Christmas Panamanian style.

Trip Start Oct 06, 2004
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Flag of Panama  ,
Sunday, December 26, 2004

I am spending Christmas on Cayo Carenero. Just a two minute boat ride across from Isla Colón and the tourist town of Bocas del Toro. It's a beautiful tiny island and I have splashed out for a couple of nights at comfortable hotel Tierra Verde. I don't know how to best describe Cayo Carenero, other than that it will probably never show up in any package tour catalogs as wheelchair friendly. There's no roads or traffic, except small taxi boats circling the island for passengers heading to Bocas town or Bastimentos Marine National Park, with it's undisturbed ecosystems of rainforest, mangrove, coral reef and white sandy beaches.

I have joined up with Steve and Ben again. The two English guys I first met in Granada and Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua. As well as Lisa from Belfast, Northern Ireland. We celebrate Christmas Eve eating seafood. I am having conch for the first time ever. Pretty good, but let me just say that it doesn't taste like chicken. More like calamari. The evening is topped off at the Wreck Deck Bar in Bocas town. A bar built on an old shipwreck above the crystal clear Caribbean sea. Since I am here with a bunch of British guys, Christmas Day is the big one. We start celebrating early in the morning on the tiny beach, basically just outside our hotel door. It's smoked salmon and champagne, before we head off to do some dolphin watching, snorkeling and sunbathing on Red Frog beach and Cayos Zapatillas (where Survivor, the reality show was once filmed.) There's fresh lobster for lunch, and the evening meal is humus, rockfort flounder fish and coconut peanut cake. Very different from my usual Christmas meals, but absolutely delicious.

I miss family and friends back home for a moment, but soon realize that there will be another one next year. I am very lucky to be here, so enjoy it!
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