Won’t You Let Me Take You on a Sea Cruise?

Just returned from a fun week of cruising to Cartegena, Colombia and the three Dutch islands of Curacao, Bonnaire, and Aruba.  We drove to Panama City with our new friends, Kris and Joel which made the 7 hr. drive most enjoyable.  Upon arriving in PC, we checked into our very comfortable hotel and took in a few sites before running into more friends at an outdoor bar.  Believing the adage ‘the more the merrier’, we joined them for a glass of bubbly and had a good chuckle when Dennis broke out his best Spanish to ask for the check, but instead ordered another round of drinks.  Take that, Rosetta Stone.
Driving to Colon the following morning was a real lesson in gratitude.  This port town is very poor, yet the people there are like anywhere else in Panama, mostly friendly and hardworking.  I probably wouldn’t stroll around at night, but daytime was a flurry of activity and fun to watch.
Upon boarding, we enjoyed a beautiful evening at sea, although I was a bit seasick, which was not on my playlist for the week.  I woke up feeling fine and the rest of the cruise was smooth sailing with fabulous weather and many interesting sites. As there were many  nice folks from Boquete and David on the cruise, we had a merry time.
Cartegena is a gorgeous city with beautiful old buildings, churches, and a rich history.  Sadly, tourism is overzealous, and we were innundated by vendors in the old part of the city.  While I understand the need to make a living, it was almost too much and really detracted from the incredible beauty of this city.  I am hoping we make another trip and spend more time getting to know the ‘real’ Cartegena.
Curacao was cute, with a floating market and craft mercado, outdoor cafes, and gorgeous beaches.  We hopped a little tour bus and jetted around the island seeing the sites and winding up at a delicious beach for several hours.  We met a young Dutch traveler by the name of Jerome and hung out together for most of the day.  I told him he represented his generation quite well (he bought us a beer) and he replied that he had new respect for our generation as well.  Too funny!
On to Bonnaire, where we were met at the dock by Honey.  Honey and Guies have a home on Bonnaire and were excellent hosts.  They arranged for a day of snorkeling, but alas, I took a header on the coral and chose not to be shark bait as I was bleeding profusely from my cuts.  Dennis and the others had a great time, and I enjoyed the scenery.  Honey and Guies are moving to Porterillos, which is just down the road from us and so our friends took some of their artwork on board with us  to make the move a little easier for them. They have 6 big rescue dogs which they are bringing to Panama with them and will have their hands full with that.
The last island we visited was Aruba, where we connected with some new friends, Darien and Dylan,  from Bocas.  They run a resort on the island of Popa called amazingly enough, the Popa Paradise Beach Resort.  We have an invite, so hope to get there sometime soon. It looks tres chic. Sharing a taxi, we headed to a lovely resort on Eagle Beach and spent the day there.  Seems to me that all 3 islands are quite similar with a mix of caribe natives, a large Jewish population, and of course, the Dutch.  Dennis found it a bit dry and began longing for the cooler Boquete weather.
After a relaxing day at sea, we were ready to head home.  We made a quick trip into Panama City to pick up Dennis’ new surfboard and headed home.  Smooth sailing all the way……….until………….dum da dum dum……..paperwork check.  We had a slight misunderstanding regarding our temporary visa and almost got a ticket for not having a Panamanian drivers license.  After some fast talking (in Spanish) and a phone call to our lawyer, everything was straightened out and we didn’t get a ticket.  It could have been unpleasant and not only would Dennis get a ticket, but Kris as well, because she HAS a Panamanian drivers license and should have known better.  I’m still trying to figure out that one, but it all worked out and this week we are working on obtaining our permanent visa AND our Panamanian drivers licence as well.  Just needed a little incentive like getting pulled over to get the adrenalin running.
Home at last and settling back into the groove.  Did 3 loads of laundry and realized we were out of water.  Such is life here.  Hoping for agua en la manana.

view from our hotel room in Panama City
neat sculpture
Colon street market
housing in Colon
Leaving port
Lady Luck?
March Madness topside
Power napping
Curacao from the drawbridge
Floating market
Crafts market
beautiful architecture
Jerome and I
Jerome and Dennis
So pretty!  So toxic!
Money from around the world
Gary, Eddie, Ford (the person, not the truck) and Dennis
Sweet friendly scarlet macaws
Darien performs half moon asana under a waterfall
Dennis checking out the action
Gluttony on the high seas
Lesson in driving legally from very polite policia

About Rona True

Welcome to my blog. My name is Rona and I live here in Boquete, with my husband, Dennis. I've been keeping an online 'journal' of our adventure moving to Panama as a way to stay in touch with friends. As the universe is wont to do, my path crossed with some serious bloggers who have been encouraging me to step it up a bit with my technology, and so here I am; a novice blogger with a penchant for the spiritual path. Panama is a perfect place to recover the pieces I left along the way as I raised a family, had a career in teaching, and generally followed the 'responsible' road. I travel a new road now and each day brings a new awareness. Panama is a land which brings the senses alive. The culture, warmth of its people, sights and sounds are the stimulus for my journey. Without my incredible husband, this would not be possible. We breathe the same air on this adventure and I invite you to come along for the ride.
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1 Response to Won’t You Let Me Take You on a Sea Cruise?

  1. Kris C says:

    Great post and pics! You took a photo of the police? Very daring 😀 Actually I don't have a Panama license, only a CA one because I'm not a resident, not enough income until my SS comes through in a few months. Apparently though a tourist can drive while an almost resident cannot, go figure.

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