Tuesday night Phillip and I were hanging out at the hostel and talking to Andy, a local and his Argentine girlfriend. He offered to take us out on the bay in his boat so we got in with a couple others and headed out. The sky was clean and it was awesome being out there looking a la isla de Colon, main island in Bocas. We decided to head to one of the clubs that was about a block away from the hostel...by boat! we pulled up in the back and I walked off of the boat directly into the club, what an entrance!! Earlier Andy offered to take us snorkeling and spear fishing the next day for $15 if we could get some more people to come with us. We met a girl from California who was interested and found a few others.
I was standing there and recognized some girls who we rode into Bocas with that morning. The didn´t talk much on the ride and we were going to sit with them at lunch but they were reading. At the moment I saw them at the club, one came up to me and said ´i know you probably think we were being not friendly this morning and now we´re drunk and acting crazy´ (actually EXACTLY what I was thinking). She went on to explain that they had a bad experience in Puerto Viejo and were having a bad day but decided to move on and have a good time. Good reminder that I need to stay on top of it at all times!
Me and Philip were standing there and he said something to the effect of ´´ Wow man, we are in the Carribean, in Panama, on and island. The moon is shining on the water. This is amazing!´ I told him ´That is what i´m here for, to be able to be able to be in the moment and take everything in at all times!´ Since I met him, I hadn´t really shared too much about my journey as he was now a part of it and it wasn´t important to talk about. A day or so ealier I showed him my blog and he started to read it so he was beginning to understand a little more about this American who he´d been traveling with.
The next day we got up to meet Andy and the others at 9am. I had a couple handfulls of chex mix for breakfast and headed downstairs. Philip came down and told me that we´d been vandalized!! The ants had penetrated our peanut butter and we had to throw it away We later discovered that the honey didn´t make it either! Guess I better start using the ziplocks i brought!
We waited and no one showed. The couple who were in our dorm, de Chili, told Philip they were going dolphin watching and invited us to go, and we did. It was the best $15 i´ve spent so far! We saw a couple of dolphins, but nothing like when i lived in Mexico when I was younger...but still cool. We then went to do some snorkeling in ´God´s aquarium,´ went to the beach on a different island, and did some more snorkeling (i got some good underwater pics).
Philip had been in contact with Johann from Germany, whom we met at Rockin J´s, and decided to stick around in Bocas and check out scuba diving. We met Johan and Sonia, his german friend who had just arrived, for a good cheap ($4) meal of arroz con beans, platacones y pollo. Muy rico, as I was starving! We took care of our ride, grabbed some beers and chilled on the second-floor balcony of our hostel. Not sure why but there were at least 3 different sets of people who stopped to check us out and take pics!
The party was supposed to be at the Aqua Lounge on a different island so we took a water taxi with a bunch of people about 1/4 mile across the bay. I could get used to arriving by boat! The place was cool, they had 2 ´pools´cut out and of course it didn´t take long for some crazy california girls to jump in.
Whenever I´ve traveled before, i have always been disappointed that I only hear american music but am starting to realize that everyone listens to it and it is truely global. As a result, everywhere I go, i hear mainly the songs that I hear at home and they always bring back memeories of my ¨old life¨ but at the same time they connect me to where i´m at now. Old memories of what used to be and now new memories of where i am, physically and mentally. I Want To Dance with Somebody by Whitney Houston came on and me and Sonia told me that it reminded her of when she was 13 and had a boyfriend and they kissed to the song...and now she had a new memory of Bocas Del Torro.
