Panama – Right where should I start…. The journey to Panama took about nine hours in total, so long. I woke up bright and early at 4:30am, grumpy and tired as I had only had about three hours sleep; I was up most of the night looking for my bank card, which I still can’t find. During the long journey, I met Carrianna, who later became my ‘bus buddy’, and a small tour group, stopping in Boca’s only for the night. Once we got to Changinola we had to walk across the border on an old wooden bridge. With neither of us speaking strong Spanish we latched onto a tour group who allowed us to share the hour and twenty minutes taxi shuttle ride to Alimante and then jump on the water taxi to Boca with them.
Bocas del Toro is this small cluster of Islands just off the Panamanian coast. I was staying on the main Island, Isla Colon, in a hostel called Gran-Kahuna. The Island is populated with about seven thousand people, quite a lot for such a small Island; it is very likely that at least a thousand of those are tourists. Main Street is filled with dive shops, jewellery stalls and shops selling overpriced hammocks and beach wear. This was truly gringo-party central.
Carrianna and I checked into the hostel, got changed and went for a glass of wine and something to eat, l had a literally amazing pesto pasta salad. Good times! That night we met a few other guys in our hostel, two surfer guys from California, (whom names I cannot remember for the life of me) Web and Borris. We brought some cheap local vodka-rum-probably-methanol-spirit stuff (for $1.65) and joined the guys drinking on the balcony. After a while we headed to a club called Iguana and then to Barco Hundido, Barco is really cool, it’s a bar on the bay with a big dock that you can sit out in and drink, also it was ladies night so I didn’t spend anything on drink. AMAZING!!!
Sunday morning brought rain which resulted in us curled up on the sofa and watching ‘The Holiday.’ By about two o’clock the sun had completely come out, so the three of us (we recruited a newbie to the hostel, Dave) decided to head over to one of the other beaches, Red Frog. We caught a water taxi over, and getting to know each other more, we explored the Island. Dave already knew it quite well as he has been to Bocas a few times, he showed us all the cool spots and led us on a walk through the jungle on the beach. It was amazing! That is one of my favourite things about Central America, the fact that wild jungles come up to the sea front, I honestly felt like I was on Lost or something. After our walk, we chilled at the beach for about an hour, before heading to a small beach bar, one of the only other things, besides a hostel, on Red Frog. As the sun started to set we headed back to Bocas.