Bocas – island cruising

We mentioned to one of the guys in Boquete that we were planning to visit Santa Catalina. He strongly encouraged us to visit Bocas instead.  We thought, why not?  It’s the Caribbean. The drive to Bocas was along a windy mountain road.  At one point, we had to pass through some check point. It was unclear to us the purpose of this checkpoint other than to deliver instructions for George to put a shirt on (he often drives shirtless because of the heat). Now, if you know George, you know he doesn’t like to be told what to do. Immediately after the checkpoint, he disrobed and ranted for the next 30 minutes about the encounter. I tuned out.

We had decided to leave Vida on the mainland and take a water taxi from Almirante. Driving into town, my hopes for Bocas were squashed. Almirante is run down and dirty. We were almost immediately tailed by a fella on a bike. He finally caught up to us at a stop sign. He of course had the solution to all of our problems, if we would just follow him. Normally these situations end poorly, but he led us to a very secure parking area complete with 6 dogs, 2 of which were rottweilers. I believe that rottweilers have one purpose in life, and that is to eat me, so I cowered in the car while George took care of the details.  We made it safely to the water taxi, and for $4, we arrived in Bocas after 30 minutes.  We hoofed it to the hostel where a lovely Italian showed us around.

The following day, we decided to rent some cruisers and bike out to Bluff Beach to do some wave frolicking.  The beach was stunning with clear blue and turquoise water.  On the way back we stopped at a beachside bar, since we had earned some cold beverages with all the biking and then the unimaginable happened.  George located the only other Bulgarian in Central American.  Oh the Bulgarian pride was oozing off of him.

After a fresh fish lunch, we headed back to the hostel.  We planned to take it easy that evening, because we needed to be on the 6am water taxi to make the pacific coast that afternoon.



We drove fairly far out of the way to hit SF and then cruise down the coast to LA.  I crave efficiency, so the chosen route was slightly annoying for me.  As usual, G pushed for it and it was worth it.  It was great seeing old friends in SF and getting a taste of the tech industry there.  Also had the pleasure of touring the Pinterest offices.  Fun.  The coastal (slow + inefficient + beautiful) drive from SF to LA is definitely worth doing at least once.  Super lush with some great views.  We held up at a friend’s house in Long Beach (thx Ian).  What a great area.  Long Beach aims to be bike friendly and the communities by the water have that laid back beach feeling.  Cruising on the amazing bike path along the beach in LA might be the best thing ever if you’re wondering.