We bought a 3ft. Bunch of bananas in town for $3. In this photo you will notice that we have already eaten 3 or 4 bunches from the large branch.
We are serving Banana Pancakes, Banana Rum bread, Banana walnut cake and Banana Daiquiri's and anything else banana's!!!
Boat Ride to Tierra Oscura
Photo..Here we are taking Mary and Willie's skip across to Tierra Oscura (a 12 mile boat ride from Marina Carenero) where we've been told, there is a lovely restaurant Ronna Azul who's specialty is their oven baked pizza's, open only on Sunday and Friday, known for it's different special weekly menus and cooked by a husband and wife team from Germany. It's other draw is that it has become a local hangout for the expats that have taken up residence in this little archipelago called Bocas Del Toro.
As soon as you arrive, you are welcomed with open arms and greeting come from all directions from the patrons. It is very apparent that we are going to have a very good time as well as a great meal.
November/12/2011, Marina Carenero
First one's on the dock today for happy hour at Marina Carenero. You can do what you want here. Some sit under the kitchen/dining hut for happy hour while cooking their dinner on a real stove with oven, or we gather at the picnic area when the whole gang decides to throw a pot luck, or as we have chosen tonight, gather in the wind at the end of the dock. Maybe it's draw is the wind and no chitra's but also because it's a short walk back to L.P...
Remembrance Day .. thank you.
Bocas Del Toro, Panama
Great times ... Arriving to Marina Carenero only to discover that our friends from Shaka were managing the marina. It was in the Bahamas 2010, when we told them about this marina in Bocas. They headed for Cuba and we headed for the D.R... It has been a pleasure to see how much the girls have changed and grown.
We leave the marina tomorrow and will stage somewhere in the archipelago to prepare for our trip to Colon, Panama.
Happy Halloween 2011
Dressed in orange.. here's a pic of us catching the water taxi to Bocas Town from Amirante, Panama after our 4 hour bus ride from David.
Note to all women sailors: When you go home, don't let the local guru hairdresser cut your hair off. It's going to be a real laugh trying to make this mop of hair grow back. Do you like the wings .. ohhh there's so many more photos to come.. this is only after a 2 month growth ... wait 'til the humidity frizz starts taking hold..LOL But hey, it's just hair and although I think short hair is great, it's just easier to pull the whole mop back and tie it in a pony tail. Call me lazy. XO
Why a Whitby?... so many reasons but here's one!
Now, this is my time to really brag.
A couple whom live aboard an Amel, commented; "Can you fit all that shit on board?"
I said YES! and we have another shipment coming Thursday... and another MW order to pick up..
So, here'a another reason I love the Whitby.. We can fit ALL THAT CRAP ONBOARD.... 28 BOXES of PROVISIONS!
AND, that's why we may be a little low in the water.. A big LOL
ps: Our backs are killing us!!!
I paid the kid .75 cents for lugging his 2 bags to the boat/taxi, even after he tripped on the dock almost dumping the toilet paper into the drink.. but he was trying:(. The funny part: I went to collect my 2 computer knapsacks and two large grocery bags full of heavy crap that we lugged from David and this guy (just sitting there) insisted in helping me carry 2 of the bags about 5 steps. This was my last load. I turned to him and gave him the tip (to share with all the other people.. You know, the ones whom actually helped lug the shipment into the water taxi). A laugh was shared that "he" got the money. He even joked about the fact that he would not share his find, but the other guys were looking on. I really hope that he shared the tip :)
We arrived to Carenero Marina early afternoon with a truck load.. slash that, I mean a boat load of crap that we purchased in David... 28 boxes in total. The breakdown ~ $80 for shipment, $20 for the boat taxi and help. . . But that's what it's like to provision here in Bocas town, Panama.
Info for those traveling to Panama
October 17th, 2011
Panama City, Panama
This is just as much for us (a record of events packed with useful information) as it is for those reading....
Here's what we've learned from our trip back to Panama.
Some Do's & Don'ts.
1- Day of departure:
Pack a sandwich in your carry on, bring a book and $2 CDN (toonie) for the cart.
2- Leaving T.O. International, arriving Panama, first stop-over Newark Liberty International, NJ, USA:
Don't arrive at the required 3 hours ahead as suggested by the airlines. After collecting your ticket, you directly enter US Customs. Once you've done that, you sit & wait. Eat the sandwich here or next stop (we took ours all the way to Newark and ate a late lunch).
3- Plane to Newark (50 minutes): Refreshments only.