¨Jump, Jump. The daddy mack will make you Jump, jump.¨Back in San Jose, when philip and I were waiting for our bus, we somehow started talking music and Kriss Kross came up and we talked about how rediculous they were but so popular. Ironically that song came on in the club and Philip says ´Wow, our travels started talking about this song and now it´s playing as it ends.´
We danced and had a great time at Aqua, until the club got rained out (it was outside mainly), first time that had ever happened to me! We jumped into a water taxi and headed back across to the next spot. I had an early bus to catch and Philip was going to say so we parted with a handshake of solidarity and a Sammy Sosa chest bump. During this trip, and already, i´ve met so many people that have become a part of my journey. Some I will only know for only a minute, Sandeep, some for a day or an hour and some will become life long friends. I´ve decided that I will not be sad when we depart as I need to appreciate the time i´ve had with them and know that sadness is an emotion that clouds the great things that these people have and will give me. (Nicole, i hope you are not crying)
Got a few hours of sleep and woke up at 7. I packed yesterday and it was the most effortless time i´ve had so far! Starting to figure out how to stay organized and keep things simple. I scoped out a panaderia (bakery) the day before so I headed down and picked up a fresh pastry. It was similar to a coffee cake but totally different at the same time. I tried to savor every bite of this new treat as I walked down the main road back to the hostel, looking around with a feeling of complete freedom. After some debate, i decided that it would be a good idea to get some lunch to take with me so I wouldn´t have to take it with me earlier. I had 20 minutes, so plenty of time. I walked into the store next to us and ordered a jamon y queso sandwich. As she prepared it, I went over and checked out of the hostel. I went back and she was still working on it. Coffee sounded good so I ordered una Cofe. Very long story short, i barely made it to the bus as things take a lot longer here. My sandwich took the whole 20 minutes to prepare and it took at least 5 minutes for her to make my coffee!! Well my friends, it was worth the wait. I was expecting black coffee but got a coffee that was made with milk and two packets of sugar. Best coffee i´ve ever had!
After some confusion, I got on the next boat and sipped my coffee as we rode through the Carribean headed North towards the boarder. I was thinking about going directly to San Jose instead of going to Puerto Viejo first so I was a bit frazzeled when I got in. A cabbie came up to me before i got out of the boat and I started talking to him in spanish about a bus to san jose. I was about to get in his cab when I realized that I left my main backpack in the bus! Thankfully it was waiting for me when I got there.
After an good ride for about 45 minutes, driving again through some awesome Panamanian landscape, having a normal conversation in spanish with the driver and understanding a lot of what they were saying on the radio, i got back to the Costa Rica boarder and made my way back across the sketchy bridge by myself, thankfully finding a place to wait when the fully-loaded semi passed me! As I waited for my bus in the open, empty bus station un viejo (old guy) with brown and blue eyes sat down and started talking to me in spanish for about 10 minutes. He told me that he was 63 and used to be a cowboy but couldn´t work anymore because his back hurt. He told me about his heritage and that he was panamanian and indian and he lived in this town with 2000 people and only about 4 weren´t in poverty. He explained that he had God so he didn´t need much. Then asked for money.
Got on the bus and found myself back in Puerto Viejo picking up people and then back in Limon, I figured out that I hadn´t got the direct bus I was hoping for.
I realized that I only had $11 us and 4000 colones left to my name and started getting a little anxious about my bank card being at the hostel when i got their. I knew it arrived but hadn´t been able to get confirmation that they actually had it. I didn´t have enough money to stay at the hostel if for some reason they didn´t have it so I was looking for a cab who took credit cards. No bueno. I finally found one that would take me for 3000 so I jumped in. We talked for a few minutes before I got here and was almost scared to ask for my package as I didn´t want them to tell me they didn´t have it. I walked up the stairs and was greeted by the same guy who was here when I arrived last week. I told him in spanish that they had a package and he seemed a little lost. I looked behind the counter and noticed a familiar ups letter envelope. ¨I think it is right there?¨ ¨Nathan Morales?¨ Si!! Yes!!! it was here. Next thing is if I could use my old pin and actually get some cash. Headed to the bank down the street and was able to get money!! Sooo relieved.
I paid for a night here at Costa Rica Backpackers and hope to leave town tomorrow, most likely headed South to a different entry point to panama. (oh, when I checked in, i noticed that 2 girls just got in from Denver so i´m hoping to run into them).
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UPloaded some pics