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bocas del toro

Bocas del Toros can only be described with a slew of tourist brochure cliches.

A perfect beach.

A scattering of islands, each one bordered by pristine beaches, fringed by swaying coconut palms, monkeys, sloths and birds above in the forest canopy. The echoing throbbing roar of a distant troupe of howler monkeys.

The face of a sloth.

A sloth is a bizarrely ungainly creature. We rescued this one from a dog who was worrying it on the ground. Sloths only descend from the canopy once a week to shit, apparently.

Colourful frogs are prolific on the island of Bastimentos.


Fingers of light and shadow shoot across the sky as black and violet thunderheads gather in the evening. A rumble of thunder and vivid electric flashes end in a sudden downpour. The din of rain water pounding on a tin roof.

Rusty tin roof and raindrop percussion.

Sheets of rain.

Stormy skies...

... and scraps of rainbow.

In the silent night a school of spotted eagle rays slowly skim the surface of black water under a star studded sky. The smooth satin skin of the sea is broken by a sudden splash and silver flash of a fish rising.

Coffee in the morning on a wide wooden deck looking out to sea, clouds of fish swirl in constant motion underneath.

Underwater world...

...under the hotel deck.


{ 7 } Comments

  1. Tom | August 2, 2011 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    Have you caught any yet? (fish that is)

  2. anna | August 2, 2011 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Yup! Got a nice little fish this morning off the deck. I need to work out how to catch some bait fish, though, to go forward.

  3. Lindsay | August 8, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    And I thought Panama was just two banks of a canal. Now I discover it’s poetry. Xx

  4. anna | August 9, 2011 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    I didn’t really have any idea about Panama either. Probably still don’t, really, since I’m still pretty close to the border. Bocas is seriously beautiful and would have been totally ‘unspoilt’ ten to fifteen years ago. It’s still beautiful but a bit touristy for my tastes. However, I seem to be settling in and trying to launch a few parallel projects that may keep me here for a while.

  5. richard | November 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    IT WAS spoiled 10 years ago!! lol!

  6. lizabeth | November 18, 2011 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    hello i am pouring over you site thanks to my son nick who met you in panama

    peace and continued freedom of self

  7. Nico | April 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi Anna,

    My route will probably take me to Bocas and I was wondering if you knew of any boats or transports along that coast that could help avoid turning back on to the panamerican? Which route did you take back to the Pacific?

    I really enjoy your posts and photos!


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