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Bocas del Toro, April 2007

smileys
riff and raff

All smiles after a great flight from San Jose. Just under 2 hours to run down the Pacific coast of Costa Rica at 11,000 feet, then across the top of Panama.

So far so great in Bocas. We lucked in to a large, airy room on the 2nd floor of a funky old wooden hotel. The shared kitchen is on the veranda outside the room, and preparing meals outside has been fun. The whole place is full of character, as is the owner Kate.

Fresh fish is in abundance and the fruit and veggies may be the best we've had in Central America. The plane is happily located about 500 yards from the local softball/soccer field, just underneath the airport's control tower and just out of range of the fly balls.

shack on the water, Bocas del Toro
How much do you really need anyway?

dirt road, Bocas del Toro
Cruising along the main highway

Some prices:

  • 2 beers for US$1
  • 2 machetes for US$5
One interesting sound we heard in Bocas (also throughout costa rica) is the frog-like sound of the geckos. Some say they make this sound before a change in weather, but if that's true then we ran into some particularly chatty geckos that announced sunrise, sun, rain, clouds, sunset, stars, etc. They are very cute with those fat little toes, clinging to the walls and ceilings. And the thud when the little toes stop sticking to the wall, is unmistakeable.

We got the cameras just before we left Costa Rica (thanks again Michelle). The Canon 6 Megapixel works as expected, the usual fantastic product from Canon. Today I tried out the new cheap 1 Megapixel Aiptek camera on our long walk to Playa Bluff, north of Bocas Town. Some pics below... a great camera for what it is.
beach shot, Bocas del Toro

beach shot, Bocas del Toro

hanging out, Bocas del Toro

We stayed a week-end on the far end of Isla Colon, Boca del Drago, at the opposite end from Bocas town. Enrique and girlfriend Yanel run the hostel for a wildlife biologist type guy. Neat wood buildings, and we got an upstairs room with a great view of the water for about US$15. About 50 steps away is a great outdoor cafe, Restaurant Juani, where you can enjoy fresh seafood and conversation while working your feet in the sand.

Took a nice walk from here one day to Starfish Beach, about 15 minutes around the point, and were escorted by Suzie the guide dog. Really sorry I lost these pictures because she was wading in the water, stopping at each starfish and looking for all the world like she was communicating with them.

It was on Starfish Beach that we met Moses the tour guide, one of the local Indian dudes. Had a great chat with him and he taught us some new words. Moses' language is pronounced "why me", and he is from the Ngobe Bugle comarca in Panama.

  • yakoro = hello, good
  • yakoro moi = how are you? (good you?)
  • ko-eem=thank you
...just in case you need a few words of why-me one of these days.

Guari-guari is a patois of Spanish, Indian, English; some of the indigenos these days are not learning their local dialect, but instead only speak guari-guari.