Thursday, April 21, 2016

Panama Vacation

Last week I went on a vacation to Panama. This isn't a place I would have chosen, but the opportunity came up to stay several nights for free on Isla Bastimentos, so we thought why not?

First we went to Panama City. Here's a photo of downtown from the neighborhood where we were staying.

We stayed in an area called Casco Viejo, which is the historic district. It's very cute.

We visited the Panama Canel. Here's a boat making its way through the locks.

This lady's arm kept getting in my photos.
Then we took a small terrifying propeller plane to the Bocas del Toro province, and a water taxi to Isla Bastimentos. There is only one street on the island, and it is more of a paved walkway.

The tan blob is a napping dog.
Here's a view of part of the town from a water taxi.

It is very beautiful and laid-back on the island and we spent a lot of time just sitting and reading and looking at the ocean views.

This whole region is known for its beaches, and they are quite lovely.

Surfing is popular here, and Eric took a lesson, though I did not. The ocean there is so warm though!

What I most wanted to do was visit the bat caves and we did so on our last day on the island. A tour guide takes you on a boat through the mangroves where you might see sloths or monkeys, and we saw one of each. I didn't get a good picture though, so you'll have to take my word for it. Then you dock the boat and hike to the cave. It's very dark inside but I did get a photo along our short hike there.

Thatched hut among lush green vegetation.
This was far more relaxing than most of our vacations where we're running around seeing sights and visiting museums. There was not a lot to do here so we spent a great deal of time relaxing, as one should do on vacation.

I got sunburned and came back with a ton of bug bites. There are some nasty mosquito-borne diseases, but it seems that even Deep Woods Off can't keep me from being irresistible to insects. We were also warned against eating fruit or raw vegetables or drinks with ice cubes but that was almost impossible. Luckily these areas depend on tourists so I think they used filtered water in all their food preparation.

Although this wasn't my favorite place I've visited, I'm glad I finally experienced this part of the world. I could do without all the mangy stray dogs everywhere (they made me so sad!) and the food wasn't spectacular, but I'll admit I loved traveling by water taxi, and you can't beat the natural beauty of this place.

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