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Entries about bocas del toros

Fire and Lightning

Popa Island Resort

semi-overcast 82 °F

Our last full day at the Popa Island resort started on the dreary side. It was raining and we were rather gloomy since we'd be leaving the next day. We had enjoyed our time at Popa Paradise Resort and weren't quite ready for it to end. The resort staff was really taking great care of us, we were only two of five guests. They can accommodate about sixty to seventy guests at one time, but this time of year is their slow season. We spent most of the day working on Kryss's website, taking care of email business, and generally taking it easy. The chef told us to save our energy because the evening was going to be exciting. Little did we know...

When dinner time arrived, the five guests of the resort were seated at one table and the fun began. Orders were taken adult beverages were served and we were told that "showtime" was almost ready to start. Shortly, our dinner arrived seven fresh lobsters, with all the "fixin's". The chef Darien presented his artwork and said, "enjoy"! They were fantastic!
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After dinner was completed the staff brought out four drums for all the guests but me, I was busy taking pictures. Background music was turned on and everyone started drumming. Off to the left of the dining area you could hear the performers getting ready, smell the kerosene, and see glimpes of fire. Then the music was turned up, the guest drummers start playing to the beat and the first of the dancers hit the stage. What a show, lots of photos and super entertainment.
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The show lasted about twenty minutes. An absolutely professional performance by the four fire dancers. Toward the end of the show lightning appeared in the distance and added a bit of color to the show. In the next photo you can see the dancer doing the splits with the lightning in the background, along with the lights of the pool and the fire stick. Lots of action!
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We stayed up way too late. The rain started and that was the indicator that it was time to call it a night. During the night the lightning really put on another show and the next photo capped off "showtime".
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The Popa Island Paradise Resort is a very difficult place to leave. The staff is great, the food fantastic, and the "showtime" presentation was outstanding. We'll return to this place!

Posted by rhislop 07:17 Archived in Panama Tagged panama bocas_del_toros popa_island popa_paradise_resort Comments (0)

Bocas del Toros

Popa Paradise Resort and Island

semi-overcast 80 °F

Last winter when we were in Costa Rica we were told that the place to go in Panama was Bocas Del Toro. An island chain in the north east corner of Panama, bordering Costa Rica. We heard a variety of comments about the place, they included; "a beautiful spot", "nothing but burned out hippies and potheads", "the most relaxing place in Panama", "party central", and "Jimmy Buffet docks his yacht there."

To find out for ourselves we headed up to Bocas on Sunday morning. We decided to stay at the Popa Island Paradise Resort. After reading a number of reviews and talking with the GM it was an easy choice. Landing in Bocas was a little different, the landing strip is right in the middle of the town. The plane came in right over the roofs of the central area of the town. Representatives from the Popa resort met the flight and we took a one minute taxi ride to the boat docks. When we got to the docks, the fire department had the gate locked because the Panamanian President was coming to Bocas the next day and everyone was getting checkout, whether you were arriving or leaving the island.

We boarded the flatbottomed boat, put on our wind/rain jackets and headed out across the bay. The rain started. Just a light drizzle, but enough to remind us that it is rainy season. Skimming along we passed a number of little uninhabited islands and after a twenty five minute ride arrived at the resort. It was worth the wet ride. What a peaceful, tranquil and beautiful place.
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We were taken to our casita, near the main building, overlooking the bay, with jungle on all four sides. On the balcony we can hear and sometimes see parrots, macaws and hummingbirds. The parrots fly over every morning, chattering along as the fly in a pack of at least twenty. Late in the afternoon they return the from opposite direction.

The food has been excellent. Darian, the Chef, takes great pride in his work and style. The presentations at dinner are outstanding and the tastes are magnificent. Fresh seafood is available every night along with a selection of beef, chicken and pork. If we were here for more than four days, I hate to think of the added weight going back to Panama City.
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Yesterday we went sailing on the catamaran, "Ingwe Spirit" which means leopard spirit in Zulu. Our captain and mate are from South Africa and radiate the spirit of their homeland. After we had been out for about an hour the skies opened up and we were dumped on. The rain pounded the boat, visibility dropped and the bay became a little rougher. So, we pulled into a sheltered cove, had lunch, the skies cleared and we all went snorkeling. The nearby reef was covered with beautiful coral, so many starfish I quit counting, and lots of fish. We saw both queen and french angel fish. The return trip was very mellow, especially when the mate broke out the adult beverages.

Since it is rainy season, it is expected to rain now and again. Today, it started at 9am and stopped at noon. Now it is cool, slightly overcast, and it looks like a peaceful evening. The below picture is the Ingwe Spirit in the early morning dawn.
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Tomorrow back to Panama City. Oh yeah, Bocas is a cool place.

Posted by rhislop 12:38 Archived in Panama Tagged rain water sailing panama catamaran bocas_del_toros popa_island_resort ingwe_spirit Comments (0)

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