Published: September 1st 2009September 1st 2009
Well... actually I'm quite sure I was lost in THE paradise : )
Imagine more then 365 tropical fantasy islands - uninhabited islands covered by coconut trees and ringed by white sand beaches with the turquise caribbean water...what more could you possibly want????
I could spend each day on a different island...imagine just jumping from one island to another for a whole year!!!!
P A R A D I S E !
The San Blas Islands is a group of islands which are located just off the Caribbean coast of Panama.
These unique islands are one of Panama's most interesting attractions, both for its natural beauty and unique indigenous culture. It is the territory of Panama's Kuna indians, who call it the Kuna Yala, or 'Land of the Kuna'.
About 49 of the islands are inhabited by Kuna communities...the rest are mostly left to coconut trees, sea turtles, pelicans and iguanas.
Kuna Yala people have their own system of governance, consultation and decision making, while still maintaining their own economic system, language, custums and culture.
Women spend a large portion of their day performing daily chores, which often includes knitting colorful "molas" which they sell to
visiting tourists or to use them for their clothes. The men pass the time fishing, tending to cocoa trees, gathering needed material, ...
Their traditionla dress is very distinctive.
Colorful and intricately sewn, "molas" are an important part of the traditional dress of the Kuna woman. Molas are sewn by women in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns, and used by Kunas to protect themselves from evil spirits. Colourful fabric is wrapped around the waist as a skirt, topped by a short sleeaved blouse covered in colored "molas".
The woman wrap their legs, from ankle to knee, in long strainds of tiny beads, forming colourful geometric patterns. As well they wear gold ring through the nose (check the pics!)!!!
I admit it that first I was hesitating of going to these amazing islands cause the whole trip is quite expensive (and I'm on a tight budget as u all know), but at the end I'm very happy that I decided to go. It would be a shame to skip this paradise, especially cause I already skipped Island Boca Brava and Island La Coiba (bad weather (rain)...and high prices).
So...I spent 5days at the main island (Carti)
from where they took us on a daily trips to other small islands! Actually it was very nice to spend some time on the main island, cause we were able to walk around and observe the local life in the village.
They still live very simple - and with »very« I really do mean very simple life. Homes are typically bamboo thatch huts, and families tend to live with several generations under one roof.
Toilets were the best - a bamboo hut with a hole above the sea...and fishes waiting for your "delivery"!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) Shower was basically a bucket ful of water...loved it!!!!
Well, some backpackers were quite disappointed - I really don't know what were they expecting on a remote island???!!! anyway...I really enjoyed it!!!!
Every day we had fresh coconuts on the beach (guys were having a lot of fun with opening them)...one night we even had a barbeque on the beach, lobsters for dinner, beer in a local "disco" where a bartender was changing DVDs with music in a TV every couple of songs :))))
We were very lucky with the weather cause we had only one bad day (it is a rainy season
in Panama now).
Last night we even participated in a local ceremony which they have every time when a young Kuna Yala girl get her first period! It was amazing just to observe all the locals dancing, chatting, celebrating and drinking (rum and chicha - drink made out of sugar cane and coffee)!
They started at 2pm and finished late at night so they were ALL completely drunk! Completely wasted! Sooooo funny!
That was really an amazing night...which ended very late or early in the morning :)
I couldn't imagine better end for my 7'5 months trip around Central America and Mexico!!!! Time really flew by and I had A LOT of fun, but I'm ready to go back to South America - for the third time!!!!!!!
BESOS A TODOS,
For all those who want to know more about very interesting Kuna Yala people and their interesting past...I'm sure u will find a lot of informations on line!
There are more photos below