TravellingStrom

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Day 347 – 20th November 09

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 20, 2009

Friday – Chichimi Island, Panama

Well, it was hot sleeping on board without the aid of fans or aircon. With the new generator not installed, this was a downer. It also rained during the night, what else is new, so with the hatches closed it made for a restless night. On the back deck would have been OK without the rain. Anyway, we all survived the night in various shades of health and we were soon tucking in to brekky, cereal, toast etc. After this it was paperwork time and myself and Mika were the only two takers who decided we would go ashore for a look around.(the first picture is L-R Mika, Hayden, Val and Jim)

Bruce headed into immigration and customs to do the paperwork and we left him to it as he knew what he was doing.

We were also waiting here for another couple of flashpackers(these are too lazy to walk and prefer upscale hostels rather than roughing it). They were arriving by boat but there was also a landing strip here so they could have taken a light plane. We had to cross the strip to get to the hotel, bar/rest area, this is a resort type of place, very relaxing.

As I had not brought any money, I could not even sample the local brew. Oh well, I continued down the beach to check out the bad parking of a previous skipper.

It was being dived upon by a couple of local Kuna, probably salvage. As I headed up around a bit further, I noticed Val from Brazil, he was taking the kayak for a ride, but apparently could not find the paddles(we found out later they were in the zodic with us), but he managed to get by fine 🙂 😆

On the other side of this small island, I could see the waves breaking and the strong wind in the palm trees, so outside the shelter of the reef, it may get a bit rough later on, not good for those on board with weak stomachs, (I am still not ready to put myself in that bracket just yet, once is not a trend) 🙂

It was relaxing just watching the leisurely lifestyle but that got slightly faster when the vegie boat turned up.

Bruce had finished at last, he had to double check every stamp and found two passports missing them and got them done, so we headed back, this is what the boat looks like with 5 motorbikes, an extra tonne of weight on the front deck, but stacked around the mast, it looked like an even keel.

By now it was lunch time, the extra two passengers, David from US and Tami from US were on board and getting out of their soaked gear. Apparently traveling by motor driven log boat is a wet ride 🙂 We made ourselves sangers from the offerings before we headed east but we were not going far, only 5 miles across the passage to Chichimi Island. This is apparently for the backpacker people, the extra days sailing and snorkeling through the San Blas Islands, us bikers would rather be on land, but that’s life, I am sure I will survive 🙂 In the 3rd photo below is L-R David, Bruce and Tami.

About an hour and 2 beers later we were there, this is where there is coral and fish etc to go look at. There was a tiny Island we passed on the way in, Bruce advised to take the current from where the boat was anchored to this little Island, then a small snorkel back to the main Island before walking the beach back up towards the boat.

As you can also see we were offered goods as well, we even ended up buying a crayfish and a crab off this chap.

I found out later Bruce threw the crab away, still alive because it was a jenny and full of eggs, good on him, although they do taste sweeter, not that I know this of course 😉 The rest of the day was spent on the Island and snorkelling, I did the run to the small Island, it was so small it only took 30 seconds to circumnavigate 🙂 The coral and fish were nice, but I have been spoiled by being brought up on the Great Barrier Reef, nothing can compare to that. But, it was a nice change and the first time I have been swimming or in the sun for a long time, and I will pay for that later! The only downer for me personally about this afternoon was the fact we were supposed to stay on the Island and buy beer, I had 3 cartons of the stuff on the boat going to waste and this was an added cost, but no one had ice, so we could not bring ours ashore. Oh well, live with it I guess. It was certainly relaxing seeing how the Kuna people live.

The Kuna are an Indian tribe in Panama. The Kuna number approximately about 35,000 the majority living in the San Blas Islands, and on the mailand in the Madungandi reservation, while a small percentage like in the capital city, Panama.

The Kuna speak their own language called “Tule”. While on the San Blas islands, many Kuna speak Spanish and even some English, in the Madungandi reservation there is little Spanish proficiency. They live traditionally in thatched roof huts made from materials readily found in the jungle.

The Kuna women wear wrap around skirts and beautifully hand-made blouses known as “molas”. The Mola is a intricately sewn picture made from layers of cloth in a reverse appliqué technique. The men wear a traditional Kuna shirt and then less traditional pants, jeans, or shorts. Kuna women also paint their faces with a homemade rouge made from achiote seeds. They also usually wear a nose ring and paint a line down their nose.

The following photos are showing me and Tom and the dog, one of the local girls with a real strange fish which was shaped like a pyramid, then Michael and Vincent. I think that about covers it for names and faces by now 🙂

Later in the afternoon nibblies were brought over by Bernice, and we were going to be having dinner here on the Island which we eventually did, basically a rice dish with fish, it was very tasty. After this we had a few more beers and were interrogated by this mad Colombian woman off another boat, she was as drunk as a skunk, or on something anyway!!! Some people felt slightly intimidated as we though she was going to bring out a machete, but she was told to piss of politely by Bruce who knew her 🙂

It was a much relieved and tired mob who went back onboard a bit later. After a shower it was party time apparently, but this little black duck kept nodding off so sleep was attempted in the lower sweat pit. I had copped sunburn during the day, first time for a long time. My body has not really seen the sun because of the riding gear and although I put sunscreen on, this washed off and now my shoulders and back were red and slightly painful to touch. Because of the loud music and the heat, no air flow in my bunk due to my bike on deck covering the hatch, the sleep was hard to come by. I eventually found my ear plugs and managed to doze reasonably well. I ended up on deck though later on because I was too hot, it was cooler up there and managed at least some sleep on and off between showers. Another day ends in paradise 🙂


Day 0 miles and 0 km
Trip – 43,486 miles and 69,984 km

Salud
TravellingStrom

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2 Responses to “Day 347 – 20th November 09”

  1. Mum said

    You said “The Mola is a intricately sewn picture made from layers of cloth in a reverse appliqué technique” — do you have a picture of a Mola, please?

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