Okay, so Day 3 and 4 (see Day 1,2,5, & 6 here) are the real reason I came to Panama…sun, snorkeling, seafood, and sandy beaches. Three out of the four did occur. And much more! Oh, sooooooo much more. And a lot less sweatin’. Let me begin with how we got to this little place in Panama called Bocas del Toro (roughly 9 hrs. driving distance outside of Panama City), which translates to ‘the Mouths of the Bull’; why the bull has more than one mouth is still unknown to me. So as I had mentioned earlier, things took a turn the day we met our dear taxi driver José.
Oh, and let me preface the next couple of days with it was for once, not Rocky’s crazy idea…it was mine, or so everybody in our adventurous crew says, but I vaguely remember Camilla planting that seed in my tourist brain.
Day Three: We arrive to rainy Almirante -after negotiating the day before with a very patient José to take us in our rental (nice car, better than mine back home, for $42 a day)-and take a really bumpy water taxi to Isla de Colón and checked into Hotel Limbo, right on the waterfront. [On a little side note, never stay in Almirante, even the locals will tell you that!!!] Took a powernap, a quick breakfast, and went island hopping the entire day. First we went to see the dolphins at a nearby bay and we spotted them right away. Turns out dolphins like attention and the more boats arrived, the more dolphins would show up. And they’re quite the early birds, so if you go dolphin-watching go early! From the bay, we went through a blur of islands and mangroves and arrived at a snorkeling spot with tranquil waters and beautiful, amazing coral reefs. Camilla and I loved this sea rock (don’t know the scientific name for it) that looked like a giant brain. Made me think. Jehovah has quite a sense of humor. Anyway, we continued on to Red Frog Beach, where the sand and water are PERFECT. And there are lil’ ones that’ll run up to you on the beach with a big leaf and open it to uncover red poison arrow frogs, hence the name. Snap a picture and it’ll cost you about a dollar. We worked up an appetite and headed back to our rooms. For only having slept 3 hrs. in a 36 hr. span, I think we did fairly well keeping up with dolphins, parrot fish, boats, etc.
Day Four: Packed up, headed out early in the morning to drive back to Panama City to make the rental return time. Now, José, our dear taxi driver says, “Well, I tried. I tried to cram in the best of Bocas in a day. But if you ever come back please don’t ever do this again”. What he means is, don’t drive 18 hrs. to see 6 hrs. of paradise. I agree. You live and learn Loved it so much it’s coming real soon on the BCT schedule!!! Oh, with one MINOR change, flying into Bocas del Toro. Phew!