The cruising adventures of Sid and Manuela

Sunday, March 12, 2017



Sorry it took so long to post this, San Blas this year has horrible data coverage, not that is was great last year but definitely bad this year. Imagine sitting right under the antenna and it does not work, oh guess it goes over you. Still not sure when this will post, but hopefully soon. Hugs and kisses

Hope you had as much fun as we did.

I decided to go 3 days ahead of Rita’s arrival into town. Debi wasn’t sure she was going to go but at 9 am the day prior I left, she texted that she was coming as she had a ride from the pool to our anchorage. Around 12 Sid drove the dinghy to meet the boat that had just dropped the sails outside the anchorage, they unload Deb, hoisted sails again and continued their trip. It was fun having Deb onboard but very unusual, we both kept laughing over it. 

The following morning we ventured into town. Before we left for the San Blas I had to promise Melania and Ida that I would spend a night at each so they can catch up with me. Melania was so excited she planned a party and invited all the Divas to come that evening. What Melania didn’t know was that Debi was with me. When we drove up to her house in our rental car Debi stayed in the car hiding behind a poinsettia plant we had bought Melania as a present, so as we hugged hello Melania keeps looking into the car saying there is something moving inside your car. When she finally realized who that somebody was she started crying happy tears. It was a great surprise. As always Melania went all out and prepared a huge buffet the unfortunate thing out of all divas sonly one showed up with her hubby, we felt bad for Melania but we had a wonderful time anyway.

We left early the next morning as we had some shopping to do. This time I chose a different hotel The Saba on Via Argentina (has a refrigerator in room very important for provisioning cold stuff such as meat and cheeses), wow what a cute little hotel, very modern rooms and the bed so comfy. Deb and I joked about that this place definitely could be a Honeymoon killer. Honeymoon could stop promptly as there is no door to the bathroom. Just good the bathroom fan is noisy LOL. I have never been to a hotel where the toilet flushes with hot water, man you can sweat your ass off on that thing. Funny thing I thought to myself that the spicy India food the night before could not have been so spicy to heat up my rear end, but it was the hot water. This hotel has a electrical power system to save money, in the room is a little card reader for the door card you insert it and voila you can turn the lights on when you leave you take the card out, well you need it to get back into the room. But doing so the refrigerator turns off as well. Just good I realized that early on as I had lots of meat, cheeses and other things in fridge that just would not stay cold. The reception was very happy to give me a second card to keep in the slot while I was not there. Amazing how can one come back and have a cold beer or bubbly in the fridge.

To our surprise across the hotel is a cute park which was lit with Christmas lights I mean lit, never seen so many lights. Deb and I were like little kids walking around the park. We heard that on the half hour there was a snow storm and of course we were curious about it. Finally found it and wow very clever, it’s a soap bubble machine that produces miniature bubbles clinging together looking like snowflakes and a fan to distribute them across a wide spread area of nothing but heads of people of all ages including ours. I don’t think there have been ever more selfies made than here. It was a really fun evening. 

For dinner we found an India restaurant Avatar and thought “why not”, turns out to be an incredibly good restaurant, definitely will go back. We had done some shopping that day and continued the next, there was lots to shop for. Although Deb moved out to visit a friend she helped me pack my boxes. Man did I have a lot of stuff, reason for hiring a private taxi to return to Carti with my guests. For the shopping I had rented the car at the Tocumen airport thinking to return it there at Rita, Miguel and Ivano’s arrival so I didn’t have to figure out how to get there. Great idea and will do it again. It helped the cruiser’s taxi driver Roger as well (I could have gone with him) as he didn’t have to park in the expensive parking lot. I texted him when they arrived and he just pulled in while we exited the airport. I had some bubbly waiting for them on our drive to the hotel.
All the provisions

I can’t believe it has been 11 ½ years since I was in Rita’s Spanish school in Malaga (by the way she just was honored with a diploma by the Mayor of Malaga for running such an outstanding Spanish School Instituto Andalusi at .
Then little Ivano her son was 9 years old now big Ivano is 21. He hasn’t changed much except his heights and some hair on his face he calls a beard LOL. They were exhausted but managed to walk a bit in the Christmas Park then enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Trapiche which has just local type food, we tried it all.

