Saturday, January 2, 2010

San Blas, Panama

Happy New Years all!!

So sorry for not writing earlier, Ville and I have been in the San Blas Islands, on a very remote island, with literally no internet or phone for miles. We sailed in on the Alliance a week ago. We sailed into some of the most beautiful islands i have ever seen. If you imagine paradise in Caribbean islands, this is the place. We dropped anchor near an island, dove off the boat, and snorkled in some of the best reefs I have seen yet in my life. A day there and then Ville and I decided to part from the boat because they are planning to stay here for months doing charters and we wanted time to relax and travel more. (The work on the boat was some serious work!)

We stayed about a week on a very remote island (and i mean an island about maybe 3 acres big) with a very small and sketchy landing strip and a great beach. I will update photos when I can. We stayed there through my birthday and New Years and it was great, a lot of relaxing laying on the beach, snorkeling, and eating rice, beans, and fresh fish. Oh yea, I ate a bunch of octopus, too. It was chewy. And we met a great family staying there who live in Panama city with their three kids. We all played some great card games and they were very helpful in helping us to communicate. Ville´s spanish is really coming along thanks to the sink-or-swim approach.

It was a bit rough finding a boat to get us off the island, but we managed somehow and made it to Carte where we cought a jeep that drove a bunch of us 3 hours through some beautiful rain forest. The ride was wild. I would have to say it gives some rides at Disneyland a run for their money :) Thank God the seat belts worked and the driver had some excellent Latin music to seranade the trip. Made it to Panama City in one piece yesterday and found a great deal at a hotel with a pool and air con. Ville and I are thrilled with the very cheap food prices and are planning to stay a few days longer. The great family we met in the islands, took us to a great lunch yesterday and even got me a waffel and ice cream with a candel to celebrate my birthday! So nice of them. They gave us a great tour of the city yesterday and are picking us up this afternoon to take us to the Panama Canal locks and out to dinner. I really hope they come to Oreogn or Finland so we can return the favor! The great people we have met traveling remind us of why we travel and how truely amazing people can be.

So Ville and I are again, making new travel plans. We have found that plans are always subject to change and as doors close, new doors open for us. Unfortunately, we can not travel as long paying accommidations and travel now, but we are going to try and get to Honduras, maybe Belize to do diving and on to Mexico before coming back. Not quite sure. We promise to keep you all posted and hope you are all having great holidays with your loved ones and an exciting start to the New Year!

Kristen and Ville

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