Chocolate and coconut dipped frozen bananas are a taste of chilly heaven on a hot day. Priced at a dollar, they compete for first place on the ever-growing “Best Dollar Ever Spent” list, which also has on it a bottle of beer and the easy border-crossing service.
Sasha and I enjoy our snorkel tour on an overcast day.The snorkeling itself is little more than satisfactory due to poor visibility; although, the water itself is so warm we don’t want to get out. The scenery above water, however, is spectacular. We hike through tropical rain forests and explore secret lagoons – perfect for siestas – and exposed sandy beaches with crashing waves and gusty winds.
The nightlife in Bocas attracts similar crowds as other backpacking hot-spots. It does, however, have unique venues screaming with Caribbean flair. Aqua Lounge is a hostel and bar built on a floating dock. You can order a Cuba Libre and cannonball into the sea on the same breath. And girls drink free on ladies nights. You can get to Aqua Lounge by boat taxi from the main island or, like Sasha and I, rent a Kayak and paddle your way across the channel. We followed some dolphins, a mom and baby, to the bar one afternoon. After tying up our boats we ordered piña coladas and watched the sun set behind the colourful houses on the main island.
Shipwrecked is our favourite venue. It spreads across the beach and over the water. The docks weave around three separate bars, two dance floors, and several aquariums built from coral with fountains and sea creatures. The bar was built around a shipwreck – hence its name. The center dock circles a shallow shipwreck which is lit up in the turquoise water. There is a colourful sign that reads “swim at own risk, everything cut you”. There are tropical fish popping in and out of the wreck, seemingly unfazed by the rowdiness above them. Sasha and I choose the dance floor on the beach. We take off our shoes and dance in the sand to fun electronic beats all night long.
We are still surviving on chicken or fish, rice and beans, and fried plantains. Such a simple dish, with so many variations, it’s no wonder this is the staple meal everywhere we’ve been so far.
Sasha and I have decided to look for work on a boat that is heading down to South America. We have knocked on a few boat hulls and posted an ad around town but haven’t had any luck. There is a storm in the east that is worrying the boaters and it seems as though they have all decided to stay put until it passes. There aren’t any taxis to the mainland due to the storm, so we will just have to hunker down in this little paradise until it passes.