Has it really been two weeks since we left Pedasi and made our way back to the lush valley that surrounds our base camp in Boquete? Our base, Los Molinos, is a beautiful gated community with several large estate homes and numerous smaller homes under construction. Our friend and host Richard has a beautiful home there that features a pool and a small casita the occasional guest stays in. Richard and Brian share Welsh ancestry, maybe that’s why they get on so well.
We came back to Boquete in time to take in the 10th annual Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival. This is a big event for Boquete and features a parade, local nightclubs hosting jams and two days of music in an outdoor amphitheatre. It was mostly a gringo show, produced by gringos, featuring gringo musicians, for gringo entertainment. Acts included Ronnie Baker Brooks (Lonnie Brooks son), Curtis Salgado, bassist Scott Ambush (of Spyro Gyra fame), Marshall Keyes, Tommy Castro and a not so well known but killer guitarist from the UK – Matt Schofield. Canada’s Downchild Blues Band played here a couple of years ago. I’m really glad we attended. Will we be here next year? Hmmm…. Check it out http://www.boquetejazzandbluesfestival.com/
With little fanfare February has turned into March. Our tan lines are well defined and we are starting to think about our next adventures in Ecuador. But before we leave Panama, we wanted to see a bit more of this beautiful country. We decided to drive to Bocas del Toro and see some of this famous archipelago on the Caribbean.
Driving from Boquete to Bocas Town was definitely an adventure. The trip took us over the continental divide and the change in scenery was incredible. It really makes you appreciate what human effort was required to build a canal allowing ships to pass over this isthmus. The drive to Bocas took about 4 hours. The road was treacherous in spots with unmarked potholes just looking for a rim to bend.
We drove as far as Almirante, parked the rental car at the local fire department, (bomberos) and then took a water taxi over to Isla Colon and the town of Bocas. Some say it looks like Key West, Florida in the 50’s or 60’s. There is no need for a car on this island as taxis are plentiful and cheap. Locals might long board around or ride a bike or catch the local bus. Lots of houses and buildings built right over the water. Boating, surfing and diving is popular here. We stayed three nights in a lovely B&B called Sand Dollar Beach B&B just a few minutes from town and right across the road from a beautiful beach. The waves hitting the shore lull us to sleep each night.
Our hosts from Sand Dollar Beach, Mark and Sharon Reeves, invited us to join them on a boat ride to visit the Green Acres Chocolate Farm. http://greenacreschocolatefarm.com/index.php
It was truly a fantastic tour that took us around several islands and through large tracts of mangroves. Although situated on the mainland, Green Acres is completely off the grid. Check out the web link above. The pictures there are amazing !!
It is a beautiful place and a must see if your road trip ever brings you to this part of Panama.