Unfortunately we had to cut short our stay in the San Blas Islands as we
had torn our jib on the way from Curacao, and we had to have it repaired before
We went down the coast to Puerto Linton, where we found a couple of French
sailmakers who took on the job and promised us a repair by April 10...what's
more, they would deliver to Colon or Balboa, which is where they get most of
their work from. A great load of our mind.
From the anchorage at Pueto Linton we took a short cut through the
mangroves in our dinghy to reach the sail makers in the next bay.
While in Pueto Linton we took a 20 minute dinghy ride to Isla Grande, a
holiday island popular with Panamanians,
passing this little holiday home on its own island on the way.
Wealthy Panamanians are very wealthy indeed.
The most swinging bar on Isla Grande
We had a very nice dinner at this restaurant. The owner is French and
his wife the chel is from
Costa Rica and they have lived in Panama for 30 years. Behind the
restaurant they have a small
From Isla Grande, we moved down to Portobello. Portobello was named
by Columbus, "Beautiful Port"
and it is a very pretty bay.
Gold, silver and the other riches the Spanish took from the Incas and
Aztecs was brought here overland
from Panama City and stored in waiting for the once a year treasure fleet
to take it to Spain. This fort
was one of the fortifications, which did not withstand the pirate Henry
Morgan who sacked the town in
1637. A hundred years later it was sacked again by Edward Vernon. It
is said that the warehouses were
so full of gold, silver bars were stacked in the streets.
In the background is the Customs House, dating from the 17th. century. It
has been somwhat restored.
Portobello is now just a poor village, but once a year they have the
festival de Diablos y Congos, which
is mostly about the devil and the kings of Spain. We happened to be
there along with several thousand
other visitors and it was somewhat chaotic.
The police were there in force.
Local buses in Panama are colourfully decorated.
More than a few elements of voodoo are evident in the costumes.
Across the bay was another fort, San Fernando, the last one built here in
the early nineteenth century.