A couple stowaways!

January 18, 2012

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When your wheel almost falls off, you take it as a sign to stop for awhile. Luckily for us, Elvis breaks down with style, right across the street from a mechanic! We knew getting a new axle in Panama was going to be tough (and timely), so we left it in the hands of Moses. Hopefully with a bit of luck it would be fixed when we returned from some adventures in Panama.

Turns out, it sucks taking the bus! lol We caught a lift to Panama city to meet our friends for New Years and our condo rental. We had so much fun with the Swaussies that we didn’t want to say goodbye! Lauren, Andre and Joel were booked to sail to columbia Jan  3rd via the San Blas islands. We knew we couldn’t go with them…..or could we?

We called up Captain Eric of the Flamboyant sailboat and secured a couple spots on the deck! We were setting sail with the kids! We were pretty excited because sailing San Blas had been the hype on the backpacker trail since Nicaragua!

What we didn’t know about this little adventure was we were sailing at night, huge swells would be crashing on us all night, the boat would be driving itself on auto pilot and Michael and I would be deathly ill all night puking over the edge of the boat into the scary as shiz water! I guess that is what we get for being land locked Canadians Read the rest of this entry »

Michael, Gunner, Lauren, Sven and I headed to Panama city to celebrate New Years in style. We rented a small condo overlooking downtown and took in the historic city. We did our duty as tourist and visited the Panama Canal. Don’t get me wrong its pretty crazy and amazing what they have accomplished there but I was bored within 20 minutes! lol We saw them lift two ships though two locks which was cool. It’s unreal how much money and water it takes to get a ship through the entire canal. The highlight for me was seeing crocodiles in the river next to the canal!

Lauren and I did some great shopping in the city to prepare for our big night out on the town. We got everything we needed including two bottles of tequila, a 40 of rum, champagne and some hot dresses. Unfortunately for us, no one told us that Panamanians celebrate New Years with their family and don’t go out until 2 or 3 a.m.! We started drinking early and headed out to the “hot spot” around 10 p.m.. We pretty much had a street of bars to our selves! bahaha One thing they do know how to do here is a firework show. At ten to twelve the sky lit up with fireworks all around us! They were being fired off from so many spots that you didn’t know where to look.

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We got comfortable in some grass near the boardwalk and watched the show. Next thing you know, I wake up and lauren and I are sleeping on the side of the street and its 1:30 a.m! lol We drank ourselves right to sleep. We found the guys nearby in the grass crashed out hard. They actually looked like three gay guys! Sven was wearing his sailors hat and was spooning Gunner! Mike must have had a pee and left his pants wide open! lol Of coarse we took this opportunity to take embarrassing photos of them. (Still waiting to get my hands on theses pics) So we headed home thinking New Years was a bust.

There was one more surprise in store for us when we got home. We arrived at the condo and discovered that the elevator was out of service! Problem is, that was the only way to get into our condo! Obviously this would be a major fire code violation back home, but this is Panama! The person who rented out this condo split it into two units and only one unit had stair access. So there we were stuck in the lobby at 2:00 a.m. wondering what the hell we were going to do. Our next good idea was to try to get up the stairs to knock on the neighbours door to let us in. We ended up getting stuck in the stair well which was smoldering hot for about 30 minutes. We all started to lose it and even considered pulling the fire alarm. We finally got out and resumed our sleeping position from earlier on the ground outside the building.

It was our lucky night because the neighbours came home early ( 3:00 a.m.), because they thought the scene was lame as well. We all laughed at the situation and they invited us up for some champagne before they let us walk through their condo to ours! It was a memorable night to say the least. Happy 2012 everyone!

After 5 months on the road, Michael and I have slept in some amazing places as well as some sketchy places. Here is the best and the worst of it……

#1 Taking the lead spot on the list for worst night sleep, would be our latest sailing adventure to the San Blas islands. We knew before hand that there would not be a bed for us and we would be sleeping on the deck of the boat. What we didn’t know was that there would be huge swells that would be crashing on us and we would both be seriously ill for the entire night. Needless to say we were soaked, cold, scared, barfing and did not sleep a wink… but we survived. 

