Chillout in San Blas

If you forget about time and date, like we did, you know you are in paradise. We are there and enjoy, it’s one of the most unique experiences I have made so far…

I get up very early the next morning, around 5:30 am. The last day in San Blas has already come and I am at the reef before 7:30 am.

I remember the days of Egypt in the red sea. When I went early I could see all kinds of animals and there it is, my first tortuga verde (green seaturtle) of this trip! I can’t follow up but it’s pretty and majestic how it swims away into the blue water… I discover a langustino and later I regret I didn’t catch it. And for lunch a collected conch as fresh conch ceviche, freshly prepared by our island chef, awesome! Later I watch him cleaning barracuda for our dinner. He throws all the fish Parts into the water and a shark stops by and gets its portion. It’s a brown shark most likely a nursing shark. Really cool! I have lost the feeling for time, just hang out in the mid of the day, wash my cloth, take photos, and go snorkeling again. What could be better?

Inga gives me some more advice for Nicaragua which is very welcome. She recommends to use the Queztaltrekkers for the vulcano boarding tour, instead of the Bigfoot Hostel due to less crowded groups ( haven’t tried it in the end…). The evening is there in a snap and we used the whole day just to hang out in paradise…

We have another nice and entertaining evening and try to go to bed but it’s so humid that night that I can’t sleep at all. I go out and am not the only one with that idea. So we all stay at the beach till late night and observe plankton which glimmers everytime a wave hits shore. This night is the hottest I have experienced in my whole life so far, humid, tropical – and several thunderstorms go by.

The next morning a golden shine of the rising Sun lies over San Blas. Thunder roars from the distance. The light is very intense and everything seems to shimmer golden red. As if San Blas would send a good bye.

After a horrible breakfast and a final photo with our Kuna family who hosted us, we climb into the small boat. And right how we came here, el Capitano speeds over the waves which are massiv this morning. We pass the settlement of the Kuna Yala and it’s interesting to see how they live in their more populated islands without the beach.

We have to wait over an hour before our shuttle dude decides to bring us back to Panama City. I have the luck to sit on the front seat this time, salsa and raggaton are with us and the djungle goes by like you would ride the metro through a green tunnel. I decide to continue to Costa Rica the same night since I don’t want to stay another night in Luna’s Castle.

Paradise is here: San Blas

Finally we capture a spot on the transport to San Blas. I know dirtroads very well since I traveled them in the Bahamas (they have been wicked) and Maine of the USA, namely the Golden Road. The way to San Blas is luxurious compared to both so all the wait was probably for nothing. On the other hand it’s great to sleep. And what awaits us after the fun ride by boat is nothing more than paradise…

It’s short past 5 am and we are getting more and more people, finally San Blas is our destination. I need to repack my backpack and find out again that I took too much stuff with me, like always. The vehicle, a Toyota 4×4 Jeep, is stuffed with 7 passengers and the driver. It’s tight and you can’t really move. We are brought to a supermarket and Stefan and me buy a lot, 9 liters of water, many cookies, bread, some veggies, rum, cola and binned fish. We were told by Anika that sometimes the Kuna Yala – an indian tribe populating those islands kind under autonomy from Panama – don’t catch fish and then there is no dinner. It’s tough to fit all of that  stuff into the car but our driver manages it somehow. The ride must be hell… When we are there and I’m finally awake again the people are talking about it. I slept great tho… 🙂

Our loot for 3 days in paradise… Lots of water, lots of rum, binned fish and some bread.

We wait another 45 min and are instructed not to take photos of the Kuna Yala without asking their permission. The ride to our Island, Naidub or in Spanish Diablo, is the coolest transfer of all times!

We go 40 min over the choppy sea with a 7 m boat and that quite fast. The boat jumps out of the water and crashes back on the surface to break the waves. So much fun! Our Captain, a Kuna called Alex is enjoying it obviously the most. Everytime we are out of the water he pushes the boat back down with his legs. I try to catch this moment for you in the video, but as you can see I had no opportunity to hold the camera still. It’s Stefan, me, Dani – who I meet later on this trip again – and a friend of hers, an obviously rich and gay guy and another couple on the boat.

As soon as we are there, we are absolutely overwhelmed by the beauty of the island and the surrounding islands, the turquoise sea, the reef in front of the blue water and the hot temperatures. Time to claim our tent and bring all the stuff on the island, have our first Coco Loco, a cracked coconut filled with rum and some of the coconut meat.

We enjoy a boatstour and Alex is our guide this day. He tells us lots of things about the reef, the sharks, the islands. I don’t understand much and go snorkeling. A big shadow passes by under us probably an eagle ray or a manta. We don’t get into the water quick enough but there are still two big sting rays lying at the ground.

Later on that tour we hit a small island where they sell merchandise. The Kuna there are not very polite. They ask for 2$ for a single picture which we don’t take. Life is very smooth and the heat doesn’t allow you to be very active. The darkness comes quickly over the island and it’s time for dinner. We get either fish or fruits of the sea for every lunch or dinner. The best you can enjoy as a side is coconut with rum and a pineapple or watermelon. This is Paradise! 

 The next day is equally relaxed. I go snorkeling for about 3 hours and make three islands on my way. Again I have the feeling, I really lack a GoPro, just imagine those most beautiful pictures from the underwater world… I see lots of splendid reef and thousands of different kinds of fish in all colors. The reef is much better when you are not directly at the island where all the tourists snorkel. The coolest things I see this day are emperor fish, a barracuda, some batfish and herds of Doctor fish. I try to catch an octopus but it gets away. Lucky!

In the afternoon we do the boat tour again and go to the big reef this time far out at the border to the deep blue water. Lots of big fish is around there and it seems like they enjoy to play in the currents. For them it must be like a roller coaster ride. There is a nice dinner again and I get used to the ‘bathroom’ consisting of a toilet connected to the ocean and a big vessel of rainwater which you use to rinse away what you have left…

A Czech family, Jirkan, his sons Adam and David and his wife Diana teach me how to open coconuts. They live in Oregon and are on travels for a whole month. Jirkan explains that it is much more important for the kids to learn this proximity to nature than attending school. I just agree and they are lovely and so cool as a unit!

Jirkan, me, David and Adam. The guys teach me how to collect and open coconuts, essential for survival in tropical regions… 😉

In the meanwhile Stefan and me made some contact with two girls from Germany, Inga and Kira, who are on the island with us and we play a drinking game at night with all the rest of inhabitants of the island. It’s fun and two Dutch girls, hola Judith, and a Spanish Italian couple join us. We talk about our travels, destinations to see and future. Raul and his girlfriend want to start a hostel somewhere and have no intention to return to Europe. After the last days I start to recognize why, life over here is somehow just easy going and you can lay back and chill. It truly is Paradise! The night sets and rum enlights us… 🙂