Whale Sharks and Mermaids

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December 27th 2007
Published: December 27th 2007
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Bocas (Kevin & Matty)Bocas (Kevin & Matty)Bocas (Kevin & Matty)

Sure glad it's the DRY season!
…and then we woke up and there was this huge double rainbow in the sky. We followed it to where it ended on an island where there were no clouds, no rain, and the sun was shining bright. We hiked up the pristine mountain and along the way discovered an indigenous tribe that had never come into contact with the modern world. They served us the most amazing Christmas dinner (even though they, of course, didn’t know it was Christmas). Then they led us down to the beach where there just happened to be scuba gear waiting for us. We geared up and dropped down into the crystal clear turquoise waters. We saw giant rays, purple octopus, and then a Whale Shark! We followed the Whale Shark to a Mermaid village where the Mermaids welcomed us in with open arms…
…and then I woke up to the sound of torrential downpours. It was time to leave Bocas and the weather was horrendous. While waiting for the water taxi to show up, Matty went and bought big black trash bags to protect our packs from the rain. We ended up turning a couple of them into ponchos and climbed on the boat
Bocas (Matty & New Friend)Bocas (Matty & New Friend)Bocas (Matty & New Friend)

Some guy tried to buy Matty's hat, and then we left because I thought we were going to get jumped for it...haha!
looking like a couple trash men. The ride to the mainland was a painful, frightening, and overall irritating experience. They loaded about 20 people onto a boat that should’ve held 5 and then headed out onto the rough sea. It was a serious storm and we were being tossed around like a rubber ducky! Just trying to keep my ass on the little wooden bench was a task in itself. I thought the boat was going to bust half and my spine was going to get shoved right through my skull!
The town at the mainland was a barrio at best. Jerry had warned me about this place and he wasn’t kidding. We tried to get to the bus station, but then just gave up and paid a guy $100 to drive us the 3 hours to David. I swear the backpacker in me has been dying a little each day since I turned 30. The ride to David was breathtaking. Winding up and down the hills through thick, serious rainforest. The word green must have been invented to explain this place. I have never seen anything so green in my life. This is the first time I’ve seen a
Road SignRoad SignRoad Sign

I know this is about littering...but looks a little like it says No Puking on the Side of the Road.
rainforest and really thought it looked like a living entity.
When we got to David, Hertz did not have our reservation and ended up charging us a lot more than I had been quoted. I threw a little tantrum (and a few Panamanian kids) and then got over it. I was happy to have a car and as everyone knows, I like to drive FAST! I figure paying tickets in just the fee I pay to drive the way I want. Well, within no time I was pulled over by a cop with a BIG gun. At first I thought we were busted, but I was looking forward to seeing how much the ticket would be, then I would know how many I could afford over the next week or so. But he let us off and told us to drive with our passports next time (I left them in the hotel). About 5 min later we came to an immigration checkpoint with another BIG gun and again, without passports (seems we missed the turnoff to the beach and were about to cross over into Costa Rica)…but we got through that without issue too! I thought I was on a
Lost KevinLost KevinLost Kevin

Where the hell are we?!!!
roll! Matty thought different and took the keys from me. Whatever! ;-)
Anyway, we drove around Boquette, the beach, etc…but once again, it was pouring rain so we couldn’t do much.
We got to Santa Catalina yesterday afternoon. Really just a couple buildings where the road dead-ends at the Pacific. Where the jungle meets the beach. The only reason people come here is to surf and dive. We were here to dive Isla Coiba. An island that was a prison colony until 2004 and now is being called the 21st century Galapagos. Guess what? It was raining. Monsoonal rain!
But it cleared up today. Gorgeous day diving. Saw eels, a ton of white tipped reef sharks, AND on my safety stop at 5 meters on my first dive, 3 Dolphins swam by….one of them within a meter or two from my face! Amazing! It was sunny all day and I felt so alive! But this is the National Lampoons Panama Vacation, so the day couldn’t be perfect. We were going to be on Isla Coiba for an hour, so Matty, a French couple and I hiked up a trail a little. We came to a bird watching booth and I
Lost Matty & KevinLost Matty & KevinLost Matty & Kevin

Stupid grinos driving backwards up the road that's not really a road trying not to run down families.
decided to climb up to check out the views. Well, on the way down, one of the waterlogged wooden stairs decided to disintegrate underneath me. I fell down, but luckily not through to the ground. I was hanging by one arm and my back and head missed a group of rusty nails by about a half-inch…I skinned up my arm and leg pretty bad and didn’t stop shaking for about a half hour…but I am lucky that’s all that happened! The salt water from the next dive was good for cleaning it all out…but stung like a B***H!
Now we’re in Santiago…got a room for the night and heading back to the city in the morning.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! Looking forward to New Years!

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18




Girl in BoqueteGirl in Boquete
Girl in Boquete

Not sure what exactly they grow around here...but there were people out picking these berries everywhere.
View of Boquete TownView of Boquete Town
View of Boquete Town

View of Boquete Town
Wrecked BridgeWrecked Bridge
Wrecked Bridge

On the way to Sona
Cabin at Santa CatalinaCabin at Santa Catalina
Cabin at Santa Catalina

Where we stayed in Santa Catalina
Isla CoibaIsla Coiba
Isla Coiba

Isla Coiba
Isla Coiba (Matty)Isla Coiba (Matty)
Isla Coiba (Matty)

Matty: Likes motorcycles, Pearl Jam, travel and long walks on the beach. Seeking...
Isla Coiba (Guy with Gun)Isla Coiba (Guy with Gun)
Isla Coiba (Guy with Gun)

Mask, check, snorkel, check, bag of Colombian blow, check, AK, check...
Broken StairsBroken Stairs
Broken Stairs

My remodel job on the bird watching booth
Christmas w/ Ronald (Kevin)Christmas w/ Ronald (Kevin)
Christmas w/ Ronald (Kevin)

We had Christmas dinner at McDonalds...the only thing open in Santiago...those godless Micky D's people!

28th December 2007

merry christmas kev! come home safe...
28th December 2007

You are freaking hilarious! Sounds like a Christmas you will never forget!
31st December 2007

baby i'm so happy you are home to me! Oh how cute upi are and i love you just so everybody else knows!!!!!

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