Panama Day 16- Bluff, Paki, & Chikita Beach, Aqua Lounge Bar

image

We tried to sleep in but our sleep schedule was all messed up from our hike in Boquette and staying up late the night before.

My brother woke me up around 10am to catch what we thought was a tour that would take us to 3 different beaches on 3 different islands. We rushed to get ready and caught the bus.

Not long into the tour did we realize we were not leaving the island but this was going to be a bus tour to 3 beaches on the island we were already on. This was also a booze-bus that would soon get very messy.

image

First we went to Bluff’s Beach which was about a 45 minute trek. Others were smart and came prepared with beer.

image

It was a beautiful beach with big surf.
image

At each bar we were given a free shot.

image

They had a little competition on who could build the best sand castle.

image

We lost.
image

Afterwards we hung out on the beach.
image

image

image

Back on the bus, we headed over to Paki Point. This was my favorite beach.
image

image

There were relining bed-chairs and bean bag chairs at the bar.
image

This bar was was within bike riding distance, and we saw a couple people we had met at a bar the night before here at Paki Point. I wish we had ridden bikes, but I didn’t know we would be staying on the same island.. Can’t ride a bike across water!

We stayed her a couple hours then moved on to Chikita Beach. This was a pretty local beach, where were were served our included lunch.
image

After this, we were all pretty tired and at 5pm they brought us back to our hostel.
image

It was over all pretty fun but I just wasn’t feeling it most of the day since we were exhausted from the night before. We went back to the hostel and napped. We had to head out again that night since it was a big night at the Aqua Bar which we didn’t want to miss. This was a bar we were told had swings into the water and was only happening on Wednesday and Saturday nights.

To get there, we had to head to Isla Carenero which was just a 5 minute ($1) water taxi across from Bocas.

image

image

This was the coolest bar I have been to. We were there fairly early (around 10:30pm) so it wasn’t too crowded yet.
image

image

There were little lagoons with boardwalks around them. There was great music and a great sound system. You could see the main island from the deck.
image

We saw the swings, and were one of the first ones to go on them.
image

image

As the night came on, it became obvious why we don’t have these in the states. Drunk people and bar swings do not mix. We watched one kid fly off the swing backwards and fall on the deck. Also, there were no lines marked on the deck or anything like that so when the bar got crowded people would swing back on the swings and hit the people behind them. Let alone people swimming in the water below while people were jumping off. But it was a ton of fun- we went on them all night.. you could swing high enough so that you could dive in after you peaked.

There was also a trampoline there- closed off with boards over it.. I am guessing for obvious reasons.

image

image

We headed back around 2 or 3 am. The ferry stopped in the middle of the water since I guess someone hadn’t paid their fare so we were all held hostage.

Advertisements

Panama Day 14- Boquette to Bocas De Toro

image

At this point we were kind of undecided on where to head next.. Neither of us were overly excited about Boquette (which turned out to be pretty cool) but mainly used it as mainly as a means to break up our bus ride.

One of the options was to head to the Corcovado National Park just over the line into Costa Rica on the Pacific coast where there was supposed to be tons of wildlife. The other option was to head to Bocas Del Toro which is a laid back island chain on the Carribean coast.

We only had about a week left until we had to be in San Jose, Costa Rica, so we decided we would have to either head to one or the other, since they were on opposite coasts and with the time constraints.

I wanted to go to Bocas since we hadn’t had much beach and relaxation time whereas we had already done a lot of hiking and would most likely be hiking a volcano as soon as we got to San Jose.

After talking to a bunch of travelers, we hadn’t heard of anyone who went to Corcovado but everyone seemed to be going to Bocas Del Toro.

It sounded fun, so I was able to convince my brother to head there instead. We knew it was directly on the “gringo trail” (not much local culture) but it sounded like fun.

To get there by local bus, we would have had to head South back to David, before waiting to catch another local bus up to Almirante. From here we would have to hire a taxi across to Bocas del Toro. This would have costs us around $15 on what people call “chicken busses”, super crowded over loaded local busses. We had taken only these until this point and they are definitely not fun.

The alternative option was a direct shuttle from our hostel, which cuts across from Boquette to El Fortuna, then cuts up, and included the ferry. Much less complicated, shorter, and more comfortable. This option was $25 but we decided it was definitely worth it in this case.

So we loaded up our things on the bus.

image

Once we got near El Fortuna, the bus stopped for a break.

image

Beautiful view. There was a hostel here called Lost and Found which is kind of a break in the trip between Bocas and Boquette (or David). It was supposed to be a great place to stop in the rainforest for hiking, but we forgot about this option when we stopped but carried on.

We arrived in Almirante about 4 hours later. This was a crappy port town where they managed to ruin a beautiful Carribean shoreline with garbage.

We waited in the water taxi port where we were loaded into the taxi in the order the tickets were purchased. They called out our names to load in.
image

This area of Panama immediately seemed less well off than the other areas we had been to so far.

image

The boat ride was about half an hour. Bocas del Toro is on the island Isla Colon.

image

image

We got to Bocas. It was a happening town, a lot of people walking up and down the streets.

image

Our last hostel had recommended we stay at Hostel Heike, so we had reservations. Only $10 a night here. We were glad we had the reservations here since the place was booked full.

image

It was early afternoon so we decided we would do some exploring. We started walking down to what was thought was the local beach but ended up in a local neighborhood. We could see that outside of the tourism this island was very poor.
image

We walked past burning garbage
image

Until we found an airplane in someone’s front yard?
image

At this point it was evident we were not at the beach, so we asked around until we found our way.
image

The local beach was pretty nice outside of the garbage still trending here.

image

And they forgot to finish their dock.

image

We hung out on this dock for a little while where we met some people and eventually headed back to the hostel.

In the evening, people were drinking in the lounge areas so we joined them with some rum a cokes. There was a big night life scene here, so we joined the others and headed out to a couple bars.

The bars stay open until 5am but we called it a night around 3.