. The first night we had a vegetarian pesto pasta, but the last night…the big meal night….currie chicken with coconut rice, mashed pea and coconut milk, yucca fries, and a chicken ratatouille. OH.MY.GAWD. was it good. Everything was home made by either the local Ngobe women who were the cooks or by Steve and Karen (the temp. caretakers). We took a day trip to the local bat cave. Our local Ngobe Indian guide named Milton, showed us an incredible amount of wildlife that neither of us would have been able to spot. This ranged from Cayman and owls to sloths and small neon orange frogs. The bat cave was incredible. You could feel them whizzing by your head, but they never touched you. Some of the insects in there were the size of our hands, which "bugged" me as we had to touch the walls in certain areas to make our way. Unfortunately my head lamp broke and Mel's died only after a little while, which meant that we had to turn around. Walking back out through the jagged floor covered in water up to our knees wasn't the easiest with just the flashlight that Milton had to guide us.
Later that afternoon, we took a little side trip to Red Frog Beach. This is a big surfer’s hangout, BIG waves. There were three other guests besides us, Sue and Kevin (CO), another newlywed couple (June 19) and Peter (MA), a 25 year old who just finished school and decided to go on his first solo trip to Panama
. The five of us and Goose, spent some time playing in the waves, trying to keep from being pulled out (the rips were strong) and just generally doing what you do on the beach. Again the stray dogs here, oh my goodness, the thinnest we had seen so far. Just heart breaking. And remember, we have Goose with us. Well the welcome from the other dogs was not so friendly. Another dog in competition for tourist food??? Goose handled it well and joined us in the surf. Well more like, he barked at as we played in the waves because he only would go out so far and didn’t like that we were going out farther than he wanted. After a while of playing and getting knocked around we hung out on the beach where Goose started to create a ruckus, peeing on peoples bags, jumping around knocking kids down, so we had to leave because we began getting "can’t you control your dog" looks. Little did anyone know, he really wasn’t ours and there was certainly no controlling Goose!
Our stay at La Loma on Isla Bastimentos couldn't have been better. It was absolutely mind blowing. We got to the area via a small puddle jumper plane with about a 45 minute ride from Panama City. The airport is located in a small hippy/boaters community called Bocas Town. It's very friendly to "Greengos" and we were met by the smiling face of Kelly, a man who lives next to the Lodge and helps them with pretty much everything. It was about a 20-30 minute boat ride from the airport to the Lodge and we were greeted by Porferio (another helper around the Lodge), Steve the caretaker of the Lodge while the owners are away, and the local dog named Goose who was like an English sheephound/wire hair pointer. The greeting couldn't have been warmer. As we made our way up to the cabin we spotted our first three toed sloth. It wasn't hard as it was coming down a tree about five feet from us! It would be one of many sloth encounters in the two short days. Our cabin was the third of only three total. And being #3 it was at the top of the hill. This led us to a somewhat winded hike of about .25 miles each way any time we used the boat or had a meal. The meals were ASTOUNDING! For being in the jungle in what we both described as rustic luxury, the food was out of this world