“There’s a dolphin!”
Sure enough, a pod of dolphins frolicked around the boat as we ate breakfast.
We slept beautifully on deck being rocked gently as the boat swayed in the gentle waves. A steady breeze kept us cool.
Even so, I’m glad it’s not me who’s living on a boat. I can’t wait to get back on my bike…
We motored 2.5 hours to another spot in paradise – and have been anchored all day in a small alcove surrounded by three tropical islands. Shortly after dropping anchor, we swam to one of the islands and met a group of friendly Kuna Indians. Wow!
The San Blas Islands are home to the Kuna tribe, and we’ve been seeing the brightly dressed women selling molas for a few days now. But always, when we try to talk with them, they shun us. They are perfectly willing to take our money, but have no desire whatsoever to talk.
So today, when we arrived at the small island, I expected more of the same – but these ladies were completely different. Their smiles were plentiful and genuine, and they were genuinely interested in telling me about their lives and culture.
I spent 3 or 4 hours hanging around their camp – they are here for three days to collect coconuts to take back to their village and sell. It was fascinating watching them break open coconuts, grate the meat, and extract the milk for use for cooking rice. And all the while, they told me stories about their lives.
The family makes their livelihood by collecting and selling coconuts, harvesting lobster & squid on the coral reef to sell to exporters in Panama City, and selling molas to tourists. Most of their children have opted to live in Colon rather than the islands.
Today is our last day in the San Blas Islands – tomorrow morning we take off for 30 hours straight through to Cartagena. I hope I survive…