Sunday, January 2, 2011

Bocas Town on Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro

Dec 30th we checked into the Bahia del Sol bed and breakfast in Bocas Town. It is a great place. We love the house. It has 4 guest rooms. We got to know some of the other people staying here, too. We love the architecture, the layout, the dock (the whole building is above water). They have a cat and dog that live here, Sophia and Cubby. Jack and Lee, the owners, are very pleasant. Jack is quite a character. And he cooks breakfast for everyone.

The ONE thing that I don't like, and it is probably a reason I wouldn't stay here again, is that secondhand smoke seeps into the rooms when someone smokes outdoors. The windows are just screens with shutters, they don't shut completely. And since I can't control people smoking, I would probably not stay here again, to protect myself from my reaction to secondhand smoke. I don't want to get sick on my vacation!

Otherwise, it is a perfect place. If you don't get sick from second hand smoke, then this might just be the place for you. It is a $1 taxi ride into town. Or you can walk. It is nestled in Saigon Bay, amongst the locals. I love it. I have heard that if you stay in town on the main street (there are only a few streets here in Bocas Town), you won't get much sleep because the discos play until the wee hours of the morning and are LOUD. We are about 15 min walk (or 5 min cab ride) away, so it is great.

We had one day of no rain (yesterday, Jan 1st). Right now it is pouring down rain. It is just pounding!! We got some sun yesterday, and we got engaged, so it was a perfect day! We ate at Buena Vista Bar and Grill in Bocas Town and the sun was setting. Once it was dark, they had a boat parade and fireworks -- it was great.  The boats were all lit up. The service was pretty decent and the food was delicious.

One thing that is kinda cool is that Bahia del Sol, along with many other places here on th island, collect the rain water, and that is what is used for the wash, for showering, toilets, faucet. We drink bottled water but have used the tap water for brushing our teeth and washing our faces and showering. So far we haven't gotten sick. Many locals do this, too. It is nice. I would like to do this back home. (we are on a well system so I don't mean for our water supply, but mainly for gardening, etc).

The vehicles (mostly taxis) here have specific reasons for honking their horns, which they do quite often:

1) to tell people in the streets to get out of the way
2) to tell other vehicles they are going to pass them
3) to acknowledge people ("hello")
4) to let folks know they are waiting for them
5) to let folks know they are angry at them (this one we didn't see too much of)

It is hilarious. Each time we see a taxi honk their horn, we know which category from above that it falls into. Very easy to decipher.

The policia stop folks randomly... and the hospital looks very germy. And there is trash everywhere!!!

When we were walking back to Bahia del Sol, we saw a cemetery, and a lady on a scooter was leaving with two dogs. The dogs just jumped up on her scooter, and held their position as she rode away. I took a picture of it (see below all the pics of these things I am mentioning).

Today we are taking a short flight back to Panama City, and will spend the afternoon and night there, and then we will fly back tomorrow morning to the states.

Kinda sad it is over, but missing my home, my Aegis and my Max, and my Bimpy cat.

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