FRIGATE BIRDS GALORE

Trip Start Dec 14, 2011
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21
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Trip End Jan 05, 2012


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Where I stayed
Togo Bed & Breakfast

Flag of Panama  ,
Wednesday, January 4, 2012



It's a comfortable morning at the Togo B&B in Farallon. It looks like a beautiful hot day, but I am on the terrace under a fan in the shade smelling the coffee. I slept until 7:45 AM and didn’t even go to the beach. I have a number of excuses, which I build up to make sound really good (getting over my cold, needing the sleep, resting my aching right foot from an early morning walk, etc.), but the truth is, I am just being lazy. Ok, I am over it.

I have been talking this morning with John and Jane from Montreal. We first met them last night where we ate dinner. They are traveling with their 19-year-old daughter. Nice folks. We will probably be seeing more of them.



When we left Togo last night in search of a place to have cocktails and dinner, we drove to Santa Clara, the neighboring beach to the east where we had stopped earlier that day. We ended up at the little beach café run by the Canadians, although there was no sign of them. We sat at a table in the sand and had our drinks as the sun set.


I started talking with a young couple sitting nearby. They turned out to be Dutch, probably about thirty. They had spent a portion of their month-long trip on a charter catamaran they shared with 15 other friends in the Archipelago de San Blas, which are islands off the Panamanian coast near Colombia in the Caribbean. Sounded like they had a lot of fun. These two were pretty intrepid travelers; they told a very interesting story about taking buses from the Indonesia side of Borneo to the Malaysian side. It took them a week to cover a pretty short distance, but a route I didn’t even think possible. Speaking to travelers like them make me realize how simple, refined and easy our travel is. It gives me the urge to become more bold in our travel; I'm just not sure if I could get Linda to follow!

We left the beach cafe about 8 PM and went to dinner at a place called Xoco, which sits along the Pan-American Highway. We struggled with the non-English speaking waiter to order our food from a chalkboard, but ended up with pretty good food. It was here that we first met John and Jane. We got home near 10 PM.





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I am sitting once again on the fanned terrace of Togo B&B. It is 5:15 PM.

I had a tough day of lounging on the beach---all day I lounged on the beach, hardly moving! It was a beautiful, calm day. I sat half the day in the sun on the sand; the other half under the beach umbrella on the sand. Trips to the bathwater-warm waters were frequent and necessary. In two days I will be in the rainy 50-degree weather of Seattle, so I wanted to appreciate this last day of sunny, tropical weather. It was awesome!


When I first arrived on the beach this morning, local fisherman were working on Farallon Beach hauling in their massive fish net. Two lines stretched way out into the sea each attached to an end of a massive net. Five or six men on each line worked systematically to pull the heavy net in. The men wrapped the line over their shoulders and strained against the pull of the net as they walked the line up the shore away from the beach. When the man at the end of the line reached the back of the beach, he would rotate to the front. As more and more of the net got pulled in, the two lines of men got closer and closer together. It took more than an hour to get the whole net in.

There was a little red basket the men had with them which gave some indication of how many fish the men expected to get from all this effort. It was a small basket. When the men finally got their net in, the few fish they kept didn't even fill the small basket.

The Frigate Birds and Gulls knew the drill. As the men got closer to bringing the catch in, the birds swarmed in. As the fishermen tossed the "non-keepers" into the air or the sea, the birds went crazy. I handed Linda the camera so I could walk out into the fray. The Frigate Birds, by the way, are huge and, fortunately, very agile in flight. It was cool---and a little bit eerie---to stand amongst them as they fought for food.


Oh, and the highlight of what had already been an awesome day was that I saw Evie! She was walking the beach and came up to where I was lounging to say hello. We chatted for a while and then I told her I had a confession. I told her I didn't really have a friend name Evelyn. She smiled, winked and said, "I know that"!
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