Saturday, April 12, 2008

Escubo Veracus the Island that has it all

After goodbyes we left with another boat for a small indigenous island called Escubo Veracus. After the chief collected a $10 “voluntary” contribution, we explored the island and surrounding reefs. The kids enjoyed running the dingy up the breaking surf while I prayed the boat would not flip. The atoll formations were incredible with sheer faced races rising up out of the ocean. Next onto Bocas del Toro to meet back up with Mimi. Bocas del Toro is an area of several mangrove islands near the border of Costa Rica. The main town is a surfer hang-out with youth hostels, bars, street vendors, bikes and a bohemian feel. The main marina has no road access and everyone uses the lanchas or water taxis to get to the mainland and other islands. We enjoyed Bocas, esp Hotel Angela for good food and company. The kids loved the $5.00 breakfast buffet reminiscent of the Golden Coral. After a few days, we parked the boat and toured inland Panama. We will save those stories for another time.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wakeboarding with the cros

What can we say about the Rio Charges, a beautiful natural reserve adjacent to the Canal fronted by Fort San Lorenzo. The Rio is historically significant as the start of Henry Morgan’s attack on Panama and destroying of Panama City. The fort fell to Henry with all souls lost, then ships proceeded up the Rio Charges to Panama City. With all the glorification of pirates in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie series, during our frequent fort visits (there is one on every island and in every country) we have learned that pirates were nasty, murdering, stealing folks. In Portobello, the story goes, that they used the priests and nuns as human shields. Of course, the Spanish were “stealing” the gold from the lands they had conquered. Now the Rio is a peaceful river that we found hard to leave. Mornings spent listening to howlers jumping from the trees and tropical birds singing. Afternoons of wake boarding or swimming (in the middle of the river). Hike were capuchin monkeys, not in a zoo or movie, entertained us for several minutes. Parker and I even found time to do some watercolor painting. Our last night, our friend Michele helped us spot some crocs with their red eyes along the banks. The highlight, Marc persuaded the kids to hike down a gully and we hung out below 20 or so howler monkeys for close to an hour.