Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another day in paradise

Rainy here is Bocas today. Probably for the better, my back got a little too much sun from snorkeling the other day (I know, it's tough being me).  Plus, it gives me time to update you on all the grub we've been enjoying. We arrived in Bocas del Toro, a little island town with a good mix of locals and tourists (and tourists turned locals), on Wednesday.  Thursday was spent on a boat tour of the islands, including Dolphin Bay and Zapatilla Cayes.  Dolphin bay felt slightly like a Disney ride as we sat in the boat and watched dolphins swim around us.  That got boring pretty quickly.  Zapatilla, on the other hand, would never get old. With beautiful beaches and crystal clear water (below), the pictures basically took themselves.

On Friday, we spent the day relaxing and reading.  I finished the book I was reading, Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, which I highly recommend to anyone who has the slightest interest in their health and well-being.  In the afternoon, we rented bikes and toured Bocas town, stopping for smoothies at Bocas Blends, a truck-turned-smoothie-stand near the main street. We enjoyed the Vitamin C Craze: pineapple and papaya blended with orange juice.  Simple, delicious, and refreshing.

We were a little thirsty... couldn't wait to take the picture before downing our smoothie.

Friday night we went to dinner at Buena Vista Cafe, set right on the water.  Other than the view, and maybe the bean dip we had for an appetizer, the restaurant was less than impressive.

For breakfast today, we went to Starfish Cafe, a vegetarian-friendly spot located on the main street.  For a $7.95 set brunch (Panama uses the US dollar), I had huevos rancheros, cafĂ© americano, and a pineapple smoothie. Well worth it.  The huevos rancheros was awesome-- fried eggs with tasty beans and Panamanian hot sauce over a soft tortilla.
Served with a dollop of sour cream and some house-made salsa, the whole mix was a perfect fit.  After we finished our meals, we lingered at our table and played a leisurely round of Rummikub, a ridiculously fun game that I learned to play this past summer.

Hard at work in Bocas del Toro

Tomorrow we leave early in the morning for San Jose, Costa Rica, where we will catch a three-hour-bus to the organic farm we will be working on for two weeks.  I have to admit I'm a little weary as I've heard the work can be labor-intensive, to say the least, but I'm still excited to learn some farming techniques and get my hands a little dirty.  Hopefully I'll be able to put down the gardening gloves and slip in a few words again soon.

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