Vacations Can’t be All Sunshine and Roses

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…

Island Living World Wide on Confronting Trash

Every island we’ve ever been on… a huge issue is trash. That’s not to say the islanders themselves are dirty. Islands are just the strainer for ocean garbage. We have seen many creative uses for this garbage; from bagging it up and using it as wave breaks to stop erosion to cute uses such as planters and works of art.

The gals that own the little beach cabin we are staying at here on Isla Basimentos have made a concerted effort to keep their area of the beach “trash free”. They say that recycling is just catching on here. We are instructed on what trash is good and what trash is bad. Instructed to toss uneaten food and food byproducts into the jungle, certain cans and different plastics go in bins, glass in another and paper in a third. Amazingly if you eat fresh, and who wouldn’t when it’s available, there’s not much left for the “other can”.

Panama Here We Come

Day One Panama: Travel Day
Holiday, vacation, time off… depending on where you live… it all amounts to time away from a regular routine. For most Americans though, we must try to cram a “vacation : a finite amount of time allowed to us by an employer to try to enjoy ourselves” into a short trip to ‘try’ to relax and forget about our “normal daily routines”. I find that it usually takes about a day to get where ever we are going including packing, running around dropping of the “kids” human or four legged, getting to the mode of transportation and the travel to the destination. This day is usually, or at least can be, more stressful than the stress of our daily routines.

For me I find the disconnect rather difficult even though I tell myself I am excited… I’m not gonna think about work… I’m not gonna miss my boy… we’re gonna have fun DAMN IT… if it’s the last thing I do! I worry about having forgotten something. Not getting to the airport on time. GERMS! Yes I’m a germifobe when it comes to winter travel during major flu outbreaks. I just can’t seem to ‘chill’. I just want to get there…
This trip is going to be longer than our normal. We are throwing all caution to the wind and taking off for two weeks. Our normal is five days. We are going where there is limited power… internet… and an abundance of natural living! Islands off the coast of Panama, just south of the Costa Rican border. Bocas del Toro. We’ve rented two homes that are run on solar power and the water in the homes is supplied by the rainfall and rain catchment systems… in other words, we are at the hands of the earth, the sky, and Mother Nature.

Peaceful Easy Feeling…


I awoke today to a blanket of fluffy white snow. Snow is silent as it falls. It is as peaceful as anything in nature. It blankets everything in a pureness like angel’s wings.

After a day of unease and even hate spread across the waves of social media… this snowfall has come in time to accompany a renewed feeling of empowerment to all the marchers across the world who are expressing themselves in solidarity.

If left alone, snow is a great equalizer. It blankets everything evenly… creating an unbroken wave of starkness… robs everything of it’s color, it’s individuality.  It blends the landscape into a soothing wave of white. It brings out the yin and yang in the strongest of ancient trees. It brings life and can also usher in death.

Snow… for me… brings a peaceful, easy feeling…

Peace

The Changing of the Guard

Yesterday the USA had a “peaceful transfer of power”. I sat watching this on TV wondering what this country is on track for over the next four years?  The USA already has a negative image of arrogant, rich, and maybe even Self centered. With Donald J Trump taking office a lot of our country held it’s breath in our horror.

Please accept my apologies for whatever may come…

Please know… he does not stand for the majority of the people of the United States. Our electoral system is not one for the people and of the people. The majority of the people DID NOT vote for this jackass. Unfortunately he still became president.

His inaugural speech showed how much he thinks of himself. His cabinet picks have no political background… nor does Donald J Trump. What are we in for?  He seems to think he is omnipotent and able to change everything on his own. He seems to think he is going to be our “savior”. He would like to take the USA back a hundred years on some issues and propel us into some kind of unrealistic dreamlike reality… at least for men.

Today women are taking to the streets all over America. We cannot allow this misogynistic ass to send us all back to “barefoot and pregnant”. To be nothing more than sex symbols that any man, including Donald J Trump, can have their way with.

Hold onto your bloomers people…we are in for a rough four years.

Flower Power… Beauty in the eyes of the beholder

In each intricate petal of a flower there is evidence of something greater than any of us. The simple way each unfolds into a predetermined pattern to form a stunning work of natural art. This album is of some of the beauty I have captured in our travels.

 

The Stories in Faces

Photo Gallery

In all our travels around the world… thee one thing we enjoy the most is the faces of the people. Faces tell stories. Stories of hardship, stories of happiness, stories of evolution. If eyes are the gateway to the soul… the face tells the tale of life itself.

The faces in this gallery are from Dominica, Costa Rica, Columbia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Ethiopia and Barbados.