San Blas islands

Michael Hughes and Ger White
Fri 15 Jan 2010 22:35
We continue our relaxed journey north-west through the islands towards Porvenir, where we clear into Panama properly. We've seen very few other cruisers down this end of the islands--most of them stay up in the western part, where the water is clearer and beaches better--but the Kuna Indian traditions less pronounced as it's more spoiled by tourism--albeit light.
So we've been visiting the traditional Kuna islands--no phones, no running water, no electricity, houses--huts--made of bamboo and palm fronds, traditional dress, dug-out canoes, small shops--huts--with nothing to sell except their delicious bread--everyone very friendly and happy and eager to talk to us--albeit language difficult! On Monday, we sailed freom Isla Pinos to Ustupu--a 3 hour sail--and had a walk round the village and a nice lunch in the "restaurant"--a bamboo hut with tables. Full of smily kids laughing at us. Cost of 2 meals and 4 drinks--about £7.
On Tuesday we sailed to Achutupu--a 2 hour sail--and had a walk round the village and lunch in a Kuna hotel resort on an adjacent little island--a better class of hut! And twice the price. No other boats.
On Wednesday to Tupile--another village walk--it doesn't have a restuarant, so lunched on board! All to ourselves--no other boats.
Thursday--a 2 hour sail to Snug Harbour--deserted islands so no village--though we bought some lobsters from a Kuna in a dug-out canoe. No village walk--just a swim! And fixed the generator. Again anchorage all to ourselved
Today is Friday--another 3 hour sail to Isla Tigre--and again the anchorage all to ourselves. Ashore for a walk through the village--this time we had a guide, who spoke some English--got the "restaurant" to open to serve us bonito and chips--bought some "mola"s--a sort of reverse applique sewing of a cloth picture.
An interesting week--next week will be all swimming and sand in the busy sector of the islands.