Bocas to San Jose – a note on border crossings…

Border Crossings…. The intrigue, The mystery…. the unknown… Oh how I love border crossing days. Bryce, crossing borders You never really know how your day is going to pan out and how long it will take to get from A to B… or if you’ll even be allowed into B at all. You're entirely at the mercy of the border guards and what law they'd like to enforce on that particular day. These can vary from official to ... a random array of [...]

The Bocas Effect…

The Bocas Effect:  “A Sudden feeling of euphoria secondary to the independent removal of societies noose by an individual.  Symptoms include: relaxation, laughter, smiling… at everyone, fun, befriending of random strangers, deep breathing, potential for superhuman powers, the absence of time, the absence of any feelings of guilt, a general disregard for authority that is not in line with common sense followed by the making of ones own rules."  -Kimberley Casey, 2012 Most commonly known to occur on the islands of Bocas del Toro, Panama (although recent sightings [...]

Boquete – just when you think the journey can’t get any stranger…

It's midnight, we finally release our collective grip on the surfboard cover and stumble out of the taxi. We could be described as 'wind swept' at best. The hostel receptionist at Mamallenas in Boquete looks out the window and laughs at us. I don’t blame him, we are quite the spectacle, arriving in a sleepy little town in the highlands of panama at midnight half hanging out of a taxi and holding a surfboard onto the roof. I'm exhausted, it's been a long journey... Journey [...]

On the Road – Surf boards, Taxis and Chow Mein… A Journey in Rewind.

I had almost forgotten about  Latin American buses and their love for all things air conditioning... Or more likely I'd put it out of my mind secondary to previous trauma. But now here I find myself, sitting in sub zero temperatures aboard a large moving vehicle with just a sheet of glass separating me from warmth... Humid sticky warmth, oh how I miss you already. My intuition must have been working overtime when I last packed my bag, as I have jeans, a long sleeve [...]

Surfers Paradise – Santa Catalina, Panama

Surf. It is the major part of our adventure. So after the flat Caribbean oasis of the San Blas Islands we headed out of Panama City toward the pacific coast of Panama. Snag # 1: two recently purchased second hand surf boards... not standard taxi issue. Only standard taxi's available. Bus leaves in 45 mins… Somehow Anthony works his magic and fits them in sideways inside the taxi, as long as no one makes any sudden movements, including the taxi driver. We make it to [...]

Friends in Strange Places – The San Blas Islands

I was completely and utterly asleep and having a great dream while sitting in the back of a 4WD trundling along winding roads north of Panama City, when I was rudely awoken by a ‘tap tap tap’. I opened one sleepy eye only to be greeted by the face of a young Panamanian kid in military uniform, a large gun slung over his shoulder. I wound down the window… “Passport”. Rise repeat approximately seven times within the next half an hour… The road to white [...]

Panama City

I stood looking out over the Panama Canal searching for inspiration for the Time as a Traveller post. My first natural response after seeing the museum and the movie was of course ‘great feats of human engineering’. But then I watched a huge container ship navigate the canal, and I thought of… water. Yes, plain, simple Water. Despite the mass hydraulics and various fancy mechanics that enable the canal to function, what it really comes down to is the power of water. Something that in [...]

Cartagena, By Photos

We arrived in Cartagena via a lovely air conditioned minibus named Miramar. We stayed at Viajero hostel, which is inside the city walls of the old town (rather than Getsemane like most) and spent two days relaxing and checking out the town – well other than the first night when the hostel literally set up a dj right outside our dorm room. The highlight was sitting on top of the city walls at Café del Mar and watching the sunset over the horizon. Cartagena is [...]

Cabo San Juan, Parque Tayrona… The Candle in The Wind

The most beautiful places on earth are often the most difficult to get to. That’s definitely something I’ve learnt on my travels. Stories of these places of magical beauty are paralleled only by the stories of how travellers got there. Full of sweat, tears, and in this case, incredibly sore calf muscles. Tayrona National Park is no exception. The morning of July 6 I woke up to a mosquito net followed by bare feet on wooden stairs, bare feet in sand, palm trees, and dark coloured [...]

Surfing Betty – Playa Costeño, Colombia

There are often times when travelling when I've sat back and thought deeply about life... in fact, travelling is the time when this happens the most for me. Anthony had only been in Colombia two days before he was forced to ask himself a serious life question. "Given no other options, does a real man surf with a pink board named Betty?" As per the tattooed guy hiring out the board, the answer was a resounding "yes". After 1 day of catching up in Santa [...]

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