Wednesday morning, bright, clear and warm, and Ricardo and I were packing for our ride down the Atlantic coast to Panama. And Luis Diego? He was up at 4:00 AM, saddling horses by five. There were over 200 sheep to be brought into the corrals. Why? Luis was giving shots (injected medications). The farms are Luis Diego's life. He would have it no other way.
Ricardo and I were off by 8:00, the bikes eager to move. Riding east to the port city of Limon, past huge banana fields. Then the coast, the beautiful Atlantic, riding south to the Costa Rica border town of Sixaola. The bikes were left in a secure parking lot on the Costa Rican side and we tackled the chaotic process of clearing immigration and customs in Panama. Thirty minutes later and we had our visas and had found a 12 passenger shuttle for the trip down the coast to the docks where we would board a water taxi to the archipelago called Bocas del Toro.
A beautiful thirty minute boat ride (see photos) and we were pulling into the docks of Bocas Del Toro. By two in the afternoon we had checked into Hotel Laguna and were exploring this very Caribbean town. Beautiful and brightly colored wooden houses, stores and restaurants, noise, music. Tourists, some Australian, some Canadian, some from the USA, all here to surf,..have a beer or two...all cares left on the mainland.
In 1957 two young musicians in New Jersey (Bob Gaudio and Tom Austn) saw a girl in "short shorts". Within an hour they had crafted a song "We wear short shorts". I have been humming the tune ever since I arrived. The Panamian people here are friendlyq and helpful, the ladies tall and slender. And yes, most wear short shorts!
Restaurants abound, of every variety. Tonight Ricardo had lobster, actually two, totaling over three pounds. I think I will try one sometime during our visit. But first I have to explore this relaxed but exotic city.