Project Description

Panama

Bocas del Toro, Santa Catalina, Playa Venao, Panama City, San Blas

We stumble over the rotten pedestrian bridge that crosses the brown and muddy Río Sixaola from Costa Rica to Panama. The in total 120 pounds of photo- and travel equipment, plus two surfboard bags we are carrying with us don`t make it easier to aim for the few intact wooden planks of the „thing” that once used to be a bridge.

From the Panamanian side, a vintage Japanese Minivan brings us to the pier where the taxi boats to Bocas del Toro leave. Bocas del Toro is a carribean Island Paradise with a laid back Rastafari lifestyle. Once again we’re lucky: usually, there are no waves there in September. But a sneak peak around the corner to the local reef break called tiger tails proves the calendar wrong. Perfekt blue barrels peel over the razor-sharp reef. Booya! Butterflies in the stomach. This must be love.

We spend a week trying the islands street food, surfing carribean barrels and taking lots of photos. Daily Salt&Silver routine.

The Panamaburger

featuring a self-made brioche bun, mighty beef-cornflakes-patties, grilled papaya and beetrootslices and a spicy banana-mustard sauce. Yum!

In Santa Catalina we buy four huge crayfish for less then 15 Dollars from an old half-blind fisherman, whom we originally just wanted to ask for the way to the hostel. Few hours later they magically have transformed into crispy brown crayfish tails from the barbecue with a lemon-mint-garlicbutter sitting next to nests of pasta with creamy beetroot-horseradish sauce. As we sit with a full mouth on our hostels rooftop-terrace watching the infamous Santa Catalina Pointbreak working its magic, we agree that we were pretty lucky to not find the right way without asking.

Next Stop: Playa Venao. At Eco Venao, a great Hostel with its own reforesting program, great restaurant and scenic little villas with open kitchens and view over the rainforrest to the sea we have found the next paradise. We feel like living as a king but on the budget of a beach bum. Thats exactly how we like our travelers life.

The open panoramakitchen of our little villa inspires us to a peak output, made possible by the fishermen who bring fresh tuna, fruits and vegetables on their pickups. We trade some of our recently invented Mandarine-Ceviche with the restaurants chef for some of his amazing sesame-tunafilets with wasabi and yucca-puree. Next day, we come up with the Panamaburger, featuring a self-made brioche bun, mighty beef-cornflakes-patties, grilled papaya and beetrootslices and a spicy banana-mustard sauce. Yum. The local surf competition these days turns more into a surfing-together session due to the mediocre conditions.

Cut. We are on the overnight bus to Panama City. As we wake up with the first sunlight, the bus is crossing the Panama channel, with huge container-ships passing the watergates. The morning mist vanishes between the innumerable skyscrapers, as we arrive at the city center. From here we plan our trip to San Blas, another caribbean island group. Its the perfect location for travel agencies’ cover shootings, as the most of the tiny islands consist of nothing more than white sand, coconut palm trees and little bamboo-shacks to sleep in.

San Blas still belongs to the native Guna Yala Indians, who manage the tourism at their paradise. The only downer at San Blas is, that the indians gave up most of their indigenous culture. Focussing and living from the hundreds of thousands of tourist dollars to be continuously washed on their shores, you will experience the beautiful nature of the islands, but without the culture. For example, our dreams of incredible special native food stayed unfulfilled. We couldn’t find any indigenous food there. All meals served contained fried fish or chicken, plain rice, little bit of salad and ketchup. Well, since there was nothing to work on here…we just enjoyed the perfect beach paradise serenity and a decent bottle of caribbean rum. Timeout!

San Blas being our last stop in Panama, we prepared ourselves for the rougher climate zones of our next destination: Quito, Ecuador. With 2800 m altitude, officially the highest capital city of the world. To bad we only have flip flops with us.

Gallery

Panama

Next Destination

With 2800 m altitude, officially the highest capital city of the world.
To bad we only have flip flops with us.



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