Marclene

Bocas del Toro in Panama

Bocas del Toro, Panama - 04.12.2016

We took a minivan to Almirante where we needed to take a water taxi to Bocas del Toro. I asked one of the guys there how much the minivan would be and he asked me where I was from. Than he said for Germans two hundred dollars per person. Ha. Ha. Ha. What a funny man. Hrhr. No, we actually laughed about it. When I heard the same joke told to another tourist at the water taxi station I thought it lost its charme. But okay.

We got to Bocas del Toro in 20 minutes on a speed boat (53 km/h wooohooo). Our landlord welcomed us with a sign saying ''Marc Michael''. It was the only sign on the dock. VIP!! hrhr. He drove us to the apartment, which was actually 30 seconds away but did another circle around the block to show us the park, supermarkets and his office. Then we got into our apartment. Our home for the next 4 weeks. We took a moment to relax and then got out to buy groceries and take a look around. When we were looking at a map sign, which stands at the park, a guy approached us and asked if we would like to go on a snorkeling tour tomorrow. He told us it would be a special low price for us and we were reminded of the snorkeling trip we took in Bali, were the guy had said the same thing. Haha. But we played along and were actually interested and the price was okay. So we booked it. The next day we got into a speed boat with only Spanish speaking people - a couple from Costa Rica, a couple from Spain, a woman from Panama City (Bocas del Toro is a very popular holiday place also for Panamanians) and el capitan Carlos. The trip brought us to the Dolphin Bay, but there were no dolphins that day. Then we got to a restaurant built on a pier in the middle of nowhere and were a bit concerned because it felt like a promotional trip like in Bangkok. But after 15 minutes there we were brought to the Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos. And there was a small island you could circle in 40 minutes. Which we did after some beautiful snorkeling. We have seen a lot of breathtaking beautiful water this year. But the turquoise we have seen here was new to us. Lighter than in Bali and just stunning clear. We took another snorkeling round after the walk and I collected some plastic out of the ocean, because I just couldn't let it stay there. It's such a beautiful place. White sand and turquoise water. It is amazing how humankind tends to destroy everything we discover. I actually don't know how far Panama is on ecological education. But I would guess it's more or less the same than in Bali. And of course not all tourists care about the environment. We spent two hours on the island and then went to another snorkeling location on the ocean. There were really nice corals and fish and I saw a ray which was a mixture of white and beige. Pretty cool. After 30 minutes we drove to an island where sloths live and we actually saw too of them. All in all a great tour. And a great start for our time here. The next days we spent with cooking, reading, learning Spanish, Yoga and other sports (not much, it's too hot) and sleeping. We watched the US election in a live stream and were really really tired the next day, because it was 3 am when Trump started his speech and we were awake again at 8.

Actually we spent the whole 4 weeks with cooking, eating, reading, learning Spanish, planning and managing some stuff for when we get back home (train tickets, looking for a flat...) and some sport and a bit Yoga. Which was not totally our fault. The weather was pretty bad for most of the time. Real tough rain and thunderstorms. The day before yesterday we went for a three hour walk to finally see a bit from Bocas del Toro. It is actually very beautiful. Who would have guessed. But we will leave on monday to Puerto Viejo again, which we like even better.

(Marlene)


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