They weren’t too happy to hear that our taxi was picking us up at 5 am but were troopers and ready to go. The trip is a lot of fun. It was too funny as we started driving the curvy roads up and down, not to mention the lead footed driver, Rita said: “Miguel I will never, ever again complain about your bad driving in Malaga, I am cured!” They enjoyed the 1 ½ hour ride though. But it had me worried when I saw the white caps on the water approaching Carti. On the count of the white caps I saw on the water I guessed wind to be 25 knots. Not a bad guess, then I knew definitely it was going to be a rough and wet ride when the panga could not pick us up from the dock we had to wade through the water to get to our ride home. Yep, indeed it was a very wet, wet ride to Paradise we all arrived soaked to our undies. Glad I put everything in heavy duty plastic bags.

There the three could not believe  that they actually were on a boat surrounded by beautiful little palm covered tropical islands. It took a while to tell them the goes and nos on the boat, I enjoy especially telling them if after pumping the toilette dry if they forget to close the valve the boat will sink, then I sent them off with Sid to explore the island closest to us so that I could put groceries away.

We decided to let them acclimate to the boat life and tropical humidity of Panama and staid for 2 days in the East Lemons exploring the islands and meeting the Kunas living on the islands. The elderly Kuna Lady on one of the islands came running up to me with a huge smile calling my name. Gosh I wished I could remember their names as they are difficult to pronounce. I finally know her name Siabibi. My guests bought lots of molas from her, which put an even bigger smile on her face. She then showed me her booboo on her ankle, wow sores around both ankles plus her feet were swollen and dark discolored. I told her immediately to take the wini off (traditional bead wrapping around arms and legs), I told her it was too tight and that I will come back with some medication. We did go back later and she had taken my advice and took the wini off and the swelling went down. I cleaned her sore with peroxide and gave her a tube of antibiotic cream. A couple weeks later when we came back to checked on her, she still was not wearing her wini plus her sores were gone and her foot was skinny and had a healthy color again. She smiled at me when she showed off her feet. After 

visiting her we went for a beer, yes there is beer on some islands a more and more common thing, some beers are colder than others and whoever has the ice cold beer wins us over. San Blas has become very, very commercial in the last few years. It’s almost scary to see how fast it is changing. The neighbor island even has a nice house for a restaurant with 2 rooms for rent on second floor (dorm rooms one sleeps 5 the other 7, cost $70 per person including meals. I was shocked to see the newly build restaurant and thought what a shame, later when we sat on the beautiful patio and meeting the very friendly owner I had to admit it was nice to sit on a beautiful patio sipping a nice glass of wine and enjoying a beautiful tropical view of beaches, palm trees, many shades of blue waters and islands. (He has a TV and some cruisers enjoyed Super Bowl there).

Third day we sailed to Miriadup on one of the southernmost islands closest to the mainland. Neither one of our guests had ever really snorkeled so they gave it a try in the shoal area at end of the island. Rita was not able to put a mask on so we let the boys get accustomed to the snorkeling while Rita went on the island for a smoke. We warned her about the no-see-ums and when wind is not blowing, like that day, especially someone as white as her are bait. Indeed they did like white skinned Rita, every time she came back from a smoke she said she was getting bit and I could see all the black little dots clinging to her arms. Needless to say the following day Rita looked like she had the measles and the spots intensified over the days and pretty much stayed until the last day of her vacation. Later on that day Rita and I looked like scare crows dressed up for the critters and not getting sun burned but we enjoyed a Passionfruit Margarita sitting in the shallow water cooling off. 

