We've been BOCATIZED

Trip Start Aug 03, 2011
Trip End Mar 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Calipso Hostel
What I did
beached. danced. painted the town red.

Flag of Panama  , Bocas del Toro,
Saturday, September 10, 2011

where do i even start…let me try and paint a picture for you. Bocas del Toro is on the lips of every traveller you meet. paired with an expression. you got the party look with wild eyes and raised eyebrows, the confused where am i, whose talking look with a head shake and glossy eyes and the most popular is the hungover, bocas tore me up look. posture is broken and eyes are half open. needless to say we COULDN'T WAIT to get our hands on the place.

fact. Bocas del Toro is the name of the archipelago islands off of Panama’s north east coast. arriving on the dock where we were to catch the taxi boat to take us from mainland to the isle de Colon, we were greeted by that HOT AIR and SUNSHINE which had deserted us at Lost and Found. we eagerly greeted it back!

stepping on to the boat over CLEAR. AQUA TEAL water with a school of clown fish passing under, we were JAZZED. as we cruised the waterways headed to Bocas the feeling started creeping in, you know the feeling, starts in the belly and spreads throughout the body. tingly all over.  everyday things start to look sparkly and new.  a permanent grin from ear to ear. and you find yourself wanting to hug and kiss the stranger next to you. to make myself clear, it’s the feeling you get when you are landing in Vegas or for my WSU friends, A COUGAR FOOTBALL SATURDAY!

pulling up to Bocas you are overwhelmed with taxi drivers, tour guides and hotel promoters. hola. buena. si, yo soy de Estadios Unidos de America. the entire time you’re playing the dog and pony show, trying to get your packs out of their hands, onto your back and out into the street while being polite but direct that the information is appreciated but not needed at this time. it’s an art that we are still trying to perfect.

the small streets are busy with Panamanians and backpackers selling you tours, arts, trinkets, foods, promoting the theme of the night at a specific dance club. beach cruisers weaving in and out of long boarders and honking cars. we arrived at our hostel alive. and our pockets FULL of advertisements. HA!

it took all of thirty minutes to explore the island by foot. take WAY TOO many pictures. AND find ourselves at a free wifi restaurant on the water, sipping pina coladas and checking in with our peeps back at home. looking out at the Caribbean as the sun went down and the sky turned a scale of pinks to reds, we seriously had to PINCH ourselves. yep, its REAL. 

we spent six days in Bocas. could have easily spent another six. rented beach cruisers and biked around. watched locals play street baseball. island hopped to check out all the beaches. observed sea life. wiggled the nights away. night swimming in the bars is very common since they are all built on or over the ocean and you bet we weren’t the least bit shy about joining in.

Bocas is easily a destination that i would recommend to anyone. ONLY im not sure how easily accessible it is.  we were sad to leave and have most definitely been BOCATIZED!

Fun Facts:
-local beers are Balboa, Atlas or Panama. I like Panama best which Scotty seems to be allergic to and he chooses Balboa. Atlas is gross, watery and bitter. 

- i watched a shoulder race. four boys, couldn't be more than ten years old, got on one anothers' shoulders and raced eight feet across the beach. TOO FUNNY and glad i didn't miss it! 

-the Yankees played the Mariners while we were in Bocas and it was televised. Scotty watched a game in a vendors street tent with a few of the local Panamanian men. he of course was the only one rooting for the Mariners and they felt sorry for him. ha!
-10,000. during our bartending, we were introduced to dice game called ten thousand. WE ARE HOOKED. i’ll do my best to explain it…
five dice.  rolling a one or a five is how you score. rolling a one is worth 100. rolling a five is worth 50. On your first turn, roll all five dice together. add up your score by totaling all the ones and fives rolled and save them off to the side. roll again the remaining dice or choose to stay with your current score. AS LONG AS YOU KEEP rolling either a one or a five you can keep rolling. you can stop rolling whenever you want and record your current score to your overall cumulative score. if you roll and don’t get a one or a five you forfeit your current score and pass the dice to the next person. first person to 10,000 wins. there are other exceptions to scoring…if you roll three of a kind in ONE ROLL then it’s worth the number times 100, example. roll three 4s, equals 400. roll three 6s, equals 600. If you roll three 1s, it equals 1000. yes, a thousand. it’s a biggie. ALSO, if during your turn you have rolled the five dice and all are score worthy, you get to keep your current score and roll all five again continuing to add to your current score. example.
      -first roll you get a 5, 5, 1, 2, 4. keep the 5, 5, 1 roll the 2, 4. current score is 200
      -second roll you get 6, 1. keep the 1 roll the 6. current score is 300
      -third roll you get a 5. keep the 5 roll ALL five dice again. current score is 350
      -fourth roll, you get 4, 4, 4, 2, 2. keep the 4, 4, 4 roll the 2, 2. current score is 750
      -fifth roll, you get 6, 4. lose all points, pass the dice to next person. current score is 0.
      -NOW had you decided to STOP on your fourth roll, your cumulative score would be 750 and you would add your next rolls score to it. GET IT?!
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ray ray on

dude- 10,000 aka FARKLE!! Is a Ray family favorite. My grandparents Cribbaged for boss of the day... Mike & Debbie Farkle. Hearing Mike yell FARKLE!! is one of my favorite things. So glad you have learned!!!

Stefanie on

I almost cry everytime I read these! I am SO EXCITED for you! Living a dream/a life outside of what the "norm" says you should! If I had it to do over again!!! Maybe after my kids are off to college I will make some changes and go see what the world is really about. New clothes, boots, cars, big house, are nothing without true happiness and adventure! I would rather have nothing and experience what you are now! Strange to say maybe, but I am so PROUD OF YOU!!!! You really "get it" Linds!!

mom on

lynns thats the dice game i played with you guys on our whale watch and carry around in my purse all the time and no one wants to play guess it has to be introduced in panama to have the bling love mom

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