Beautiful Bocas

Published: February 17th 2013
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BOCAS BOUND: After three and a half weeks we're leaving our "home" at the lost and found for Bocas Del Toro. Bocas is made up of several islands, but only three of them are the main tourists destinations: Isla Colon (the main island), Isla Bastimentos, and Isla Carenero. We currently have reservations at the Mar E Iguana hostel on Isla Colon. They have given us an opportunity to volunteer there but we only have a little over a week before we need to start making our way to the Pacific side of Costa Rica. I wish the festival was in March so we could cover the Caribbean side of Costa Rica after Bocas. Looks like we'll have to go back through David one more time, ugh.
The main island has a reputation for being a crazy party, but I think since Carnivale ended on Tuesday maybe people are taking it easy. If it gets to be too much we can always retreat to Bastimentos for a more laid back vibe. Mar E Iguana was a nice hostel across from a beach about a 15/20 minute walk outside of town. There was a restaurant and bar on sight and a tower on the grounds to chill out in a hammock with a view. We shared a dorm with three other girls; two from San Francisco and one from Canada. I'm always surprised to see other Californians because it's pretty rare. We had dinner with the girls at Bambu an nice open air restaurant on the main drag. Since they were also fellow veggies we shared a pizza, while Kevin noshed on a cheeseburger from a street vendor. We ate our pizza to the tunes of a chill, three person Bob Marley cover band. After dinner we heard the place to be was the Iguana bar on the water. It's a laid back surfer hangout that also had a live cover band playing. The band was really fun and created some good mash ups but we only got to hear two songs before they were done with their set. Luckily we might get to catch them again tonight on Isla Bastimentos where we'll be spending the next few nights. The Iguana bar was decent sized indoors and had a really cool patio/dock thing goin on. There weren't any guard rails so you could literally fall into the ocean if you weren't careful. I wondered how many people jumped in intentionally because the water was well lit and inviting. I thought it would be awesome if there were harmless sharks swimming below us, but the only fish we saw were barely bigger than minnows. On the walk home from the bar Kevin grabbed a couple beef skewers from another street cart and I ate the veggies off them. We befriended a really spunky lab that followed us all the way home. We gave him some water out of the sink but had to send him on his way because there's a few cats that live at the hostel. 16/2/13: This is how I'm used to writing the date now, it honestly makes more sense. We do things so ass backwards in the states...the rest of the World is pretty much on the same page (metric system, Celsius). We already have a bad enough reputation being American sometimes without having to explain why we count in feet. lol. The one thing the rest of the world does right is they definitely travel A LOT. Must be nice to have a higher minimum wage and stronger currency! Anyways....We took a jenky little boat to Isla Bastimentos today. Kevin thought we were gonna capsize! I had to remind him that this was their livelihood and they make these trips all day. Needless to say we arrived safely on the far side of the island (without having to swim 😉. After a ridiculously hot walk we ended up at Bocas Bound...resort meets hostel. You know it's not a hostel anymore when there's screaming kids all around. I just really hope those rug rats are staying in a private and not our dorm. The place is pretty secluded, with only one other accommodation on this part of the island. The other one offers luxury tent camping, think cabanas, at 40 bucks a pop. They looked amazing but we're trying to stretch our money a little further. The path to the beach is about a 10 minute walk through the jungle. When we emerged out of the trees we were in Paradise. The beach blew anything I've ever seen out of the water (no pun intended). White sand, islands in the distance, and warm, turquoise water. The live band at the island restaurant/bar really helped set the tone for a fantastic day. Today we waded in the water but we might rent a stand up paddle board or if we can find it, a surfboard tomorrow. This part of the island is uneventful but very relaxing and tranquil. It's a great place to read, or in my case, write. The nearest town is 7 minutes by water taxi or, as a guy at reception explained it, an hour and a half walk along the beach! Yeah like that's gonna happen. We're on an island, can't I be lazy and soak in the Caribbean pace of life?? There's a pool table at our hotel so after we finish our boxed wine (lol) and I finish blabbing I might show Kevin a thing or two. Just kidding he's actually pretty good...we both have our days. It'll probably be an early night since everyone is catching up on wifi, I doubt we'll have a raging party here. Even though it feels like we're on vacation now we have to be cautious with how much we spend here. There's no supermarket to save on booze and snacks and the restaurant on site is $7-15 a meal. I know, I know $7 is gonna break the bank, but when you're backpacking you can't really splurge. It's hard to budget over multiple months when you're trying to live in the moment and enjoy yourself. I've definitely learned a thing or two about being frugal....finally!


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