#2 Second up would be our sleepless night in the Bahia De Concepcion, Baja Mexico, trying to tough it out in the plus 40 degree heat in the back of the cruiser. This is the place you do not want to skimp on a hotel room. Ever try sleeping in a sauna…that’s what it felt like, oh ya, and there were families of sand flies feasting on our juicy flesh todo noche, good times.

#3 This one is a tie between a few horrible beds/sleeps. The hotel in Loreto, Baja Mexico  comes to mind, where the plumbing water was dripping on our bed and my face all night. Not to mention I woke up with bedbug bites from head to toe. There is also the bed in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica where I could see bugs crawling around under the mattress and on the pillows! Finally, the “bowl” bed in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. This is the old double mattress in a single bed frame trick. They think they have you fooled until you lay down and you roll onto each other. Where’s a good chiropractor when you need one?

For all the crap sleeps and skeezy places we have stayed, there has been too many amazing places to count. Here are some gems that come to mind Read the rest of this entry »

Bastimentos Island

January 2, 2012

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After enjoying a crazy party week on Isla Colon (Bocas), we decided to take a boat over to a more tranquillo spot, Isla Bastimentos. This island is far more tropical, has way less people and is surrounded by a marine reserve. There is also a nice yellow sand beach which we could walk to from our hostel. A few of us decided that this was a perfect spot to chill out and take in some nature as opposed to alcohol!

The island is famous for it’s Red tree frogs, which we were not lucky enough to see. We went on two nature walks, one during the day and one at night and we still did not see any frogs! We did get to see great flora and amazing views from the deserted coastline. The surf was very large due to the rainy season so snorkeling was not an option.

The Bocas Bound hostel was cozy and had AC. We all caught up on some much needed sleep with a 14 hour nap one night. Luckily the hostel served a “huge” complementary breakfast to fuel us up in the morning.  It was a great couple nights chilling in the jungle to finish up our 10 days on the islands! Thanks BOCAS

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Bocas is locas

December 30, 2011

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What can I say about an amazing Christmas in Bocas Del Toro? The house was perfect and the crew was even better. Lauren, Mike, Andre, Johan, Sam, Joel, Jarrad, Jimmy and I had a great time ringing in the holidays, cooking, swimming and drinking! Here are some pics to recap the adventure.

MERRY CHRISTMAS from Panama

December 25, 2011

Happy holidays everyone! We are having a wonderful time on the island, in our amazing house on the water. Bocas is beautiful and has amazing night life. We have lit it up a few nights, dancing and swimming at the local waterfront hangouts. Everything is built on the clear turquise water, which makes for late night swims in your clothes! lol Lots of Christmas cheer has been spread and there’s more to come!

Tonight we feast with a massive meal for ten people at the house. Turkey{Canadian}, ham, seafood{Aussie}, meatballs {Swedes} and all the fixings, should make for a nice change from the bland hostel meals. Add secret Santa and some fireworks and it will be a feliz navidad!

We miss you all and hope you have a great holiday season with your family and friends! It is neat to trade the white snow for white sandy beaches this Christmas. xoxoxo

Michael and Nastaja

Casa Bocas

December 23, 2011

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Panama

December 19, 2011

We finally made it to Panama! Turns out the crossing from Costa Rica to Panama gets really busy at Christmas time on a Saturday! We arrived at the border at 1:00 p.m. and we did not get through until 6:00 p.m.! This takes the cake for longest crossing ever. There were literally 250 lined up trying to get their passports stamped.

Things certainly don’t go as quickly here as at home, but come on, they only had one dude working the entry window! WTH! Poor guy had been working since 6:00 a.m. and had sweat pouring off his head, lol. We tried not to give him a hard time even though we were so tired and hungry.

Luckily we all made it through and are on route to Bocas Del Toro for xmas. Island life…….finally.