Just One More Day, Please…

Vacation was winding down for Darren, Katie, Annika, and Gavin. What better way to get the most out of our time together than to spend yet another day at the beach; our “private” section of Turtle Beach. 20140525-105830.jpg

Annika was The Keeper of the Map. This was a very important job! Annika was responsible for keeping the map clean and dry; she was given a specialized map case (a very handy, small dry bag that she could wear around her neck). Annika was also responsible for directing us though the rain forest to Turtle Beach. She did an excellent job! Once we’d arrived, she brought out the map to confirm our location. 20140525-110231.jpg

Meanwhile, Brian scouted the area to ensure we would not be disturbed during our final beach day. 20140525-105854.jpg

Gavin was ready to get into the water! 20140525-111208.jpg

The afternoon was fabulous! We felt quite spoiled being at our own private beach.20140525-111502.jpg20140525-111520.jpg

With all those palm fronds around, Brian couldn’t resist weaving a hat. The fronds were a bit shorter than those he was familiar with working with in the Bahamas, but just the right size for a little head. 20140525-111824.jpg
Brian had some help from Annika, she was perfecting her leaf-splitting technique. Annika explained, however, that she was not weaving. “I’m making tickets,” she explained. I replied, “Oh, do we need tickets for this beach?” “Yes you do,” Annika informed me as she continued to effortlessly cut the palm leaves with her teeth. She then handed me two small pieces of palm leaf and instructed me to put my tickets into the box (through the slats of the reclining beach chair). Good thing admission was free! 20140525-112455.jpg
Almost finished…20140525-111835.jpg20140525-111846.jpg
Perfect fit!20140525-111912.jpg

Katie and I went for a walk and came back with some coconuts. Darren and Brian went to work! We’ve watched the Indigenous people of Bastimentos drink from coconuts while they are working. With one hit of the coconut against a tree trunk, the husk comes off and then one swipe of a machete releases the refreshing coconut juice. It is fascinating to watch. Darren and Brian, however, took about 20 minutes to prepare our coconuts…brute force, multiple tools, and sweat were involved. Well worth a tasty treat!

Gavin had played himself out.20140525-113723.jpg

Katie and Annika had some girl time.20140525-113806.jpg20140525-113844.jpg

We took one last walk down the beach.20140525-113915.jpg

And then we consulted The Keeper of the Map to direct us to Casa Kayuka for a late lunch. We were so hungry…things got a little crazy while we were waiting for our orders. 20140525-114156.jpg20140525-114208.jpg





Back at the Red Frog Marina, everyone freshened up. The gals put on our party dresses and we went back to Casa Kayuka that evening for Wild Wednesday. (As it turns out it wasn’t quite as wild as we’d expected.) Dance music played while we enjoyed drinks and ice cream. Darren and Brian had a showdown at the billards table; Annika judged the event. We danced and played and later headed back to Rode Trip happy and tired.



Brian and I love our friends and we didn’t want them to leave (despite our cramped living quarters). But all vacations eventually come to an end…and Darren, Katie, Annika, and Gavin had to return to their own home in New Hampshire. We’ll miss them, but we’ll be in touch and see one another again soon!

Though the Jungle and Over the Hill…to the Beach!

Isla Bastimentos is 20 sq-miles; an island within the Bocas del Toro District.  Isla Bastimentos houses a small town, an Indigenous villiage, the Red Frog Villas and Red Frog Marina, Bocas Bound Hostel, Casa Kayuka, and the Pal Mar Tent Lodge.  A portion of the island also encompasses a portion of Panama’s first national park; Isla Bastimentos National Marine Park which stretches from Playa Larga on Bastimentos across to neighboring Cayos Zapitillas and Coral Cay.  Isla Bastimentos is a quiet place where tourists come to bask in the sun or catch a wave on one of the five ocean-side beaches.  Brian, Paul, and I hiked along jungle paths toward the beaches…we were ready for a bit of FUN!IMG_9017 IMG_9015



Fabulous view!  Not a bad lookin' couple, either!

Fabulous view! Not a bad lookin’ couple, either!

At Red Frog Beach, the guys checked out the surf.IMG_8964 IMG_8961IMG_8976

'Jesus' Lizard - these critters have this nickname because they can run so fast on their back legs they can run across water for significant distances without sinking, essentially they can 'walk on water.'

‘Jesus’ Lizard – these critters have this nickname because they can run so fast on their back legs they can run across water for significant distances without sinking, essentially they can ‘walk on water.’



With a few hours remaining until sunset, still plenty of time to catch some waves!IMG_8978

These guys packed a bundle of energy after they were done surfing!  Good thing we had lots of open space to play.IMG_9000 IMG_8990