A Travellerspoint blog


Panama to Colombia by sail boat through the Caribbean Sea

Approx 20th Oct to 25th Oct 06

DSC00328.JPGDSC00368.JPGDSC00384.JPGDSC00383.JPGDSC00390.JPGDSC00421.JPGDSC00403.JPGDSC00410.JPGDSC00415.JPGDSC00420.JPGDSC00426.JPG*Arrived in Panama City after flying from London to Madrid to Costa Rica and then Panama City.

  • My plan was to take some Spanish Language lessons while in Panama and waiting for a sail boat to leave for Cartagena ,Colombia. That plan changed however when I found a boat leaving the next morning from Portobello in the North of the Country(Panama City is located in the Sth on the other side). So I packed up my gear and raced across this small country which is only about 80km wide.
  • In Portobello they were holding a religious festival. This meant extra military security and check points. There were plenty of soldiers with guns and soldiers on the back of motorbikes with automatic weapons. The bus got stopped a couple of times, searched and I had to show identification and explain where I was going etc. I must admit I got a little nervous when we were ordered of the bus and I saw the locals pulling out money and offering it to the soldiers - I was carrying a little over 300 hundred US dollars with me and hadn´t planned on donating it the soldiers. Thankfully I had no issues and was able to pass through without a problem.
  • I arrived in Portobello late in the afternoon to find the place jumping with street music and a real party atmosphere. All the hotels were booked out so I had the joy of asking the locals (in my limited Spanish tongue) for a place to stay for the night. Managed to score a room in someones house for about $20 US for the night.
  • Found some of the other travellers who were going on the same boat down at the dock, one of them was a Japanise dude who was riding his motorbike from LA in the states to the bottom of Argentina. We helped load his bike onto the boat and then settled down for local cuisine and a few cervesa´s.
  • Up early and onto the boat. First stop the San Blas Islands on the coast of Panama. The San Blas islands are a group of a couple hundred small islands that are inhabited by the Kuna people (Indigenous people). They are picturesque, with coconut trees and surrounded by blue clear water - great for snorkelling and kicking back.
  • Stayed at the San Blas Islands for a few days, paid a visit to the biggest island which has about 2000 kunanites / kunamanians or whatever they are called living there. I ran into a couple of local kids playing a game of baseball in the street - decided to join in - was a good laugh - check out the photo which I got a little kid about 7 years old to take - this could should be a photographer.
  • While snorkelling around one of the small islands, a Kuna family tuned up on a wooden canoe and asked if we wanted to buy coconuts, lobster etc. The little kids were running around naked - very natural - check out the photo.
  • Left the beauty of the San Blas islands for the 2 day and 1 night leg across the caribbean to Cartagena in Colombia. Ran into some dolphins along the way (check out the photo). We also experienced some rough seas and rain for most of the night - I didnt get any sleep all night - stayed in the cockpit and got drenched. The stupid Captain decided to pack more people onto the boat this time so there was a lack of beds on his boat.
  • Arrived in Cartagena, a little weathered and ready for a shower and a chnage of clothes.

Posted by allan01 10:05 Archived in Panama Comments (0)

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