Trash burning

Same evening after dinner, I was just doing dishes down below I heard all 4 simultaneously screaming something is burning it smells like plastic burning. Sid got up and said must be on the island burning trash. I did not smell anything which told me it was on the boat. Sid came down and looked at our panel and noticed that something was taking down the batteries with 40 amps. Even when everything was turned off. I in the meantime went into the cockpit where I could smell it as well. Like a dog on all four I sniffed and sniffed and when I got to the vent for the freezer the smell intensified. I opened the door and OMG it came from there. Sid checked it out and when he touched the freezer motor it was untouchably hot. We were bummed that our freezer took a dump and turned it off. All night long I was trying to figure out what I would cook first out of the freezer and how to preserve the rest. In the morning when Miguel checked his phone that was in the 12V plug next to the wheel he noticed it was hot and a bit disformed. It was not the freezer after all the wire from the 12V plug was melted. That explains why the Autopilot went out as well that day. Luckily it didn’t harm the autopilot and OMG luckily we did not have a fire onboard. The smell was sticking for a while to come. The following day Miguel also lost his phone, it did not charge anymore. Didn’t lose any food yeah!

The boys were ready for a snorkel in some deeper water so we taught them to catch some conch. They enjoyed it immensely while Rita enjoyed being alone on the boat. Same day we found some clams and Miguel made the best paellas as in two, one a little thicker the other more soupy, best Paellas I have ever had, wow. Main reason for 2 , I don’t have a big paella pan LOL.

Nice conch



In the meantime all three learned that Internet is not as for granted here as it is anywhere else in the world. Digicel is the only provider in the eastern part of the San Blas but does unfortunately not use antennas but repeaters so reception is none to crappy. Ivano had some withdrawals and by the time he left he had no fingernails left. Miguel was OK with it as his phone was broken anyway and Rita realized that for the first time since she owned her Spanish school she was actually relaxing instead of constantly answering emails, she said it was the best thing that could ever happen to her.

We spent two nights here before taking them to their next adventure  the twin Cities Corazon de Jesus and Nargana. Two islands that are joint with a bridge but run their island separated from each other. The major treat was a trip up the river to do laundry and taking a bath. It was just perfect, no rain, plenty of wind to keep the toothy bugs away, spotted cute little monkeys in the nearby tree and screaming parrots seemed to be in every tree, a perfect tropical river day. Only thing that was missing was the crocodile and they are here, have seen one. The water was cool and we all enjoyed our bath in the refreshing water. On our way back to the boat a fast moving cloud threatened to catch us but we just made it to the boat when it let go. After the rain we hung up all the laundry and went for an island tour.

Our guests were hungry and craving for a restaurant. The first one out of the two we checked they had coconut rice, chicken or lobster. We decided to check the other one out which had no chicken, nor lobster and not enough coconut rice for 5 people, so we went back to the first restaurant (on our next return without guests the restaurant was not there anymore the only thing that remained was the concrete floor, hmmm wonder why). Lunch was OK for local food I mean how can you ruin fried chicken. The walk through town was an eye opener for them. The 2 tiendas of course had no veggies yet so we left with just fresh baked kuna bread and 2 cases of beer for Miguel.

From here we headed straight to the Holandes to celebrate Christmas in our most favorite anchorage. Unfortunately Reg visiting with friends in Panama City he hadn’t seen in 30 years. Most cruisers as Runner and us don’t leave the boat alone so Debi stayed behind and celibrated the 24th and 25th with us in and on Paradise. Rita pointed at my Christmas decoration and sad what a beautiful Christmas this was, she had lost her dad 2 years ago just before Christmas and the Christmas spirit for her was gone since then, it’s back again. We did have a very nice time and for me it was special as well as Christmas time I get homesick.

