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Adventures, misadventures and more adventures

What an extraordinary few days we have had.

We moored just off xxxx, a lovely tropical island owned by a local Guna* family where we enjoyed our first experience of their friendliness and welcome. As well as some coconuts (and beers).

Regularly during the day, a Guna dug out arrives selling mola (local textiles), fish and vegetables. Thanks to Caron (and her impressive Spanish) we are able to buy what we need and also politely thank them and send them on their way when they are the third boat to arrive in the day! Our purchasing of lobsters wasn't very successful, because we managed to kill them in the heat of the laz (storage) before we could cook them - very disappointing but less messy for Ruth and I who were the designated chefs/killers of the evening.

On Day 2, after much studying of charts and deciding which of the 350 islands to visit, Liam piled us into the dinghy and headed to a Robinson Crusoe-esque desert island. It had been billed as having two palm trees, measuring about 100 m in every direction, but while the trees were gone, it had unbelievable snorkling - with fantastic fish and corals. The underwater camera is now working - so hopefully in a future update, we will be able to share the incredible marine life we are enjoying.

On Day 3, we were planning to move on but the misadventure happened, the anchor had got caught in rocks. Reinforcements were called in, and our neighbour Raul organised two Guna men to come and dive/snorkel to help Ruth and Liam manoeuvre the anchor free. The pictures shows them enjoying a couple of post rescue cokes at the back of their dugout.

This drama led to us deciding to stay another day that lead to the unexpected consequence of our next adventure ….. going to Raul's for dinner. What an experience. Raul lives with his daughter, pregnant wife and mother in two huts (as well as a pig and some dogs}. We were invited into the cooking hut which is built from wood and palm in which they have two fires one for cooking fish and food the other for coffee. There is no electricity at all and the family use head torches to see at night, They have two wells on the island, one for washing and one for cooking water, but get their drinking water from Carti Island (the biggest nearby island). We enjoyed coconut rice and Grouper fish and chicken served in a surprisingly delicious sauce. What an experience and privilege to witness a completely different way of life first hand.

On day 3, Ruth also conquered another sport - after about 5 mins she was an accomplished paddle boarder. Caron also took to it like a duck to water. Liam, Aideen and I have yet to try out our paddle boarding skills.

Whatever sense you get from the pictures, the real life experience is, as I am sure you can imagine, 100 times greater.


* The Gunas are the indigenous tribe of the San Blas islands, who although part of Panama have had culture autonomy since 1925. Maintaining that autonomy is hugely important to them which makes visiting this area really interesting as they truly live a very different and simple life. They are also the second smallest people in the world.