06.25.2012 - 06.28.2012 95 °F
I've just returned to Panama City (and La Jungla hostal in all it's glory) after three marvelous days at San Blas.
San Blas (or Kuna Yala) is a group of approximately 380 islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. About 50 of the islands are inhabited by the Kuna Indians and the rest are deserted.
I woke up at 5am, traveled by jeep and by boat before reaching my island, Isla Robinson. Not quite as deserted as some, my island comprised of two hostels (home to between 5 and 20 backpackers at any given time), a small store and about 40 locals. None of the Kuna there spoke English, most of the men spoke Spanish and the women, dressed in traditional garb, only spoke Kuma.
The accommodations on Isla Robinson are truly basic. I stayed in a hut with a mattress and a sheet (yes, just one) – but that's really all you need. My first night I was quite confused when I repeatedly woke up with the door of my hut open. Eventually, I woke up to a local dog scratching at the door, trying to get out. Guess that's where he slept, too. The cute little cockroach chillin' on the bed next to me made it a little difficult to get back to sleep after all that.
I didn't do much during my time at San Blas, and I think that's the way it's supposed to be. My time sunbathing, swimming and snorkeling was only interrupted when I heard the conch and wandered over for communal meals (rice, salad and fish straight from the ocean). I met some interesting people, but no one particularly worth noting (all names and faces that will likely be forgotten shortly after I return home).
Back in Panama City I'm itching to get out. Tomorrow I'll take a bus to Nicaragua, by way of Costa Rica. I'll leave at 11am and arrive the following day at 12p – yes, that's a 25 hour bus ride. Wish me luck.