Paradise all lit up

With Christmas came the Christmas winds and we realized that the western Holandes were out as it gets really rolly there so decision was made that we were going to just anchor around the corner behind the protection of Bug Island. Yep you heard right Bug Island as in nasty little no-see-ums that will eat you up with no wind, they are so bad they could carry you away. This turned out to be one of the prettiest anchorages we have ever been in even beats the western Holandes wow. 

The island next to Bug Island has 5 Kuna families living there full time I have never visited and was even more so positively impressed with it. The families welcomed us with open arms and at one hut we looked at the ladies molas. I fell in love with one, it wasn’t the traditional type mola it was a mixture of that and what we call tourist mola. To my surprise Rita and Miguel bought the mola for me as a thank you to be on our boat, thank you both so much. I found a perfect spot for it, I made a cover for the TV.

One little fellow and his wife will cook fresh fish and coconut rice 8 dollar per person and bring your own dishes and drinks. So we made plans to have lunch at 1 pm. The little fellow had a table set up and as soon as we sat down a big, I mean, big cooking pot of coconut rice was placed on the middle of the table then a big pot with pan fried fish next to it. Here we were under the shade of palm trees with a few rays of sun shining through, overlooking the water with different shades of blues, with a beautiful breeze enjoying a simple cooked meal that tasted 5 star. Amazing what a beautiful ambiance can do and proves once more one eats with the eyes. Miguel liked it so much the very next morning he took his family ashore to organize another lunch under the palm trees. When he saw an ulu return to the island, full of fish, he bought up the whole load and made a deal with the little fellow’s, what we thought was his wife, to cook it for us. Yesterday when we arranged lunch, I watched how the Kuna lady was scaling fish with a dull knife, I brought her a present a fish scaler, ahhh she loved to scale the load of fish Miguel brought her over. Comes out she is not the wife but the wife’s girlfriend and the wife is on vacation for two weeks with her family in Carti and her girlfriend was taking care of her husband in the meantime. I think that is nice.

Kuna Kitchen

This time Debi and Reg on Runner and Patsy and Roman on Tanoa joined us. Same thing when we arrived an even bigger pot of coconut rice was ready on the table with a same size pot of nothing but fish. OMG was it good and everybody enjoyed it. We left the following day but heard that Runner and Tanoa went back for a lobster lunch. We definitely will go back ourselves and I will bring the little feller’s wife a fish scaler as I told her friend that it was for her. By the way you can order as many coconuts as you want for one dollar each. I drink coconut water with just a small cap full of gin and rum, yummy.

We had a nice sail back to Banadup and allowed for our guests to have another 2 days there so they could relax plus pack for the journey back to civilization. They truly enjoyed the islands and we were all excited to celebrate New Years Eve, especially Miguel’s BD, at the new restaurant, what a great day to have a BD. We ordered in advance and thought owner was joking that he would have a buffet, joking because he kept snickering, so we thought it was all a joke. OMG when we sat at the table later, waiting for our food, a panga arrived, two guys and two woman came off it carrying a big board with a suckling pig, a turkey and a ham and placed it on an arranged table in middle. Rice, salad and a bowl of grapes were added to the buffet, wow. But we enjoyed our dinner. When we arranged the dinner we wanted a platter of assorted seafood but since the wind was still blowing hard the current was too strong for anybody to go get lobster, conch, octopus etc, so Sid and I had pan fried snapper and our guests fried chicken, all accompanied with coconut rice, the staple of San Blas and a salad. I did bring 4 conch I had in the freezer and he cooked it up for us, which was really nice of him, cooked in a coconut sauce with onions and bell peppers, very delicious. After dinner we had some ice cream, yes ice cream in the San Blas, accompanied with Pineapple crisp I made for Miguel’s BD cake. 
Our conch

Several charter boats plus guests joined the festivities plus a few guest spending the night in the rooms. We had great music, great fun, a lot of dancing and two very drunk guys to take home. I brought Sid home first along with Ivano who wanted to watch a movie, then went back to the island when the owner of the neighboring island gave out Tequila shots it was good night Miguel. Rita and I had fun bringing him back to the boat, then the fun really started. Sid already sleeping got up and there the two guys were standing next to each other by the wheel having a good conversation. Miguel not speaking English and Sid not speaking Spanish, it was too hard not to pass up filming it, and so I did. Rita and I laughed our asses off, it was too funny and too darn cute. The two had no problem communicating, saved the world and bonded, it was just hilarious.

