Saturday, June 1, 2013

Today is Saturday June 1st, 2013

After running the lodge here in Bocas Del Toro Panama for over one month, And spending 3 months here as the head chef I am ready to go... no I am beyond ready to go.  Panama really chews you up and spits you out...and I am turning into a Panamanian.  

I really know what it would be like to own your own restaurant now, and I my cooking skills have improved quite a bit.  But I don't think running a lodge or restaurant on the Caribbean is what I want to do forever. I had a great time here, made some amazing friends, and had some of the most memorable experiences of my life.   This was definitely worth the time and effort, but you eventually have to move on.  Monique returns tomorrow (Sunday) and will leave again on June 6th to take her mother to Panama City to fly home to Switzerland.  Then when she returns my work here is complete...although the door to return is always open for me here, and I may return again some day. :)..

I will leave southern Panama on June 13th from a small village on a 110ft. sailboat called the Stahlratte, made of steel in 1903.  It will take me to the San Blas islands where we will anchor out for three days and have dinner with the local Kuna indians before heading to open water on a 30 hour stretch to Cartagena Colombia.  It includes all meals a room, and snorkeling gear, and loading and unloading of the motorcycle.  I will spend two nights in Cartagena before heading to Ecuador and meeting up with friends, and possibly flying to the galapagos with them.  Then I will explore the amazon,  machu piccu and motorcycle across Peru, into Bolivia and possibly the northern part of Chile, (before I go back to Peru to hop a freighter that is crossing the Pacific, for three months, and take the motorcycle to India where I will motorcycle to Nepal for a volunteer opportunity.  Sound crazy?  It is...but we'll see what really happens, this last part is still a dream.

Talking on my cellphone and cooking at the same time became the norm.

Clara from Italy showed up as a volunteer to help out in the kitchen.  She had just returned from opening a small restaurant in Dubais so she has what it takes to do this job.
The view from the dining room balcony looking toward isla Bastamientos:
Sarafin with his 5 foot baracuda he shot 3 feet away with his homemade speargun in 5 minutes!

Latecia with her amazing homemade banana bread.

Cedrique doing what he did best:


Baracuda soup with pumpkin

fried baracuda and baracuda soup:

Shrimp scampi with spaghetti noodles and johnny cake toast:

Lobster and conch lunch for Clara and I
Clara and her amazingly fritter. and my tomato with olive oil, lemon and culantro

dining room and my flower arangement from the yard

list of boats going to Cartagena from Panama I had to choose from.  they all include really good food: san Blas island tours, snorkeling, and Kuna indian interactions.

Chichi follows me everywhere...even 100 meters out in the ocean while I was snorkeling in 25 feet of water.  I had to swim him back, cause I thought he was gonna drown.  ChiChi means baby in Ngobere language.  he was bottle fed from 2 weeks old cause his mother abandoned him.

this is some kinda fish Sarafin shot. 

He said it was very good to eat:

My route from Almirante back to the Sixaola river border with Costa Rica:

They found this on the island not far from the lodge.  this is a common practice to drop the drugs here for another boat to load on the uninhabited end of isla colon.

A magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook the lodge at 4:45am:  I was awake and it was not a good feeling.  It was only 30 miles away and 7 miles deep.  It knocked stuff off the shelves and wall.

Me and the moto going from Isla colon to Almirante on a rock and gravel barge:  My friend who runs a taxi service called in a favor for me from a friend of his who operates the barge.  It was awesome because the ferry was not operating this day and I needed to get to the mainland two hours away and then ride to Changuinola to stay the night so I could renew my documents the next day:

almost to almirante

A gecko in my room with a fresh moth dinner.

The Stahlratte sailboat 110' feet will take me to Colombia on June 13th

ready to crack some cocos at the Zapatillas Islands, a one hour boat ride from Isla Colon.

doing handstands with Spencer and Chelsea in the Zapatills islands:

 Aerial view of Tesoro Escondido

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