We'd found an ad in a local paper for a Butterfly Farm near Bocas; this sounded like a great little excursion that the kids would enjoy. On the morning of our butterfly tour, it seemed everyone had planned to go to town via the water-shuttle. How many people fit into a panga? The answer is 26! Our driver, Felo, is fabulous but I think even he was surprised that everyone fit. The panga was riding low in the water for that trip!
Once at town, Felo taxied us over to the Butterfly Farm. We'd never have found this entrance on our own. Just arriving was an adventure!
This way to the butterflies!
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The Butterfly Farm was not what we'd expected, but we're learning quickly not to set any expectations in Panama. It was someone's private property; trails wound through the jungle and educational signs were posted pertaining to wildlife and plants. The area was a bit run-down, but the farmer was engaged and helpful. At one time it looked as though this farm was thriving, just not today. We were disappointed that our Spanish is so poor and we were unable to really communicate to learn about the butterflies. We were led inside and left to ourselves to explore the butterfly house.
Butterflies fluttered all around; large ones with bright blue wing-tops, small orange butterflies, and small black butterflies with a bright red stripe on their wings. The butterflies were constantly moving. The house was hot and humid. There were several beautiful flowers to admire while walking along the little pathways though the house. Annika and I played "Hot & Cold" on the paths; I'd stand in one location and let her know if she were getting closer (hot) or farther (cold) away as she wound around the paths through the vegetation.
Darren was on a mission to get a non-blurred photograph of a butterfly, and he succeeded!
Outside of the butterfly house, along one of the paths, we found a large terrarium where several tiny frogs were living. These were the poison-dart frogs and they were brightly colored green, yellow, blue, and red.
Brian had struck up a conversation with the farmer, although limited conversation due to our language barrier, the farmer shared his knowledge with us in Spanish and elaborate hand gestures. We returned to the butterfly house where he showed us butterfly larve.
We'd spent an hour at the Butterfly Farm and had to return to the docks to meet Felo, our water-shuttle driver. We welcomed the cool breeze from the boat ride after having been in the steamy jungle.
Felo brought us to Bocas Town where we had lunch and did a bit of touristy shopping before heading back to the Red Frog Marina.
Our afternoon was spent swimming and snorkeling from the dinghy in the mangroves. It was refreshing and peaceful; Darren and Katie admired the sunset over the Panama mountains as we returned the dinghy to the docks. That night we dined on tuna that Brian and Darren had selected from the fish market. Brian spiced up the tuna with an onion and pineapple chutney and made coconut rice and broccoli for our sides; all plain for Annika and Gavin, both loved the fish and rice. Once the kids were asleep, we put our feet up with rum and/or red wine in hand and once again enjoyed the cool night air out on the dock.