The last day I took them to the sand spit that used to stick out of the water but due to hurricane Otto the out of the water part was washed away so there is now ankle deep water there. Never less Rita just could not get over it that she was standing in the middle of the ocean in just ankle deep water. I had fun watching her trying to light a cigarette behind the dinghy as the wind was still strong. I have never seen so many cigarette poses ever before. 

Miguel came to the rescue

In the last afternoon Arcadia arrived and Paula came over to talk and meet our guests. It was almost dinner time as Franco came to pick her up. Since they speak Spanish and lived in Spain I invited them to stay for dinner. This was my last dinner for my guests and went all out. Appetizer was shrimp sautéed in butter with garlic and parsley then backed over in a scallop shell with béchamel and parmesan. Dinner chateaubriand and crab cake, porcini stuffed zucchini, as I said I saved the best for last. We had a wonderful time and it was fun talking in 3 languages. One thing I regret on the visit of our guests, we spoke Spanish, English and Swiss German, but not enough English for Sid which I didn’t realize at times I did not even know anymore what I spoke as I can switch back and forth easily in all three languages. I caught myself a couple times speaking Spanish to Sid, Swiss to Miguel and English to Rita, we used to get a good laugh out of it. I regret I didn’t pay attention how much English we spoke, sorry Sid.

Wind was still howling when we left but at least we were going with the wind not against to go back to Carti. We were ready for our 7:30 am pick up, all luggage was scattered on foredeck. The Taxi came but motioned he would be back as he sped towards Chichime. Some 20 minutes later he came back with a boat full of tourists, every seat was taken and motioned again he would be back. We thanked our stars that we still had 3 days before their flight, but 10 minutes later another one of Blas’s taxis came and picked us up. The ride was wild but we stayed dry and again we were offloaded on the beach instead of the dock. I couldn’t believe my eyes, the whole parking lot and beyond was filled with Panamanian cars and looked like hundreds of people were waiting for panga rides to the islands. I learned that the 2nd of January was a Holiday. Not just that all taxis were late, reason some Panamanians, I don’t blame them, refused to pay the unjustified Kuna taxes one has to pay to enter the reservation therefor the “Kuna Border” was closed until the Panamanian payed. By the way Residence have to pay $5.00, tourist $20.00.

Not just our taxi was delayed by more than a half hour but all the other taxis, we had a late start and traffic was not better. We finally arrived in town at our car rental place just before 1 pm and didn’t know how lucky we were until they told us due to the Holiday they were closing the agency at 1 pm. I started wondering if we would find a place to stay for the night. I had tried to get in touch with Paradise found in La Guyra the cute little resort next to Rest. Adriana’s. Figured we give it a chance as there are more possibilities to find a place to stay in that area. Of course 1 pm we all were hungry and tried to find a restaurant on our way out of town to have lunch. Bad news they were closed for the Holiday as well, but we did find Taco Bell open. By the time we left town it was already 2 pm and it is a 2 hour drive to Portobelo. We allowed ourselves a quick stop at Rey to buy some wine, beer and a few snacks for later on when hopefully sitting on the water front. Panama City was like a ghost town but 1 ½ hrs down the road about 30 minutes before Portobelo we figured out why. Seemed like whole Panama City was at the La Angosta Beach. The road on both sides had miles of cars parked and well some halfway in the road, causing two busses that met could not pass each other and behind each bus one car after another followed turning this into a major gridlock. I thought to myself we never get to see Portobelo in daylight. It took a half hour for 2 police officers directing cars around until the busses could pass and the traffic jam to lift.  

