Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bocas Bound and Red Frog Beach, and now we are in Bocas Town!!!

We are glad to be out of Bocas Bound and Red Frog Beach on Bastimentos Island. I am sure the island is pretty when there is sunshine and blue skies, but unfortunately we maybe saw the sun for about 30 minutes during our 2-day stay there.

We also are a bit disturbed regarding the customer service, and the attitude of the people there. Yes, we stayed at Bocas Bound, not the fancy, high priced resort. We were anticipating staying on the beach all day, so no need for a fancy room, right? And, we never stayed at a hostel type place before, and while we didn't stay in the dorms, we had a private room, we expected more.

First, we expected the place to be cleaner. There was a HUGE amount of black hair in the shower. In both showers, in fact. Even though the room was a private room that sleeps 5, we still had dormitory style bathrooms, with 2 toilet stalls (one without toilet paper) and two shower stalls.

There was water leaking into the two toilet stalls... from the walls? From the toilet seal? I don't know.

They gave us only 2 towels, which never dried since it was so humid. After the first day they smelled moldy.

And since we had a bad time getting up the hill with "the giant" (that is what I am nicknaming our HUGE piece of luggage), and since it had been raining off and on, we requested an hour in advance, a ride down the hill to met the boat taxi today. It never came so we walked down ourselves. Steve carried the 64-lb luggage on his head. It is crazy.

The bar and grill we went to yesterday, on the beach, took forever to get our orders. It seems that everywhere it takes forever to get an order. I don't like that. Time is money, and good customer service! And, it started pouring down rain so everyone on the beach ran to huddle under the covered bar and grill area. We found out later that the owner of the bar was there... rumor has it that he is from Michigan, but not sure... anyway, he stood up and yelled at everyone that in fact, there was a fire code (this was an open building, no walls at all) and that everyone needed to leave unless they were going to buy something. What a crock. So basically the fire code says you can have as many people as you want as long as you buy something? Definitely not impressed.

But we are off the island. We needed to experience that, however painful it was. We arrived in Bocas Town today, on Island Colon (the main Island in Bocas Del Toro) and a big town with a lot of rastafarian and Jamaican influence. I like it so far. The couple that we met at the above mentioned bar yesterday are staying here. It was a trip... I can't believe it!! We started talking to them right next to us, and when we asked where they were staying, they told us Bahia Del Sol, in Saigon Bay, and we said "We are checking in there tomorrow!!" so we came around 1:00pm, our room wasn't ready but we went to Bluff Beach with them today, and then to Las Coralina (spelling?) restaurant and hotel, for lunch.

The funny story about that was when the other couple, Brian and Becky, ordered, they got their food right away... the waitress put the food down in front of Brian and he started eating the french fries. He opened up the bun on his chicken sandwich to check if it had cheese.... well, the waitress came running back out and took the plate from him. It wasn't HIS order! It was for the next table. He had a french fry in his mouth and we thought she was going to take that, too. We were amazed that she took it right from him and set it down 3 feet from us. The other table's occupants didn't even seem to notice. it was pretty funny.

One thing I noticed that wherever I go here in Panama, the bed heights are very low. It is just an observation, and so once I swing my legs over the edge of the bed to get out, I have to re-learn this. I have kicked the ground a few times.

There were bugs every place we went. So far the worst was at Bocas bound. But I haven't even seen a mosquito yet!!

Oh, here is a cute story about the local children on Bastimentos Island. They catch the red frogs from the island and put them in big leaves. They then offer to show us gringos the red frogs, for 25 cents. Very entrepreneurial. Becky asked them what they were going to use the money for, and they said pens and crayons so they can color and draw. Don't know if that is true, because later the kids bought soda pop with some of the money, but it is still cute.
I took lots of pictures but haven't downloaded them yet. Probably will just add them to my Facebook Photos.