Trip Start Jun 20, 2007
30Trip End Sep 03, 2007
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Duly arrived in Bocas and eventually found a hotel room. It was difficult though, the town is really busy, and all the hostels were full. We had some unwelcome help from a local who offered his services for free. That's never a good sign and you need to assume thereīs an ulterior motive (i.e. commission for him, funded by an inflated room rate for us)
While wandering around we bumped into the Welsh gent we met in Monteverde and arranged to meet up later for a drink in Mondo Taitu, a hostel with bar. There was a really good buzz there with lots of different nationalities mingling really well, happy hour probably had a large part in that fact. From there we were persuaded to visit Aqua Bar, located across the lagoon on another island. The place is reached only by boat and we set off in the middle of a major thunderstorm and got soaked on the way. The boat seemed really dodgy and I really thought we might capsize on the way. Once the there the craic was good but they played some awful music which really let the night down. The rain hadnīt stopped from 8pm until we got back around 1.30 and the side streets were flooded, required a 3 block detour. The side streets are not paved so it was a real mess. As we crossed the square we stopped for a snack at a fast food kiosk where some friendly locals were having a beer and shooting the breeze. We had a right laugh with them as they tried to convince us that the burgers etc were "monkey beef", "gatto" and horse.
Next day the rain continued until about midday which left it too late to do much so we just vegged for the day, and tried to find out a little online about getting to Tortuguero, in Costa Rica
The following day at breakfast some local approached about a tour we were interested in involving dolphin watching and snorkelling so we signed and headed off. Its always a bit of a chance with these tours, because the local you don't know that the standard will really be like, but you trade that risk for the fact that these tours are often far cheaper. This time (as it often did for us in Central America, luckily) things worked out and we had a great day. There were loads of dolphins in the appropiately named Dolphin Bay, jumping around and seeming to play about. They're very quick in the water so it was difficult to get pictures but we managed a couple of decent shots. Maria decided to jump in and try swimming with them but they avoided her while she was in. From Dolphin Bay we went to Caye de Ospedaje for some snorkelling. First time for me but I thought it was good, with lots of fish swimming around. Apparently the visibility here is poor because about 40 rivers wash into the bay bringing loads of silt, but if this is poor visibility then Iīm really looking forward to more snorkelling in the Caribbean where its supposed to be crystal clear.
Having swam about for around an hour (and got a nice bit of sunburn) we headed for lunch at a restaurant on the water where they served up a tasty red snapper fillet. Once Maria had finished lounging in the hammock we headed to the final stop of our tour, Red Frog Beach, a private beach in a nature reserve. I discovered there that I am the worldīs whitest man, actually glowing in the sunlight. Surprising really. This beach was really nice and a couple of hours relaxing there was the perfect end to the day.
The next morning we were off, heading north again to return to Costa Rica and visit the coastal town of Puerto Viejo.