On our forth day in Panama it rained. Not the all the sudden showers… but one all out down pour after another. So what? Who cares?!
As in my past post, rain is the lifeblood of the islands. If it doesn’t rain we don’t shower, wash dishes, wash clothes, or our bodies. We don’t flush toilets. Plain and simple… rain does not “ruin our vacation”. I know… I know… there are beaches to explore, reefs to conquer, and sights to see. The rain refreshes everything. Forces people you may never had met into tight quarters such as bars and shops… hiding under trees and awnings. People you may never have met if it weren’t for the rain.
So it’s raining today… we went into Isla Colon’, Bocas del Toro proper. We flagged down a water taxi in the pouring rain, standing on the dock waving the white flag. From across the bay comes a faint ghost of a boat appearing from out of the deluge. Hop on, tell the captain where you want to go, hide from the rain and hope he understands where you want to go.
We hopped off and wandered around until we found an inviting hostel with great music and lots of young people from all over hanging out… hiding from the rain. Scantily clothed chicas and chicos wandered about. We ordered a few drinks and lunch and enjoyed the sights and sounds until the rain stopped.
Impressions of Isla Colon’ Bocas del Toro. Typical beach town in Central America. Happy people everywhere living in tiny homes and as mentioned earlier… a lot of trash. Like old fridges, car parts and large garbage not easily removed. Also typical, mostly absent sidewalks, broken and in disrepair. Where the sidewalks do exist… the curbs are 18-24″ deep. I wouldn’t suggest getting drunk and walking around at night. There are many shops and outdoor markets, catering to tourist and locals alike. The sounds are those of diesel engines and a sea of languages from native Panamanian to foreigners from around the world. There are back streets and alleyways, small parks and even the occasional “American establishment” to satisfy the non-adventurous type.
As the sun peeks through, the humidity rises. The smell of fresh fruit fills the heavy air. It is time to seek shelter in the form of the sea to cool down. Another Balboa, Oh yes why not…