Hasta La Vista Utila, Honduras —- Hola Bocas Del Toro Panama
To Utila: A drinking island with a diving problem
L.P.D. Utila – Live Dive Party Utila
Hasta la vista Utila y adios a amigos locales me. A todos mis nuevos amigos muchas gracias por los buenos tiempos! Muchas gracias a todos en Alton’s Dive Center.
Until we meet again Utila and goodbye to my local friends. Thank you for the great times to my new friends (from around the world). A special thanks to everyone at Alton’s. Please feel free to send me “friend requests” on Facebook and follow Mister Blue Sky on the Road to Tropicville. I apologize for not properly saying goodbye the last evening but the Utila monsoon swept everyone into their thatched huts, me included. Great memories, thanks to all for letting this Yank share a tank and …. other ‘tings’!
From the classic goodbye saying of the late Roy Rogers and wife Dale with a tropical twist by Mister Blue Sky: “Happy Tropical Trails To You … Until We Meet Again”
This is a picture of Brits, German, Honduran, Aussie and Canadians; all fellow dockdekkers (and new friends) flocking together for the last time at Alton’s to toast the sunset and good times. Cheers, Salud to all!
Bocas del Toro, Panama:
I arrived at 7:05 AM Sunday morning in bad weather. Took a taxi for $2 to Casa Verde which is a waterfront hostel and was able to get a private room without bathroom for $35 for one night. No comment on the room quality but it served its purpose. I walked around Bocas Town for a couple of hours to check out other lodging and fortunately found Hotel Olas de la Madrugada (see website under blog roll) just a short walk from Casa Verde and moved in first thing Monday morning. Three story waterfront on quieter side of town with open air bar-restaurant over the water and another open air covered porch on second story which is where Mister Blue Sky’s has set up his office and where he is presently drafting this blog posting.
$42 tax included for room with ac, tv and good internet plus thin walls. In the Bahamas this room would cost $175 and up. Its now Tuesday morning and the weather is still ugly, but I am truly enjoying my new office perch, 14 boats moored up 400 yards away and a marina with lots of sail boats next to them; plus a local boat cruises by every 30 seconds-most are small panga tour boats with canopies draped or water taxi’s ferrying people around in the mist and rain, a few small skiffs scurrying about all of which are bailing out rain water. I am in no hurry, no commitments, no where that I need to be, so about the weather — NO WORRIES I AM CONTENT.
I may have been too conservative about a boat every 30 seconds, more like every moment and I am on the quiet side of Bocas Town. Its ironic that Mister Blue Sky started his tropical adventure on Utila with the first ten days of rain, mist and clouds, and after two days of traveling in similar weather, its still the same but as I just stated “aino tingmon I be aappy” …… boats boats tropical waters and islands in view with so many “man o war” birds you would think they are seagulls too.
If Utila is a drinking island with a diving problem I will have to wax philosophic for proper monicker for the Bocas del Toro area …. it will involve boats, drinking, surfing, zip lining, snorkeling, fishing, island hopping, water taxi’s (no tuktuks) and ………
Panama-its currency is the US dollar, not sure how they get it or print it but that is the official currency. Panama means “abundant fish” … lots and lots and lots of fish on both the Caribbean and Pacific coast. I will finally break out the 12lb spinning rod/reel and my 20lb open face rod/reel that I have been lugging around. The Bocas del Toro area is on the Caribbean side very close to Costa Rica. We are talking about islands and cays and rocks with trees. It is an archipelago which includes more than 30 islands and cays plus another 200 islets. Excellent surfing on the outer ones with many real tropical sand beaches. Bocas Town is the only real town area. It is located on the island Colon. You can ferry in per a very large car carrying ferry or take the numerous go fast people panga ferries that seem to blow by every few minutes plus fly in commercial from either Panama City or San Jose Costa Rica which is how I arrived. This is an all water tropical sport area with lots of tropical jungle critters plus chocolate farms. Food prices are higher than Utila but plenty of $7.50 bottles of Ron Flor de Cano rum. There are several surf camps and surfing schools here. Hotel Olas de la Madrugada has an over head rack in the bar-restaurant area with several surf boards to rent plus there are kayaks, bicycles as well as snorkel gear to rent. As I have mentioned in prior blogs I am traveling heavy, no backpacker here, more like a flashpackersorous. I brought 2 sets of fins, 2 snorkels, 5 masks, 5 rash guards, 6 pairs of board shorts, 3 pairs of polarized sun glasses and a soft tackle box that looks like a giant fanny pack. Hotel Las Olas also have 3 panga style tour boats to run guests out to other areas for ‘excursional’ pleasures.
I briefly checked out the scuba diving industry in Bocas Town yesterday. It is very small and under developed. In my opinion its because they do not want to go out to the deeper water. Which may be directly related to the small boats. They primarily dive 5-10 minutes away inside the barrier islands with 13 meters being the deepest. They do not really go out into the ocean beyond the inshore reefs and only when it is flat calm if they do so. They charge $70 for two tank dives which is almost three times the going rate on Utila which has over 60 official dive sites compared to the 6-8 sites shown on the dive shop walls in Bocas Town. One of Alton’s type boats would mop up the diving business here because there are a lot of touristos. Deeper water is not that far away. By the way Bocas del Toro also have Whale Sharks that pass through seasonally but hardly any one goes out to them, so little chance to experience the cosmic smile of one.
Mister Blue Sky’s eyes are getting tired trying to type and watch all the aquatic transportation units cruise by at the same time so I am dropping the anchor down on the first blog posting from Bocas del Toro. A few last comments … on Utila primarily with my association with Alton’s Dive Center I was never socially alone … it was a social club in many ways, lots of friendly people. That probably may not be the case here, at least for a while, unless I hook up with some aquatic operation in one of the islands outside of Bocas Town (and when my niece Laurel and her friends show up in a few days). So keep those comments, postings and hellos coming from where ever you are on our planet, they are much appreicated. I hope you are enjoying the Hammock Philosopher Blog …… My agenda here is to find that next occupation opportunity (tropical) for Carrie and I before the sun truly sets … so wish me luck and then come visit!
By the way Bocas Town … my early impression is that of a (somewhat seedy) wild wild west, 1800’s, type of frontier cowboy town … a tropical Dodge City. Instead of horses its boats hitched up all along side one another, beating against each other in the wakes of the boats blowing by …. then there are the actual traveling cruising boats now moored up or docked at the few marinas … much like the covered wagons crossing the plains and camping out for a provisional stay in Dodge City … they are here in ‘troppo’ Bocas Town. Oh ya .. definitely need to bone up on el espanol!
Till Next Tide my Blog Flockers,
Mister Blue Sky, wishin’ he was fish in’ … or may be line zippin’ through the jungle on Bastiemente across the misty way … just $7 water taxi round trippin’
Carrie you are the best!