Although Costa Rica is beautiful, we were happy to move on to new adventures in Panama. Tropical islands, white sand beaches, cheap food and beer... What more could a cruiser want? The only thing that was missing along the Pacific Panama coast was wifi and cell service. That is my excuse for being so far behind on the blog, therefore, I will be backdating all of the posts to match approximate times that we were actually there. I am currently sitting at a sushi bar in Bocas del Toro. Life is good.
We left Golfito, Costa Rica around noon to head about 80 nm to Isla Parida, our first stop in Panama. We chose to anchor in the SE anchorage, vigilantly making our way through the land mine of rocks before anchoring in 15 feet of water surrounded by lush, tropical islands. We were anchored right in between Isla Parida and it's smaller neighbor, Isla Paridita.
After a short nap, we launched our kayaks for some much needed beach exploration. Low and behold we were exploring on an indigenous family's beach. Underneath a small thatched roof structure was a beautiful family with many, many kids (I would later count a total of 7 kids!). Introducing ourselves to the family was an interesting experience that involved our family dressed in bikini's and swimming trunks and the local family wearing their traditional dress - awkward. I guess we didn't offend them too much because after a short walk down the beach, one of the girls brought us several pipas (coconuts) and limes as a parting gift. This kind gesture lead to many trades over the next few days. We rummaged through the boat and were able to find many gifts for the family including; a soccer ball, football, baby dolls, clothes, canned veggies, milk, nail polish, and a surf board. In exchange, we had tons of coconut water, limes, and yucca. This was our first real trading experience with locals. The girls, especially Hannah, felt so good about giving her toys and clothing to other kids that did not have much. This was an experience that will stay with us forever.