While not a particularly a huge fan of beaches or oceans, there’s little point in coming to Bocas del Toro and not getting out and about around the nearby islands. As I mentioned yesterday, there aren’t any beaches particularly close to the town. If you’re desperate for a swim, many bars have jetties that can be jumped off. I signed up for a boat trip to see some of the island sights.
Firstly we headed out to a bay not far away to see if there were any dolphins around. As a childhood Flipper fan I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for dolphins. That said, who doesn’t? There were a few knocking around this morning. They seem to like to swim in the waves behind boats and two other nearby boats helped. Dolphins are quick things, which doesn’t play well with photographs. Usually you’ll get three or four visits to the surface from each dolphins, maybe the odd jump, then its back under the water. Therefore I have lots of photos of the ocean about a second after a dolphin was there, as well as countless speculative pictures of nothing! They are beautiful creatures to see close up though.
Next up was a snorkeling stop. I’ve said on this very blog that my sea swimming days are behind me after the crocodile incident in Colombia. After a bit of coaxing from Jorge, along with assurances of there being no sharks, snakes nor crocodiles around, I took the plunge into what was the clearest and warmest sea water I’ve ever experienced. I managed to see a plenty of sealife among the coral, including a few starfish. Apparently there used to be a lot more of these until muppets started bringing them to the surface for a selfie, something that usually kills the starfish.
Most of this afternoon was spent at the beach on Zapatillas Island. This is one of those picture-postcard sort of places with palm trees, golden sands and shallow waters. There was even a fair bit of shade for pasty people to avoid the sun. We’d been lucky with the weather today. It was a rare afternoon since I’ve been in Costa Rica and Panama where there was no rain.
A great day was rounded off with a bit of living la vida local among the Bocas bar scene. After moaning earlier on this week about the youngsters not coming out, I got plenty of ribbing tonight for going home at midnight. However there’s only so much of Justin Bieber, Pitbull and Ed Sheeran that you can listen to!