp, girls only... but in the off season they allow boys to stay too.  I had researched them on the web, and thought it would be neat to learn more about their business, especially if we're to find a plot of land near the beach and build my dream B&B/Surf/Yoga retreat.  So we take a huge room for $30 here, quite a bit more pricey than Boquete.  There's no surf to be found at all here, we're off by about a month or so for the good season.  There are "for sale" signs posted in front of the house- looks like they're selling both house and business... hmmm... serendipity?

Bocas Town is really small, there's one main street and a couple of offshoots with decent restaurants.  The rain comes and goes, and we head out to get a lay of the land.  Not more than five minutes into our walk we see our friends Jim and John from Boquete, it's a small world!  They're here to check out a boat that some rich guy wants them to sail through the Panama Canal for him.  They're excited, they guy has committed to letting them stay on the boat for an additional four months.  However, they're just checked out the boat, and seems it's a dump.  They'll take it through the canal, but that's it.  

We find a killer Indian Restaurant in town, "Om," which we feast at... finally a great meal that settles well.  If only there were surf to burn off the calories from dinner!

Tags: Beaches & sunshine


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