Luckily it was still daylight by the time we arrived in Portobelo and had plenty of time for some sightseeing and buying souvenirs. From there the 30 minute drive to Juan Gallego, the village past Puerto Lindo. I was on needles to find out if Marcella had a room for us. She was exited seeing me and but said she had no room cleaned then came the “but” if we don’t mind waiting she has one room with 4 beds they could clean. No problem there. Rita loved this place. Just a 2 minutes from here is Adriana’s so while we waited Rita and I walked there to check if they were serving dinner. Answer was “we are all out of food and the last table ate all our chicken”. We tried to have a drink but they were out of everything as well, so back to our place. Well we will just go to Hans’s and I suggested we would head there immediately before they run out of food. My company was tired and wanted to shower so by the time all of us were clean and ready to eat dinner we arrived to a packed Hans’s. I thought good packed that means he still has food. There was no table available when Hans approached me and said he was all of food. Oh well not all is lost yet, I packed everybody into the car again and we drove the 15 min drive to Don Quixote and yippee, although aready 8pm, they were still open. We enjoyed their wonderful liver pate with garlic bread plus dinner and dessert and Ivano and Miguel bought lots more souvenirs they need an extra suitcase LOL. When we got back to the hotel the boys headed straight to bed and Rita and I sat on the patio listening to the soothing waves splashing ashore while sipping some champagne.

           We left fairly early as we had lots planned that day. We had breakfast in Portobelo, stopped for a few minutes to say hi to Jim and Melania, drove straight into Colon to Ida’s office where she had Sid’s Xmas present still waiting. On the drive there I showed my guests ugly Colon and just as we turned into the street where her office is, I noticed the intersection just before her building was blocked. Colon at the moment is a major construction site, they are replacing all the Infrastructure and pretty much every road is torn up so I had to go around the block but as I turned the second corner of the block there was a rebar sticking out of the ripped up sidewalk and punctured our tire pffffffffffffff….flat. Luckily it was just a few feet to roll the car into the parking lot at Ida’s. While I fetched the liquor Ida’s security guard and Yvano changed the flat tire. 

Beautiful Colon

Well this ruined the drive out to the Shelter Bay area but we still had time to drive across the old and new canal and return on the ferry, we thought. A few things have changed since we left Shelter Bay Marina, the only way to get across now is via Ferry, you can drive across the new extension but the old bridge is permanently closed so is the visitors center which was far better than Miraflores Center in PC. Oh well, we were not able to get on the Ferry. The boys were dying to go shopping anyway so I took them to 2000 where there is one souvenir store after another, they need a big suitcase now. From there we drove straight to our hotel in Panama City the Ex Royal Sonesta where we spent the night before our Switzerland trip. I tried to get rooms there at Rita’s arrival but could not find it on, now I know why new owner changed name to Eurohotels. Still beautiful and big rooms, top of the top and the casino was opened now. We had joint rooms which was wonderful. As soon as we hit the room it was goodbye Rita she had wifi and funny thing was I talked a couple of times to her she just hummed but no responds, I don’t even think she heard me LOL. The boys were glued to the TV. They were back in their element and Rita could not wait to get dressed up, make-up on and blow dry job on her hair. We all decided to go to the Brazilian all you can eat meat restaurant, not cheap and just OK, I have been to better Brazilian restaurants but we had fun and 3 of us had a little bit of diapoopoos problem the following day, so this restaurant is off my list. Luckily it was not serious. 

