Friday, August 31, 2012

The day to day in Panama

A praying mantis visits our vlog
In catching up on stories about Paris I've been leaving out details about Panama. Jenn and I have been doing a fun nightly Vlog that we're already excited to look back on. It's probably funniest for us. Now, how to explain Dolphin Bay, Bocas del Toro...

Me with a Kinkajou
A paradise to look at, with a great community feel. I have come in contact with more bugs and animals then ever before. I've gotten acquainted with a kinkajou, a possum, cicadas, dolphins, birds, snakes, fish, leaf bugs of all sorts, howler monkeys, sloths, ants galore, dogs and horses. Everyone that lives out here is a character with an amazing warm heart. Everyone looks out for each other here and together the cruisers and expats have made a welcoming Bay.

The view from the tree house
I usually wake up between 6-7am and enjoy a coffee as I look out onto the Bay. Jenn and I like to take in the view as we listen to the morning Net, a radio show that everyone in the area participates in. Sometimes we play a game of cribbage and are usually content just making fun of the trivia questions. We're the youngest house sitters in the area and the questions are usually about things 'before our time' and prefaced with "this is an easy one". (If it's so easy why do only two people ever participate with answers?) So sometimes we'll shout out ridiculous answers just for our own enjoyment.

Rana Azul "parking lot"
 The rest of the day is filled with house sitting duties (general clean up, walking the grounds, maintaining the solar batteries, feeding the dogs, paperwork for the worker) reading, writing, learning something new about sail boats, socializing and exploring the area. Every Wednesday there's a game of Mahjong but we've only been a couple times. Every Sunday the restaurant Rana Azul is open and it's a great way to see everyone in the area to catch up, enjoy some drinks and buy eggs. That's right, we buy our eggs when we go out to the restaurant from another patron who has hens. The weekly supply sells out pretty fast so we try to get there by noon.

Watching friends watch dolphins
We go into town to get our gas, propane, and food supply once a week. We use the propane for the stove and fridge. The gas is for the boat and generator. Our boat Cricket recently had some problems so we've been relying on the kindness of others to take us into town. We've had enough sun that we've only had to run the generator when we equalized the batteries for the solar energy.

The Treehouse
Jenn and I call this place the Treehouse. It's raised off the ground and level with the canopy of the surrounding trees. It's completely off the grid, running off solar power with a back up generator to use when needed. There are two huge water tanks that catch the rainwater that is collected from the large circular roof. We were happy to discover that if we're not catching sun, we're catching rain and always replenishing our basic needs. The washing machine runs off the solar energy and all the rain water is filltered first through a regular sieve to catch debris and then though a filter. Sometimes we put the rain water through another filter before drinking but we usually drink right from the tap.

A Troller (left) and a Panga (right)
The only way to get around here is by boat. There are no roads in the jungle and we're lucky to have a few well maintained foot paths. Jenn and I kayak around from time to time and love to visit the boats in our bay. That's right, only here 45 days and we're calling it "Our Bay". We've had a few cruiser dinners, pot lucks and juice bars where we've invited newcomers and returning boats up to the Treehouse so we can brush up on our sailing vernacular.

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