Monday, May 02, 2011

Bastimentos, Panama

The Red Frog Marina in Bastimentos (close to Bocas del Toro), Panama welcomed us in a special way.  As soon as we tied up at the dock we were invited to a birthday party.  Sol, the daughter of Jay and Natasha from S/Y Messenger was turning six years old.  We were feeling rather exhausted from our  journey but fortunately we decided to attend.  The party was complete with birthday games (Emma and I both won our round of musical chairs), birthday cake, party favours and a piñata.  Wow! Over the course of the next few days Emma became fast friends with Sol and her four year old sister Luna and the three of them were quite inseparable.  Jay is a professional chef and we were lucky enough to be invited to lunch on their boat and treated to the most amazing coconut rice, tostones (deep fried plantains), and wonderfully tender lamb. Mmmmmm, yummy.    

Kees and Marta babysat for us one evening and while they were entertaining the kids Seb and I walked up to the youth hostel for a night out.  Even though we spend 24 hours a day together it was still a special treat to get to spend an evening out together and we enjoyed ourselves fully.  Fortunately, so did the big Pjotters and the monkeys.  

After enjoying the marina for three days (including several visits per day to the resident sloth in the tree next to the marina) and some unsuccessful searches for red frogs, we headed off for a short inland trip to Costa Rica.  A very fast boat took us to Bocas del Toro and from there we took another very fast boat  boat, a bus to the Costa Rican border, walked over a very rickety train bridge and boarded another bus to finally land safely in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica.  

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