Rita’s family decided they didn’t want to see the Miraflores Locks as we have seen the canal,  but instead to shop for a suite case and a new phone for Miguel, what better place than Albrook. They found all we needed had lunch at TGIF’s and decided to go back so they can pack their stuff then go and enjoy Casco Viejo the old town of Panama City. Most of the old houses in Casco Viejo have been remodeled and it reminds me more and more of beautiful old Cartagena. We enjoyed a nice stroll through the historic place and payed a historic high price for a cocktail but dinner at Casa Blanca was as always wonderful. We sat outside on the side walk enjoying entertainers stroll buy trying to make a living. Back at the hotel the boys went for the TV, Rita and I for the bar to enjoy a cocktail on the 21st floor of the hotel with a magnificent view over Panama’s Skyline. 

Then the departure day arrived, we brought all my stuff to my next hotel Cocos Inn, actually it’s a hostal. I always look for a place with a fridge and freezer as I need it for the provisions. Today’s plan was to drive up Ancon Hill from where there is a spectacular view over Panama City, the islands and of course the Panama Canal. Well that was a bust as well, they don’t allow any cars to drive up anymore, you have to hike up that steep and probably 1 ½ hour hike in this hot and humid climate no thank you, just the thought made us crave a beer. Instead we toured the beautiful Causeway out to Isla Flamingo from where the view over Panama City is just as beautiful. Had our beer with some ceviche then did some more souvenir hunting and had lunch. It was a wonderful time having Rita and family here and it was a sad and fast goodbye as they only allow you 30 seconds to unload passengers at the airport. You can literally see the guards standing there watching their watches. It’s nice to have friends visit and it’s nice to see them go again and I know Rita and family were ready for civilization again. I hope this vacation made an everlasting impression on them how simple life can be. Rita promised they will come visit again when we are in Mexico on the Pacific side again, I can’t wait. 
Rita ganz, ganz herzliche Dank für Din Bsuech

I had a few hours of daylight and went shopping. For my first time I went to Price Smart at 6 pm in the evening, kinda nice to miss the evening traffic. I did’t get back to Coco’s until 7:30. The owner, very sweet guy, after asking him where the freezer was, took me around the corner to the laundry hanging patio showed me a big box and said that he is not using it and it’s all mine. Wonderful, there was no way I was going to fill up this freezer. The room was basic and clean and I had my own shower (this place is a Hostel and most share the bathroom), best it was right by the pool

Having 3 guests for 3 weeks is a lot of work especially doing all th
e cooking, dishes etc (it was way worth it though, Rita deserved to get spoiled, she spoiled me when I was in Malaga), so I called Sid and told him I am spending an extra day in town. Haven’t had much luck in San Blas to update my blog as Internet there sux. So the extra day was dedicated to do that, plus I got some pampering done, facial, manicure, pedicure, waxing etc. That was sooooo nice. So the last day I hung at the pool writing all this for the Blog, took me pretty much all day long and after dinner I was ready to post it and just as I signed onto the internet and started downloading the Internet crashed as in never coming back that night. What a bummer, so here I am back in the San Blas since 3 weeks and still haven’t been able to get on Internet other than whatsapp on my phone. Anyway on my last evening I met Ida in town for dinner, it was wonderful.
And all reprovisioned

            Early morning my taxi picked me up and it was an uneventful but always fun ride back to Paradise where Sid was anxiously waiting for me to arrive with boat parts LOL. I did find out from the driver that the Kuna Congresso controls the taxis coming to Carti. In other words if you just hire a taxi from Panama City to Carti they will turn you around at the “Kuna Border”. Anyway the Congresso allows currently 78 taxis to bring tourist to Kuna Yala. Did I write bring, I think I did and for bringing them to Kuna Yala which will hugely profit by having them there, get this, charge $250 per taxi per month to be able to pass through the border to Carti. Now each taxi is doing this trip twice and all are 4x4. Now at the border we have to show our passports then each tourist has to pay a$20 entry fee, residents pay $5, that would be us. I figured out that this is an over 6.6 million dollar yearly business, but do you know what, none of this money goes to the Kuna community it all goes into the pocket of the corrupt congress who own beautiful homes and drive amazing cars in Panama City, heard some have incredible houses in Florida as well.