Today, we still wanted to go to the beach. But we had to take our time and do things the right way.
We started with a huge breakfast with pancakes, eggs and bacon, partly because here, a good english breakfast is easier to make than finding real bread. Since we didn’t go out of bed very early, we only started to move at the (very) end of the morning, towards Red Frog Beach, a bit further than the one we wanted to go to yesterday, but supposedly prettier. We didn’t make the same mistake as yesterday and took a boat, which left us on the closest pier from the beach, belonging to a hostel there, and the only one accessible to the public : all the other Red Frog piers are dedicated to the inhabitants and owners of the sailing ships and other boats docked here. We looked at the ships for a few minutes, they were so pretty, all painted and polished, swinging with the waves (you didn’t think they were poor-people yachts, did you ?)
Then we figured out something. Our Bastimentos island has the main village, Old Bank, where we sleep. Everything there seems a little makeshift but it’s all very nice. And then there is the marina area, with bourgeois and yachts, and the huge resort with a golf, villas and private beaches. It wasn’t obvious, but the wooden arch, piers in the mangrove and behind them, white gravel floor and perfectly tended grass made it very clear. We crossed the welcome desk and followed the “public beach” signs. There were a lot of other signs, telling us how and why care about the ecosystem, but we thought that it was a bit hypocritical, coming from a business that was building wide roads in the middle of the forest. Well yeah, we were passed several times by speeding golf carts on the (short) way to the beach. They were probably only going 15 kmph, but in the forest it’s so much cooler to make a big dust cloud in the curves… People on them were wearing towels with embroidered logos of the Red Frog Beach Club and guess what… we didn’t meet them on the public beach ! (Note : there aren’t any roads in Old Bank, just a paved way for pedestrians and cycles. The trucks and carts of the resort are the only motored vehicles on the island…)
The beach was beautiful, with finer sand than we had met until there, slightly retreated from the surrounding cliffs and forests, with turquoise water. The waves were reasonable but there was a red flag and a sign on how to get back to the beach if you got sucked in by rip waves, so we decided to just splash around and not go too far. It was perfect since the sand make a very soft slope, the water was warm and when it rained a few drops, it was even warmer than the air, and so salty that we could float around for ever without even moving. We were probably in there more than an hour an a half and it was like paradise. however, once out, we didn’t drag on too long, because the beach was infested with sandflies (see previous articles), flying in swarms like midges in Scotland (I don’t wish you to meet them either). So we plastered ourselves with sunscreen to prevent them from landing, but still packed our stuff and walked back to the boats.
Once back at the cabin, it was still early enough to skype some friends and families, and we took some time to rest before going to eat. Since we had something to celebrate, we had asked in advance to all-around-beloved-and-advised restaurant about lobster. Turns out they couldn’t fish one, but they asked around everywhere, being incredibly nice with us. Still, it’s better than to think about the disgusting fishing methods where you can fish anything and everything by scraping the bottom of the sea… So we ate other delicious things and the house cocktails were really interesting. We probably will remake some of them, including the one we had for dessert (choco banana with coffee liquor and rum… as much to eat as to drink !) Besides, the people around were really nice and we had a great time ! It was probably the nicest restaurant we have been to since we started traveling…
To conclude, it was the first time I could swim in the sea for my birthday, and it was nice… I don’t regret for a minute spending it here : you have to admit that Bocas Del Toro is an amazing region, and Bastimentos such a cool relaxing place, we could easily spend a few months here. We are now starting to be used to this feeling of excitement when leaving to discover new places mixed with disappointment of having to leave the wonderful places we were at… anyway, tomorrow morning, we will be on the road to Costa Rica and it will kick ass !
Kisses to y’all !
Note : these days, we don’t post many pictures. The sky is often cloudy and the light gray, or we tell you stuff that happens at night. In the day, we are sometimes too busy to take pictures, or we are scared to repeat ourselves. I promise, we will try to post more of them !