A weekend in Panama alone with my 4-year old

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When you enter Costa Rica, you´re given 90 days stay and all the foreigners that live here cross the border when their VISA is about to expire and come back with a new 90 days to go. You can also pay a taxi driver US$100,00 and he takes your passport and comes back with it legally stamped. How the hell this works, I don´t know and I´m not interested.

Our round of 90 days was coming to an end and Luísa and I had to leave the country. Luckily, we are staying very close to the border with Panama (about one hour by car) and so we went for a weekend to Bocas del Toro, an archipelago with beaches to see all around and water taxis to get around that start costing US$3,00 depending on how far you are going.

We arrived in Colón island and I decided that we wouldn´t stay there, it was a big town with too many cars, buses, hostels, restaurants and lots of people in my opinion. Instead, we headed to Bastimentos island and stayed in a beautiful and simple room at a hostel over the water called Jaguar.

I went to this island following friend´s advice, they said it was close to the beach and from Colón you always need to take a water taxi to go to a beach. The only detail is that, from Bastimentos, to get to the beach you need to walk 25 minutes, which is fine, expect if you daughter is like mine and is bad used to not walking long next to you (but does fine with other people).

We went to the beach and Luísa was fine with it (I only carried her a little bit…). We were tired after traveling all morning between buses, taxis and water taxis and then the walk, so after coming back, we had a pizza, got harassed by a local guide (the type that sits on your table without being invited and invites himself to visit you in your hostel after the baby has slept, and makes you wonder why can´t you just meet a nice decent man), and headed straight to bed by 9pm.

Sleeping on the road

Despite the fact that we are co-sleeping for the last two years, Luísa put her pijamas and layed down on the single bed. I offered myself to read the story next to her in the little bed, she was fine with it and slept before the end of the story.

I slept all by myself in a double bed. I can´t remember the last time I slept by myself and in such a comfortable bed, without the need of a mosquito net, even though we were over the water.

The next night was just as pleasant.

In the morning, we ran to the front deck to watch the fish and other sea creatures. This was the deck:

Later, we took a water taxi to a nearby beach and had lunch in the main island, before coming back to our hostel and have a nap (oh so wonderful). Our room cost US$18,00 a night, not bad, huh?

Luísa didn´t want her pictures taken during the trip (or lately).


Luísa´s behavior on the trip

She was a wonderful travel companion. We had fun together, we didn´t fight about anything. She didn´t disturb any one at the hostel, when we were up super early, she was ok with not running on the corridor, for instance. One morning, The Jaguar (the owner of the place) started playing the electric piano and she played along with him. It was very sweet.

She packed and carried her little backpack and insisted on bringing her pink umbrella, which she carried herself all the way. Nice.

The island is full of families and the people talk in Patois, it was very hard for me to understand, but they all speak English and Spanish too, so it was easy.

Too bad Luísa didn´t want her pictures taken, so I didn´t bother taking the camera every where (like the beach or the cute island with no cars and families in each house).

This article was originally posted on Tripping Mom by Marilia Di Cesare on May 9, 2011. Republished with authorization. Click here for all other posts.


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