Chill out in the western san blas islands 9:30.75N 78:36.9W
Thu 7 Oct 2010 13:48
Western San Blas
We loved the Eastern San Blas but it was a cultural experience not a chill out place, so coming up to Coco Banderos was a complete treat. Waters clear and we were able to surprise our friends we met in Curacou, plus jump into a ready made social life, something we hadn't experienced for some time. The kids were in heaven having there friends to play with and for sleep overs to occur. Tim and Steph left a day before so sadly we weren't able to catch up with them.
So with the sun in the sky , white coral beaches and jelly free clear water, Colin started forgive me for pushing to leave Eastern San Blas. I took a few trips with other boats into a Island called Nargana, which I found totally depressing, it seems to have reliquished many of it Kuna traditions, visually it's different because many of the ladies have opted for western dress, there also seems to be a quantity of alcohol consumed. The water around the village is filthy the buildings a mixture of rundown concrete and traditional bamboo huts with mud floors, But unlike the villages we are used to, this one has a mess of ugly black cables running overhead throughout the village. The streets are strewn with litter and worse-than-worse most of the huts and houses have a horrible neon blue flickering beeming coming from them, yep daytime TV. The kids were sweet and amazing at walking on there hands. But sadly fresh provisions were poor. I felt really rather sad about the place, and what feels like the impending doom of Kuna Yala's culture. Bloody Television, is a curse.
We spent about a week around the Coco Bandarous (small group of islands), then headed up to the 'The Swimming Pool and BBQ Island', as named by some live aboard Americans who have been there for years - yeuch. We had a great snorkel here seeing loads of huge Spotted eagle rays and catching fresh lobster for supper. Now we really are starting to become hunter gathers. We were starting to get itchy feet and Blue Sky were in need of departing reading for their transit through the canal and finishing there circumnavigation back in LA by June. The kids will miss them dearly.
But as if like magic the day before Blue Sky leave we meet s/v Lolo with Petta, Teddy and 6 months pregnant Rosanna, it's not every day you meet someone from Itchenor on a desert Island half way around the world but oh boy what a meeting it is.
So the iminent departure of Blue Sky means a final sundowner party, which invaribly mean no supper for kids and parents alike.
The following day feeling a little ropey and we are approached by a little dinghy with two scots aboard (Heather and Jim from s/v Charmer) . This is a little too much for me to take in. Within 24 hours I have met someone from Itchenor and now 2 folk from Edinburgh, all very odd. But we are given bananas from their plantation up in Linton and its a joy to meet them. Later that day we follow them along with Lolo, new best friends, to a more remote anchorage in the central Holendaise out near the crashing reef, only the swell is impossible and there is no beach for the kids, so we retreat to a little island now know by us as SCAT Island, its a dream of a place, great beach only enough room for a few folk to anchor and we are that few folk. The snorkeling is sublime from little safe coral gardens to fantastic drop-off walls with a loads of edible and dangerous fish. It's also where the eagle rays hang, there just seem to be so many, they really are my favourite animal in the sea, so so graceful flying by with the wings stretchout gracefully making there way to somewhere.
We have a ball here with lolo and also meet the bonkers John check out there bog then you will know we are relatively sensible, John and his dutch girlfriend were magic and attempted to teach Colin the rudimentury technics of free diving. Supper with John was plentiful he is a mega spear fisher; time for Colin and Petta to hone there skills.
We are at last introduced to others who do nakedness but in a far more swedish way than us, turns out to be quite a serible moment for the Price family and we begin to embrace living without cloths, bloody brilliant as it reduces the washing pile tremendously. But suspect the status quo will not continue due to imminent arrival of Colins parents.
We had a tea party on a deserted coral island the size of a large living room with the Scot, Lolo, the naked Germans (thankfuly clothed on this meeting) and us. Zinnia sailed there in the Opi and Cosmo built a canal across the island. Jim brought bannana cake and there was some tea in a thermos. We took pizza and beer.
Kids had a treasure hunt on the beach back at Scat Island (treasure Island in Swedish).
The boys involved in construction on the beach.
Burning trash is the only way to get rid of it sensibly.
Petta in a Neptune moment
So we have a really rather intense time meeting Lolo, mainly due to the fact both females are of the same lot, and the boys strangely look like one another. We finally have a plan about where to meet Colin's folks, the only problem is that the well organised skippered charter we have sorted seems to have his engine blown up on him. Not a problem we have a big enough boat so we will manage for a few days until all engines recover. We'll hangout with Lolo a few more days with G & P and then bid a short farwell whilst we take our guest on a grand tour of the San Blas Islands.