Day 2 on our journey to Bocas. The purple house hostel worked out great but we decided to crack on to Bocas especially as we’d gathered it was another 3-4 hours by bus!!!
A 2 dollar Taxi back to the bus station and we’re amazed yet again by how much the locals put themselves out. At the bus station a bus is about ready to leave. Unfortunately for us he only has one space left but we gather there’ll be another in around 20 mins. So off with out bags we get set for a short wait. Shorter that we imagine. The bus organiser comes over and says something we don’t quite follow but the up shot is they have got room for us. It turns out that one passenger is made to move and sit backwards between the driver and the passenger seat, on the gearbox mounting to make two seats free for us!!!!
We guess it’ll be ok, probably a local stopping bus and it’ll only be for a short distance – an hour later she gets off. Not a comfortable ride at all, imagine the feisty roads of the lake district or highlands of Scotland!!! The scenery is stunning just the same. Mountains, banana plantations, a reservoir way fuller than usual due to all the rain they had in December.
Again we stop for a lunch break, supposedly for 10 mins but it doesn’t stop anyone queuing up again buying a big meal. The driver ends up joining them. Outside the cafe is a van with a roof full of banana boxes on it. We really are in banana country, you know those bananas – Chiquita is the brand – most of what the UK imports, they’re all from right here!!!
Just before we got going again a gringo (White guy) chats to us outside the bus, asks us where we’re going etc. turns out him and his girlfriend are also headed for Bocas. When we get back on the bus we have to move seats which means Bernice sitting with one knee up at her chin for the next 2 hours and Huw with no leg room, this is just a wee mini bus like we had on St Lucia and we’re both in the jump seats.
Finally we arrive at the port on the mainland that we need to transfer to a water taxi from. We get chatting more with the other two waiting on the water taxi to leave. Turns out he’s a Kiwi (from The Cook Islands, Rarotonga actually), she’s British and they both live in Vancouver!!!!
When we arrive at Bocas we are gobsmacked at how touristy it is, although we guessed as much when we got a mail from Nathan and Donna saying they’d moved hotels, islands infect and were on Bastimentos -where we’re headed too as it saves trying to work out where to stay for the next few days before we start Spanish and Diving. We’re no sooner on the street than everyone is trying to help us, taxi, water taxi, hotel….
We all retreat into a bar to make a plan and check there is in fact rooms available where Nathan and Donna are. We check for the other guys too as they have no accommodation sorted yet either – Dan and Jenny. It turns out we all go over to Bastimentos, for piece if no other reason.
We book in and get settled into our rooms. Turns out that Nathan and Donna are right next door to us with an adjoining balcony :0)
After exploring the town – which has the same feel as Anse le Raye in St Lucia, we introduce Nathan and Donna to Dan and Jenny when they return from their days surfing.
After dark we all head out to a local restaurant called Reef for food together. A good evening is had by all. Hic!