Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bocas del Toro, Bocas Town is WET! So why did we still love it?

We left Panama City prepared to spend 3 days of fun in the sun. Panama City was hot and humid, and we heard the Islands of Bocas were absolutely beautiful..their beaches, the wildlife, things vacation postcards are made of. As we landed after our one hour flight, we had to run through the rain to the terminal. Our suitcases arrived soaking wet, but they did arrive. No complaints there. We hopped in a cab van that took us to our hotel..didn't even ask the price first. It cost us a dollar. Plus we got an overview of the town in a vehicle, instead of the rain.
The little hotel we chose/reserved, was just perfect for us. It had a nice clean large room, and overlooked the big porch that had hammocks, lots of chairs and a big breakfast table for the morning. All overlooking the ocean. Sweet!!! Plus- the next door neighbors had a boat dock, 2 little boys, and a monkey, which were all interesting and amusing at times. The porch was covered too, so we could sit and read, watch the bad weather roll in, or just relax by the water.
Cocomo by the Sea also serves up an amazing breakfast every morning. Cereal and oatmeals, fresh cut fruit daily, coffee and teas, juices, and made to order eggs, pancakes and waffles..all served with a smile. Doug the owner also took us to a guy to get our cell phone fixed..it was done in 5 minutes..no charge. Just being nice.

There was a short break in the rain so we quickly went out to walk around the town. Bocas Town is on the Carribean side and is like a small beach town..four or five blocks in all directions. But filled with some good restaurants and scenery. It's very casual. Which is good, because most of the time we spent there we were wet.

Kind of the main street, where grocery shops and vendors rent bikes, arrange snorkeling and boat trips to the other islands, surfers congregate, and real estate offices talk to people who want to move there forever, or for sometimes.
We had no internet or TV, but we did have electricity and the sounds of the ocean 24/7.
Cocomo garden.

It had been raining for 4 days before we got there.
Kids play whatever the weather.
Vendors on another street.

The car ferry to Alimonte, across the water to the mainland to the mountain roads to David.
VIP Bar - looked like a front for something else..never went there at night.
Carribean colors.
Palm trees, puddles, and my Village Settlements umbrella.
Lula's across the street from our hotel let us sit on their porch too. There were about 10 hummingbirds flying around us between the plants.

This is the street right in front of the Cocomo Hotel after our walk.

Many of the local homes are raised above the ground.

The fire station had trucks and vehicles that I'm guessing are from the 1950's or 60's ( I'm no authority on cars and trucks).
We made new friends on stops along the way.
The breakfast/relaxin' porch at our hotel. So after our walk, it started raining really bad again..and it didn't stop all night. Waves were crashing against our room all through the night. Boom, boom, boom! We still felt safe, but we had some weird dreams that night.

This was the same street in front of our hotel in the morning. It was pretty stinky and dirty, with sea life and trash...like peoples shoes, etc, lifted from local homes in the mix. The ocean had risen up, or washed up quite far inland during the night, and then receded. The next day had a little dry spell and intermittant rains.
Zulu's even got internet back for about an hour or so that day. We quickly checked our emails and I think Mara posted a blog too.
The Cocomo hotel dock behind the porch. Skies less angry, but no clear waters for snorkeling, checking out the locally famous starfish beach or any of the other natural attractions in the area. Nevertheless, we met kind, nice and fun people, loved the distinct flavor of this little beach town, had some delicous meals, and as the weather finally began to clear after 6 days of torrential rains, it was time for us to leave (after 3 days) to head out to Boquete for a week of Spanish lessons at Habla Ya school. I'm sure by these pictures you may be thinking that Bocas is a little, well, shanty like...but there are other more expensive and expansive homes, not by much mind you, but none of the pictures can capture the CHARM of this area. Most restaurants and homes overlook the ocean, life seems much more simple here, and very pleasant. Most anything you could want here is available..all at reasonable prices if not cheap. Artists sell their wares, but arent pushy and dont feel touristy either. Now all we had to do was find a way to get over the mountains which suffered serious landslides and washed out roads. BUT, I will be back someday for sure!

1 comment:

  1. Good description of our time there as well as photo journalism. Much more detailed than I had done! : )