Date of Entry: January 16th 2017
Date of Writing: October 9th 2017
The second saddest day of all has come, the day that we leave San Blas and head towards Panama city. (The number one saddest day being when Renata will fly home to Brazil from Panama city.)
San Blas wakes us with blue skies, somewhat calm seas and a truly beautiful rainbow as we pack up our stuff and get ready to leave the Amande 2 behind and head to the mainland of Panama in a smaller covered motor boat. (price of transport to Panama City not included in San Blas Cost and was around 60 USD all tolled).
Shockingly, I think the hardest part of leaving the islands for Renata, was saying goodbye to our on board Spanish Water Dog Mani, who climbed into our little boat and sat beside her looking at her mournfully. Renata’s unexpected liking of Mani makes me happy because it means maybe one day we’ll get a dog. (At time of writing we have already gotten a cat.)
Everyone is sad leaving the paradise islands behind, and it has been an incredible if very expensive (550 usd each) trip, that, despite my lovely time with seasickness, proved to be very much worth it. I’ve never seen a place so inline with a traditional image of paradise before, and I feel like I could have happily spent a month there.
As we start the hour and half long rough motor bote ride into the mainland we say goodbye to this amazing archipelago and hope to return to it one day soon, then settle in for the rough and slightly wet ride which forces me to put away my camera.
We eventually head in to a small inlet where the waters calm and then a river to a small patch of cleared rainforest with a few huts and a whole herd of rough looking SUV’s. It’s here we pay and say goodbye to everyone from our boat before Renata and I are ushered to a private SUV (I’m still not sure why) for the long ride to our hostel in Casco Viejo the old town neighbourhood of Panama city.
It’s a curvy ride through lush green mountains with lots of incredible views, and quick descents that make my stomach churn a little bit. We hit some bad traffic coming into Panama city but a little over three hours later we’re being dropped off by our friendly driver at the door of our comfortable hostel at Hospedaje Casco Viejo where we are welcomed warmly and shown to a comfortable private room. (A luxury that after 4 years of almost all dorms I may never ever get used to.)
We’re happy that much like Cartagena, Casco Viejo is beautiful and a great place to end Renata’s trip with three pretty lazy days (we’re a bit burnt out.) in Panama City.
All in all San Blas was an amazing adventure and I hope to soon write a post about how to book it and how best to do it. Honestly If I had to do it all again I’d fly to Panama city and just do some island hopping. It’s so much cheaper (booked in any panama city hostel) and while the sailboat life is nice the difference in cost just isn’t worth it. Still if you can’t find cheap flights or want a taste of life on the high seas, or just have some money to burn it is a pretty damn amazing experience and booking with Blue Sailing (in cartagena or panama is a great choice and we loved our boat, chef, captain and even our on board pet Mani too.)