Sunday, April 19, 2015

Exploring by Sea for a Change: Bocas del Toro, Panama

The ride to Bocas del Toro was beautiful. Up and around beautiful cool mountains, through indigenous villages where the houses were all built on stilts and had palapa roofs. At one point, there were several cars stopped in the road as a sloth was in the process of VERY slowly crossing the road. Eventually, one of the guys just picked up the sloth and carried him to the other side, ensuring his safe passage.

All of the houses in this area were built on stilts.

Um, really?

Once we made it to Almirante it was very apparent that this was similar to any other port town. Dirty and a little dodgy. While riding to the port, several men advertising parking shouted to us to park in their lots. As we were hoping to cross to Bocas with the bikes we waved them off and continued to the port. Knowing the car ferry only left at 7am, two of them chased after us on bicycle and we eventually followed one back to a lot that boasted covered parking (under the lanai of the deck of the house) and security cameras. $4 per day, per bike.

Almirante from the water

After locking everything up on the bikes, we hopped on a water taxi to Bocas and explored the main island which was full of hostels and hotels (all booked) and cute restaurants and cafes.

Water-taxi time!

Isla Bocas del Toro

We looked into scuba diving as we had promised ourselves a dive, but it sounded pretty mediocre, especially for the prices they were charging. We eventually decided to head to another smaller island to camp on the beach.

Waking up on Red Frog Beach

The view from the "upscale" camping resort that we did NOT stay at but were very happy to eat at We camped farther down the beach for free

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