Bocas del Toro – Day 3 : snorkels and frogs

Today, we were set to go on an excursion ! But we didn’t anticipate how long it would be to find people and talk to them about itineraries and prices : people around here are relaxed, so very relaxed…

So we took information here and there all morning, looked for a snorkeling guide who, in fact, went back to live in Germany a long time ago, met a diving instructor, and the certification + 2 immersions are tempting but expensive… We walked along the village and then ate. We finally found a nice local restaurant that is not too expensive (until now, we mostly ate at the cabin, considering the prices) so the dining room is on stilts, covered but open, on the sea, with view on the low-flying pelicans and some very tasty creole chicken. It was really nice.

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We then walked outside the village to a place where the beach is big round rocks and the hostels are classier, so talk about their excursions, timetables, prices… Turns out they aren’t full enough these days to have reliable information (but at least they are trying !), and it’s true that we can feel the low-season vibe : there are few people everywhere, which is nice, but a lot of places are closed, which is less convenient. On the way back, we found 3 coconuts that looked approximately ripe so we went back for a snack !

We all know the legends of the guys opening and preparing a coconut with a machete in 10 seconds. We also know the stories of drill-accidents and other disasters. Well, we had a machete but no disaster and it took us a long while to get to the holy grail. We hear it’s very healthy and full of minerals, well, good ! Because with all the sport and sweat necessary to eat them, it wouldn’t be worth it otherwise ! Anyway, we could drink the water before opening them completely and get the flesh out, half of which went into piña coladas (are we in rum country or what ?) and the other half is in the fridge for tomorrow.

We then went to talk with a lancha pilot / tour operate, advised by our host, in the bar of another hostel in which we ate on our first night ! This guy isn’t stressed out either, and it was really hard to know how much we were going to pay – well it depends on how many people come – but no we can’t know how many will be there – it’s low season you know – but it’s not expensive either ! We will see tomorrow morning, but if all goes well, we’ll go around in a boat and see lots of stuff ! More about it tomorrow !

We didn’t tell you yet about the frogs ! On Bastimentos island, there is a rare species of tiny colorful frogs ! It’s the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog, dangerous only when eaten. On Red Frog Beach, they are hard to spot despite the name of the place, but on the hillside, it’s another story ! We see a lot of them, and they are so cute ! We find them even better now that we know they make this sound we thought was done by crickets (you can hear it on the wikipedia page)

Last bonus, our cabin among the trees ! It’s not luxury design but still very nice to live in !

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X, see you tomorrow !

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