Originally we had planned to go south in Panama from the islands of Bocas del Toros to the mountain jungles near the city of David, but because we'd have to leave the beautiful beaches and spend many hours on buses, we decided not to. We really won't be missing anything. We wanted to go to David to take zip lines through the jungle canopy, but we'll be able to do that in Costa Rica, nearer the beach.
Bocas del Toros consists of dozens upon dozens of islands, with Isla Colon being the main one, the town of of Bocas del Toros on its southern tip. It was somewhat like Venice, with the entire coast being covered with the piers and docks of restaurants and hotels, with few cars but countless taxi boats darting about at cheap prices. It was an interesting place, with lots of bars and cafes, but no beach. Our hotel was nice, clean, and we could dive off it's dock into the water, but we left for the nearby island of Carenero after one night by water taxi.
To careen a ship means to take it into shallow water, lean it on one side, and clean and maintain it. Columbus did that on Isla Carenero, and that's where it gets its name from. The place has no cars, no roads, just sandy paths through palm trees, where here and there there were guesthouses and hotels right on the very warm, very still water. We stayed at the Dona Mara Hotel, and it was absolutely perfect, a perfect beach paradise. And it was interesting to think of Columbus coming ashore over 500 years ago on the same place I was reading my nerdy science fiction novels. All the islands of Bocas del Toras, "the mouth of the bull", was named by Columbus too, because there is a cave on Isla Carenero that spouts water with the crashing waves, sounding like an angry bull from a distance.
So, we spent two nights on Carenero, and did nothing but sit in the sun, swim in the water which really was hot in some places, and nap in hammocks. Everywhere you look there are fish, starfish, and pelicans dipping into the water to eat. Think of Corona beer commericials, and that's what Carenero was like. Perfect.
Moreno and Quinn went to the beautiful Red Frog Beach on another island nearby, but I stayed alone for the day, reading and swimming. I had grown tired of arguing, arguing about who's cheaper, dumber, and fatter. I may be the cheapest, but certainly not the fattest or dumbest. So it was a nice day alone.
There were little hermit crabs everywhere, which darted into little holes on the sandy edge of the jungle, and at night, while walking about without any light but the moon, we wondered what the constant scurrying and scratching sounds were around us. Moreno had a flashlight, and we discovered that at night large crabs, with bluish orange heads the size of baseballs and white claws the size of scissors, took over the land. Some I bet would be big enough to kill a small cat.As we walked down the paths, they would scurry past us, disappearing into their borrows. So fast and big. But walking on the beach at night really was great, with the moon shining on the water.
"If you were a blonde, with a killer body, I'd take you to bed right now." Quinn said to Moreno while we walked the beach. "If I was a hot girl, would you want me?
"Well, I'm not, and no.."
"Put on a wig then."
"Yeah, put on a wig. You'd look sexy."
"I don't want to hear this right now."
I think it was destiny that Moreno lose his glasses, because he did last night. A hostel on the island had a party, and with all the alcohol and nonsense, it was bound to happen. I guess I'm the cheapest, and Quinn is the fattest. And that leaves just one remaining award for poor Moreno. At least we all have our passports, and awards handed out accordingly.
"I wanna be the fattest."
"You can't. You're already the cheapest."
"Man. Come on."
So we're back in Costa Rica now, in Puerto Veijo, on the Caribean Sea. We plan on going back to Cahuita for four nights, since we liked it there so much. In Panama there were lots of retired Americans, and the dollar was the only currency used, so we had to change our money back into Costa Rican Colons, but we're here, and content enough.
Three guys traveling together has its downs, the fights and dominance games, but its great, certainly an experience that would make a great sitcom. The three of us are nothing but cheap, dumb, and fat fools.