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Trip Start Dec 13, 2006
Trip End Jan 31, 2011

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Flag of Panama  ,
Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yes, we're still in Bocas del Toro.  To fill in the gaps, after August in Antigua, we spent September with family in Maryland, returning to Bocas October 11.  Headed out November 1 to  a pretty area about two miles east of Bocas called Red Frog, but the generator started acting up.  While trying to sort out the generator problem, bad weather in the form of several days of strong rainstorms came.  That, of course, meant no work on the generator.  Electricity and water don't mix.  After the three days of rain subsided, we went back to Bocas instead of on to the San Blas Islands to work on the generator problem and take care of some health issues.  

We decided to see a doctor which necessitated a trip to David--4 hours by bus and an overnight stay; however, despite an appointment on Monday, Nov. 15, the doc had to change it to Wednesday, which meant several more nights away from the boat.  The good news was we could go to the small town of Boquete in the mountains east of David where there is a large ex-pat community and where the best coffee in Panama is grown.  Stayed at a small, inexpensive place near the bus stop--a boon for walking around with luggage.  Better yet, it was near a delightful Argentinean steakhouse called Aberdeen Angus.  Red and white checkered tablecloths and candlelight plus a fun-loving proprietor who danced with the music not to mention providing a delicious steak dinner--a special treat since good beef is hard to find in Panama; even if found, it's usually tough. 

 The bus trip to Boquete reminded us of bus trips in Guatemala--a US yellow schoolbus,packed with three people to a seat and every seat occupied. Lots of Gnobe (naw-bay) indians are on these busses and are identifiable with their colorful long dresses and bare feet.  The dresses, of the same design, are all a different color decorated with contrasting rows of colored ric-rac around the square collar and just below the drop-waist.  All the females where this style of dress.  The men's garb is not as remarkable.  

David is not a particularly enjoyable place, but our visit with cruiser-recommended Dr. Lucy, as she's called, was wonderful.  We had an exam, a number of tests and a dermatologist visit all of which was accomplished between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on the same day.  Lab tests were done the following morning at a lab two blocks from our hotel, and the results were available a day or two later via the internet! That has not been the case in our stateside healthcare experiences.  All of this necessitated another visit with Dr. Lucy before leaving Panama which, of course, extended our stay here.

More high winds and days of heavy rain this past week hindered our getting away, but yesterday we made the break and are now in a beautiful spot called Palos Lagoon where there's a small cruisers' restaurant, Rana Azul, open only Fridays and Sundays.  We'll go back to Bocas in a day or two since we still have a few more days of paid time at the marina which will allow us to fill up with water and stock up on other provisions.  Friends are joining us Dec. 30 for sailing in the San Blas Islands then on to Cartagena, Colombia.  


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