4- Newark airport:
Don't buy duty-free liquor. Everything is cheaper in Panama City but in the San Blas you can only get rum, beer, box wine called Clos and sometimes vodka (buy Scotch for Steve).
5- Upon arrival to Panama City:
Follow the crowd through the airport (no-one seems to direct you) and line up for Immigration.. "Tourist" (don't mention the boat); just put down the name of your hotel in Panama and the complete time frame of your stay.
Next, you collect your bags and line up for Panama Customs. Your bags get scanned one more time. Once done, walk through to the street.
6- Getting a ride to your hotel:
The guys at the airport (with the vests on) will direct you to a van type cab. There are plenty of yellow cabs and other cars dropping people off and they will try to get you to go with them. We don't think that's a problem but I believe they are not supposed too. The guys with the vests are very adamant that you go with whom they suggest. We did, and cab fare $28US ($25-30 is normal). No tip.
7- Your hotel:
We arrived late. Don't be surprised if Panama looks like it's sleeping. When you arrive to your hotel, the baggage guy will take you to your room and do the regular routine..tip $1US is normal.
8- Stay at the Hotel Milan:
Just trust us! This is the best for your buck, safe and clean.
We've checked out Las Vegas & El Parador (we stayed here this trip) all on the same street, all ~$65.
The Costa Hotel is closer to the Albrook Airport (Air Panama) and we have stayed here too. It's a good location to get to Air Panama (next day, 6 am flight to the San blas). It was okay (carpet floors and an old, deteriorated bathroom) but it's not near the down town area and it's hard to find a place to eat. We ate at the hotel.. the free breakfast was top notch for Panama/US standard hotel breakfast fare but we did not like the dinner menu. The staff are great.
9- Getting next morning flight from Albrook Airport to the San Blas Islands:
Taxi should cost $2 to $5US. The Costa Hotel has free shuttle but only at certain times. Getting a taxi is easy, but if you want help the staff will call you one. Make arrangements the night before.
10- Air Panama:
~$39/person to get to the San Blas Islands. Bags: 25 lb. bag limit plus a purse and/or knapsack carry-on. The flight ~1 hour.
Sit back and enjoy the ride. We have only taken Air Panama from Bocas del Toro to Panama City (and we had a short stop in Costa Rica..unannounced). It's beautiful countryside views for a while and then clouds as you pass over the mountains.
*I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mum for getting out the bread in the morning and suggesting that we make ourselves a sandwich. Our plane was delayed and we enjoyed eating our sandwiches at 2:30 pm in Newark (after arriving at T.O. International at 10 am to fly for an hour). However, our connecting flight was also late, so our stop-over was reduced (our stay in Newark was only 2 hours instead of the original 4 hours).
So far, our trip to Panama has been great.
The weather sucks but rain is to be expected this time of year and it is living up to expectations. However, as you all know, Steve and I are not made of sugar and we are happy to be back in temperatures of 26 °C.
This photo is of our day's work (9 hours of shopping). The first truck load to be boxed and shipped (via another larger covered truck) to Bocas Town. Unfortunately we found out today, that this load will arrive before us... the truck left this afternoon. We called Toby (a Texas born X-Pat who helps cruisers out with this sort of thing) to remind her that she forgot to pick-up the stuff stashed at our hotel. Stuff we brought from Canada and stuff we purchased at another grocery... No worries. the next truck load will be shipped next Tuesday.
the Multi-National Cafe, right next door... cheap and muey bueno!
The next day was supposed to be a rest day but we ended up at a fabric store a short walk from the hotel where Marg impressed the owner with her knowledge of fabric and we purchased the Sunbrella canvas for our sun awnings. In the Caribbean it is wise to have a large sun block over the whole boat or you roast. After lunch we took the long walk up to a major shopping area. I prefer to walk if we can just to get a look at the city, unfortunately David has very little to recommend it for. It seems to be a dirty dilapidated place. But it does have the shops that we need and between the two large Home Depot style hardware stores we were able to tick off all our items on the hardware list. So with a full taxi and Spanish lessons from the friendly driver we arrived back at the hotel after a successful day.
