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.
Yesterday we arrived at Puerto Viejo. This is a small town on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica about 20 miles from the border with Panama. The town has a healthy population of gringos who are here for the surfing, a national park that apparently has sloths (in BG: lenivetc) and tons of birds, and of course, what we came here for, the beaches.
We set camp about 5km south of town at a desolate beach. Our German travel friends Klaus, Sonja and Mia recommended this place to us. The beach is protected by a small reef right in front of it, which means there are no big waves so we parked 10 meters from the water. Awesome! After sleeping at absolutely crazy places the last three nights we totally deserve this place!
Last night about a hundred big crabs invaded us. I am talking 2 crabs and you make dinner …
Oh, and on the pictures you will see our new shower setup ☺. After showering naked at random places we decided that it is finally time to do something about it, so here it is.
After a week in Sint Maarten we are back in Utah. We arrived around midnight last night to the campsite. We found the truck under a pile of leaves and branches but in pretty good shape. She started right up and there were no leaks after 6 weeks of sitting in the cold. I cannot say the same for us though. We came from 32C to -2C. Neither of us slept much last night.
We have a lot of videos and pictures to post from the Caribbean. We will be updating the blog quite a bit in the next week. Here is a quick video I put together as a teaser :).
Honestly, I decided to help out with the delivery of La Forza Del Destino because I wasn’t sure what else I would do with the time. I did all I could to prepare: dramamine, ginger bites, ginger tea and various flu and cold medication. The first few days were rocky, but we were motoring. I managed to keep my stomach in check although I nearly broke down once or twice getting used to going on watch while things were rocking. After a stop over in Chesapeake Bay to wait out a storm, we were off again. Conditions were clear, the sea was flat, and I was ecstatic…maybe I was in the clear. Then the wind picked up (30+ knots) and we started sailing. The boat was healing and rocking – it looked like a tornado swept through the inside of the boat. All I will say about the next 36 hours or so is that I’m happy we brought compostable garbage bags. At one point, I may have yelled at George over the wind and rain that this was the worst day of my life (dramatic, I know). As the temperature climbed, I felt better and better. I finally cracked a smile when we saw land.
Thanks to the captain and crew of La Forza for getting me through and putting up with me. With some perspective, it was an unforgettable and worthwhile ride.