We waited for about one hour and when we finally got up to the window, they told us that to enter the country they need to see a return bus or plane ticket. Ugh! So I had to walk to the bus station and buy 3 bus tickets. Next time at the window, they tell us, oh...now you need to get a tourist stamp in the office next door! UGH! I was so frustrated. When I walked into the tourist office I had to let the guy know what a CLUSTER this border operation was. I know I surprised him by going off, but I couldn't hold it in.
Ernesto was the first to use the baño in our room, and it was so funny because when he flushed the toilet you heard him yell, "no way!" That's right folks, right into the ocean. (boy, do I have a funny picture...im sure you can imagine) Needless to say, we didn't go swimming there.
When we came out of the jungle, we arrived Wizard Beach. (yeah! more sand) We were the only ones there and it was beautiful. Later, some surfers and other sunbathers joined us. I'd love to learn to surf. It looks so fun! Brian and Neto spent an hour poking at the palm trees with long sticks. We cracked open the coconuts, drank the water and then ate the fruit. That night we took a water taxi into Bocas Town on the main island (Isla Colon) to get dinner and do some shopping. Believe it or not, shopping was really my motivation for going to Panama. Ernesto and I went on a trip to the San Blas Islands in Panama before we were married , and I didn't buy a mola! Molas are beautiful fabric artwork, made by the Kuna Indians (who live on the Islands) I know I could've bought a mola on the internet, but living in Costa Rica, we are just too close to Panama - I had to buy it there. (Im weird, I know) Anyway there is a street lined with vendors and there were so many molas to choose from. I wanted to buy a bunch.I narrowed it down to 2 and Ernesto picked the black one, so walked with three. Each design tells a story of the Kuna Indians. I plan on framing them to hang in my house...that I don't have. Aren't they beautiful?Another great spot for breakfast on the island is Tio Tom's, which is owned by a really nice German couple. It has a great deck over the water with a lot of plants... just a great atmosphere for enjoying a coffee and a $3 omellette or french toast. Diving and snorkeling are huge in Bocas del Toro. We paid $60 and had this boat and the driver, Maya for the day. He took us to two snorkeling spots. Just riding in the boat was awesome.
Maya is a native of Bastimentos and he knew his way around. Sometimes it was like we were going through a maze in all of the mangroves. How did he find this little tunnel?Our first stop was Coral Caye for some snorkeling.Neto sat out this one because it was in front of a restaurant. He was paranoid about the bathroom situation, but Brrrian and I saw pipes heading inland from the bathrooms, and that was good enough for us. We dove right in. This spot had so many fish, I think they are fed there, because there wasn't much plant life or coral on the bottom.Actually the water was so clear, Ernesto got to see many fish without going in. These are my favorite fish, although not a great picture, you can see how colorful they are. Its called a Parrot fish (how fitting...and its turquoise!)
The next snorkel spot was called Reef Caye and it was amazing! I have been snorkeling in many places and never have I seen the colors that I saw here. I have searched on the internet and can't come up with anything comparable. Im talking about the brightest colors of coral and other things (non-fish): gold, purple, royal blue, red, neon green, emerald green, orange. It was so cool.
For the afternoon, we were dropped off at Red Frog Beach. Brrrian and Nester were hunter-gatherers again with the coconuts. I can lay still in the sun forever reading, relaxing, thinking...they need to DO something.This time they came prepared with a bottle of rum. Coco Loco time!
This cute little puppy was running around looking skinny so I shared some of my granola bar with him. Then he wanted to share my blanket too, and I couldn't resist. We used the kitchen at El Jaguar our last night. Bought some beans and made rice and a good salsa (pico de gallo) and then just relaxed on the hammocks. Yes, island life, I could get used to it.
We hopped on an early water taxi in the morning to start the trek back to San Jose. They really jam pack those boats. At $4 a person, and about 20 people on the boat...running every half hour? Yes, the Austrian man who owns Bocas Marine Tours has got a good thing going. (and he is also a nice guy- he gave us a ride back to our island at 1am after waiting for a boat for an hour)