Panama City to David
Our flight arrived in Panama City late Sunday night and we arrived at the hotel well after midnight, although we were tired we couldn't get to sleep until three am. After the complimentary breakfast at the hotel we walked a couple of blocks in the rain and decided to that it would be a waste of a day in Panama City and that we could rest in David. We took a taxi to the bus station and we were just in time for the 10am bus. It turned out to be the premium bus so it was a little more expensive at $15.25 each for the 8 hour trip. It was a beautiful, new double-decker highway bus and we were assigned seats in the top cabin. Since no one was sitting in the front, we soon moved there and sat over the driver with a panoramic view of Panama as it went by. We had a lunch break about half way at a bus stop which served cafeteria style food at very reasonable cost. The food was surprisingly good. We arrived in David about 5:30 which was nice because it was sill light out and grabbed one of the many taxi's at the station to the Hotel Castilla and after a good meal at the restaurant next door and a trip to the super market down the street for necessities (beer) we called it a night.
Hakuna Matata... We're good to go back to Bocas Del Toro, Panama!
We've decided to wait until after our Canadian Thanksgiving .. gotta get one more sweet cob of corn and fresh green beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, new potatoes, sugared yams, sausage stuffing, succulent turkey and one last piece of pumpkin pie!
Phase II - Fall
More photos in the gallery of our visit to Canada. Yes, we are still here and the fall weather is creeping in.
Martini's on Deck
Charlie's the one in the white sunglasses
Our favourite new download..sailing not anchoring! Go Team China!
For more great photos:
Photo Gallery Update - Canada 2011
We've almost forgotten how hot and humid the climate we left behind in Bocas, even though upon our arrival it was a good 40 deg C.. but that was back in July. It is now the end of August and a little chillier ~25 deg C. My body and skin loves this climate.. Steve not so much. He misses the heat. However, one bonus is that we have been able to snuggle up together in the same bed (even on a twin mattress).
We have been enjoying every full day here.. minus the doctors, dentists, drivers license & OHIP renewals etc., etc. and we've become internet junkies ordering boat parts and exploring options for further travels. Plans are in the works for a shipment from Miami to Panama (boat parts and varnish etc.), and a crap load of work awaits our arrival.. it's all good and favourable for the ongoing improvements to Lion's Paw.
Steve can't wait to get to get back to the boat... me not so much. Before coming "home" (Steve would say; "Going to Canada") we were warned that we'd be surprised at the cost of food "back home", but we've found that the cost of food has not changed and most products are even cheaper. We've been like deer caught in the headlights as we peruse the aisles in the grocery stores... the selection is to die for and the pounds we have added to our waistline is proof. We've had ton's of red meat on the BBQ and enjoyed every fruit and vegetable that Canada's summer brings to the table. Even the potatoes taste wonderful! And our wine .. Well let's just say it's not like the the $2.50 Liter box of Clos wine from Chile ($$..much more costly, but taste wise .. wine tastes as it should :)
It's been wonderful to get our hands in the dirt again helping out with clearing brush and moving stone, along with re-caulking windows and fixing "this and that" whenever asked. It's all that we can contribute since we are homeless and everyone has been so kind to invite us to their homes and join in with their vacation time.
Cooking in everyone's kitchen has been a real eye opener. Kitchens are far too beautiful and spacious with far too many drawers and cupboards to store crap and everyone has a different idea as to where an item should be stored. Funny, how we've adjusted to living aboard Lion's Paw when only one cook can stand in the galley. It's been quite the adjustment, but we seem to have everything we "need" to cook and bake with and its it within reach..lol
Another discovery.. how very comfortable we've been living from our rental car and sleeping in all kinds of places (14 different beds and still counting). There was a time when we only felt comfortable in our own cottage or home. We hardly ever slept over after a dinner party. We wonder if it is because we've adjusted to the vagabond lifestyle or is it because our bed on the boat is not a BeautyRest mattress.
While here we have gone hiking, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, golfing, camping and sailing. Even though we've been very active, we have realized that there is no comparison to the amount of energy required for every day simple tasks aboard L.P. (like buying groceries or doing laundry) and I realize that we are not going off to work each day, but everyday life is just easier on land and can be very sedentary.. No wonder we all go the gym.
Wildlife is abundant here and we've seen more wildlife here than we do in the jungles and rain forests of Panama. For us the one sighting of the three-toed sloth is more exotic but to a Panamanian a chipmunk, fox and deer would be a similar thrill. How we've forgotten the amount of birds, flowers, plants and wildlife we've just taken for granted.
To all our friends out on the water, we do miss you all and wish you all the best. We check your blogs often and check the weather patterns too. Stay safe. We've downloaded a bunch of photos of our travels though Ontario (check out our Photo Gallery) if your interested in seeing a little piece of our wonderful province of Ontario, Canada.