The cruising adventures of Sid and Manuela

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tiffany and Marco part 2

We just got back from a 3 plus weeks State side visit, so time to catch you up on part two with Tiffany and Marco’s visit.

On a beautiful sunny day with not one cloud on the sky we had to use the opportunity to take the kids to Mame Island along with Pick-nick stuff, fins and snorkels and had a wonderful day. 

The kids have never seen water so clear with all the blue shades. (At the end of their vacation they told us that being on the boat and this island was their favorite).

Marco having way too much fun

Me too
Priska and Tobias who we met last December answering the hundreds of question they had about cruising, helped them to make the decision to buy Marietta a Cal 46. They came back for a 3 month vacation to get the boat ready for next January when they will attempt to sail around the world. Finding out we had Swiss guests they invited us all for a fun sail in the Panama City Bay. Marco and Tiffany were excited to go sailing for the first time in their life, not to mention on a Swiss boat. The weather was not promising but we were barley on the boat when a light breeze picked up and enabled us to pull the sails up. It was a perfect day at sea and I think Sid learned some more Swiss German!
Priska and Thobias

Enjoying it on the bow

No Sid this is not a NASCAR race!

Boat delivery

Panama City in background

The very next day we went kayaking. Between Mame Island and the mainland is a passage through the mangrove that leads from our bay to the next bay over where Panamarina is. This marina has a wonderful restaurant so while Sid met us by car the kids and I took the kayaks through the beautiful mangroves over reefs and crystal clear water. That was absolutely beautiful I have no idea why I haven’t done this before but sure plan on doing it again. I will even talk Sid into mangrove fishing. Might even be fun out of the kayak.


Fun in the rain

Isla Mame in background

Kayak fight, 2 against 1. I won!

Towing Aunty Manuela home. It's nice to have nieces and nephews

Bummer ride is over!
Early the next morning we headed off again to visit the Embera Village just before Maria Chiquita about 35 minutes from our house. Sid stayed home but Debi on Runner joined us. Dark clouds were hanging over us and while the Indians drove us up river by boat we had some drizzle. The good thing was it was nice and cool. This Embera Village is much smaller than the one I visited back in January but also has a lot less visitors as they are off the beaten path. We are soooo out and away from all the tourist stuff. 
Cute spider monkey

Our rice

The food in this village was much better and I really loved the idea how they served it. They made a pocket out of banana leaves to use as a plate for the wonderful fried plantains and chicken and the very sweet and juicy pineapple out of the jungle. They also explained to us their way of living and showed us how they make their beautiful baskets, jewelry, wood carvings and tagua carving. 
The village

The chief's son and his wife explaining the life style of the Embera

How they make baskets

A good quality basket can hold water
Tagua nut, eaten when green and cared when dried out

Loin cloth used to be made out of a bark like he is holding

I think Sid would look cute in this

Banana leaf for a plate


They also performed dances for us and the ladies loved to talk and actually asked us more questions about us than we asked about them. The ladies all want to come visit us on the boat and when Tiffany told them what a good cook I was they invited me to come back and stay a couple of days in their village and cook for them and pointed at "my" hut. Well, who knows, might be interesting?! 

Beautiful necklace Debbie bought

It definitely was interesting to see another Embera Village, I enjoyed both, the other had a bit more to offer but this one was far more one on one with the Indians. I would choose to visit this one again. The sky was still overcast so the chief was a bit worried that a heavy down pour could jeopardizes our boat trip back so we left the village a bit earlier than planned.

You haven’t seen Panama if you have NOT seen the Panama Canal. Unfortunately Marco fell ill and was not able to join Tiffany and me. Our first stop was the beautiful and very impressive Gamboa Resort, which is on the way to the Miraflores visitor center, she were able to take some photos of the Panama Canal train passing by and also a big container ship. 

Tiffany loved this sign

Ex US Military Base in Gamboa

The beautiful view at the Gamboa Resort Lobby with Rio Chagres in Background

Isn't she beautiful?

And she had a blast

We also stopped at the water fall and amazingly we found an ant trail and termite trail. Thousands of ants build a street and guard what looked like termites carrying eggs to another location where they went underground. By accident we stepped on a leave which disturbed the wall and in no time they built it right back up but also came after us.

At the visitor center I was very disappointed that the top floor was still under construction. I guess one of the workers noticed my disappointment then looked at beautiful Tiffany opened the door and let us on the patio for just a quick look down the locks. That was really cute. Unfortunately the museum was under construction as well and we only saw two of 4 floors. Nevertheless Tiffany had a great time and was very impressed watching the big ships transported up the locks. 

I was sitting inside as bees were following me after one stung me in the chest, I did not mind sitting in the AC waiting. It was getting late but we did manage to get to buy some more souvenirs at the Embera and Kuna Artesiana Fair and had just enough time to drive through Casco Viejo the old town of Panama City and along Avenida Balboa which takes you along the harbor into the skyscrapers of Panama City, before rush hour sets in.
Artesiana Market

Casco Viejo

And some poverty housing

We could have done so many more trips with the kids but two weeks is just too short to fit everything in. We all had a wonderful time and enjoyed every minute. I tried to spoil them with good food and I think their favorite was the giant bowl full of shrimp, Marco needed a shower afterwards.

It was time for them to fly home and us to get to Florida for Sid’s doctor visits at the VA. At 4 AM Jack drove us to the airport and there after a heartfelt goodbye we hopped onto different planes heading into different directions.

The greatest thing about Tiffany and Marco’s visit, my brother Marco and his wife Barbara and kids Ramon, Felicia (our godchild) can’t stand it and booked flights to visit us in April YEAY I can’t wait!!!!! I guess they needed to send a recon mission!