Patience is a Virtue
16 April 2012 | West Lemmon Cays, San Blas, Panama
While anchored in the West Lemmons, I took a trip into Panama City with a fellow cruiser while Alan stayed behind and watched the boats. We arranged the trip to the mainland in a launcha that took us to Carti Tupile. The launcha ride took 30 minutes and we arrived ashore surprisingly dry. When we arrived there, the driver we had arranged was no where to be found and we watched other jeeps come and go bring folks in and out. After about 45 minutes, Carol phoned our driver and, with somewhat broken communications, managed to learn that SOMEONE was coming, but not the driver we'd arranged. About 1 1/2 hours later, another driver showed up and took the two of us, along with 3 Kunas, into Panama City for $25 each. The ride takes a winding route through the jungle--up and down steep hills. In the dry season, this ride was fairly routine with some beautiful scenery, but I can imagine that in the rainy season, it could be much more exciting as there were some washed out sections even in this dry season. We arrived in time for Carol's appointment and were able to run all sorts of errands for provisions, spear fishing supplies, 6V batteries for another cruiser, medicine for another cruiser, etc. We enjoyed a nice, luxurious meal in the city. The following morning, our jeep driver arrived at 5:30 a.m. This time it was yet another driver and not the one we'd organized. We'd asked our scheduled driver if it would be possible to stop for coffee. He agreed, but this new driver--although he seemed to be aware of the request--never stopped, but headed straight back to Kuna Yala. We arrived back at Carti Tupile at 7:45 a.m., but this time our launcha was no where to be found. The air was completely still and the no-see-ums were out in force. Unfortunately, neither of us had bug spray. We waited for about 45 minutes and then I phoned Miguel on Isla Elephante. Again, in a somewhat broken communication, we managed to learn that the launcha was coming--and had either left 20 minutes ago or would be leaving in 20 minutes. The launcha arrived about an hour later. HOWEVER, we weren't leaving...we would be waiting until another jeep arrived from the city with more tourists for Isla Elephante. Sigh...patience helps. By 11:30 a.m., we were back aboard our respective boats, but exhausted from the whirl-wind journey to the big city.