We left Panama City from the Local (very small, tiny, minuscule) Airport at a very early hour. Security was pretty tight at the Airport, two different people at two different points in our journey to the plane waved a gloved hand in our bags as they were talking to someone else across the room. Though we did have to show our passports at least three times as we walked from room to room in a building the size of a Greyhound bus station. Because of the size of the plane everything was weighed and Kgordee thought he might have to check his lap top at the last minute, though it turned out the security guard was just messing with him. It was pretty funny, mostly because the security guard liked his joke so much and didn't speak English.
I thought the plane ride would be a little scarier than it was given it was the smallest plane I had ever been on and I have an intense fear of crashing into the water and not dying immediately. I don't want to be left for the sharks, I have seen Jaws too many times. No, it's not the mechanical shark in the movie that scares me. It is the story about the USS Indianapolis, and the men who died in the water from shark attacks while waiting five days to be rescued. It could happen. But it didn't and we landed safely and thankfully very uneventfully.
When we got to Bocas Town on the Island of Colon we were met by Jacob who works for Red Frog Resort. He pretty much hooked us up on our entire stay in Bastimentos with whatever we needed. He drove us to a dock and while we were waiting for our boat he told us to buy any groceries we would need for the week as our stay only included one meal per day at the "restaurant". The grocery store was again very small and filled with things that might have been on my seventy two hour check list. Everything was much more expensive probably due to the fact that the store catered mostly to tourists and anything there had to come over on a boat. We did pick up some local fruit such as Papaya and Passion fruit which Eric had big plans for as he served his mission in the DR and he wanted to make some tasty shakes with the fruit.
Walking down the streets of Bocas Town there are plants growing everywhere, the plants have to be beaten back because they grow so fast and so large. We saw beautiful flowers where ever we walked growing on trellises, fences and on the side of the road. The pink flowers pictured below remind me of our honeymoon nine years ago because the hotel we stayed at in San Diego was covered in them. I'm not sure what they are called but I love those flowers, they always make me happy.
We got breakfast at a restaurant that was overlooking the water, literately on the water. It was beautiful to just sit and watch the water slosh against the boats tied up to anything closely resembling a dock. I wasn't feeling too adventurous so I had eggs, bacon and toast, Kgordee had the same thing. Later we found out that the kitchen consisted of a bar with a small camp stove with two burners and a sink. The food was nothing to write home about but I am impressed that they were able make so many different things with such limited equipment.
While we were eating there was a camera crew having breakfast and setting up their equipment at the table next to ours. We found out that they are from the BBC and they are headed out to one of the remote islands to film the pygmy sloth for a nature program that will air in December. They said they would be roughing it for about two weeks while they filmed as the island is completely uninhabited.
After breakfast we found a woman selling some souvenirs and I wanted to buy a coconut ring and a little ornament. Eric found out how much they cost and then proceeded to haggle with her over the price. He told us that the less you pay the more they will respect you. Although I really like Eric and appreciate his efforts for us after that we pretty much paid what was asked for anything we were buying from street venders with few exceptions. I still feel bad about that lady and the haggling.