Sapzurro – Day 1 : borders and coconuts

EDITO : since the internet is so weak here, we’re posting both yesterday and today’s posts now, but their pictures will arrive later ! We would also like to remind those of you who want to stay up to date without checking everyday (and these days are irregular) that you can subscribe at the bottom of the page. We also advise you to add us to your contact list with aliceetben@protonmail.com so we won’t end up in the spam folder !

Today was the beginning of tropical paradise postcards moments.

Capurgana wasn’t as cool as we expected, we could neither get access to the internet nor withdraw any cash. We knew there wasn’t any ATM but had read that we could pay in some hotels with a card in exchange for cash, we thought we could finish preparing our trip to San Blas like this. Turns out we couldn’t, we even got rudely told off in the hotel we asked and found nothing else, so we changed most our pesos for dollars (for the border ahead) and planned with what we have.

In the end, it isn’t so bad, maybe we won’t spend 3 days in San Blas, but 2 should do it! Then we left our lovely but expensive hostel in the woods, took care of administrative formalities and took a boat to Sapzurro, 3 km away, on the other side of a small wood-covered peninsula. Since we had been disappointed in Capurgana, we didn’t expect much, and we were surprised: it is much prettier, quieter and nicer altogether. We left our bags in the Chilean’s hostel (that’s the name of the hostel, and his as well, everyone knows him around here) and left for La Miel, a bit further on the coast.

La Miel is THE beach around here, the place to be, with fine white sand in a bay with corals, coconut trees and pretty fish. There was also some loud music and a few people, but it was probably worth the hassle. The hassle is the 30-minutes walk in the forest to go up and down the 77 meters hill with stairs and go through the mini customs office at the top, because the beach and its hamlet are in Panama! So, we just showed our passports, the real stamp will be further, because La Miel is anyway unreachable from Panama without a boat so we wouldn’t have illegally immigrated anywhere.

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Speaking of immigration, we got stamped out of Colombia in Capurgana, because that’s where the office is. But since it is really inconvenient, being 45 km away from Puerto Obaldia with the Panama immigration office, we are allowed 3 days to cross the border, which means we have to have been stamped in Panama before Tuesday. According to our passports, we are today, in the eye of the administration, in limbo (or in France).

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Let’s go back to the beach. We swam, the water here is slightly below body temperature, so it’s refreshing but really easy to go in. We saw (without any gear) tiny colorful fishes, we cut our feet (nothing bad) and dried out in the sun! We drank coconut water straight from the source and encountered a very nice Colombian family on vacation.

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On the way back, we observed many tiny orange and blue crabs, digging their homes in the sand on and around the trail, but also in gardens and under houses. It’s a shame they can’t be eaten, cause with their numbers, they would make quite a soup!

We ended the day’s adventures sitting on a wooden pier, looking at the waves and boats while the sun set and the harbor’s empty hall played loud tropical music, very cliché, very funny.

Tonight, we are eating pasta to fit the budget, and tomorrow we will snorkel because diving is expensive and we are poor these days, but we are very happy! X

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