Wednesday, June 24, 2015

I took a surprise trip.....planned it myself.

I recently turned 60 and I wanted to reward myself for....well, making it to 60. So I started thinking about where I could go to celebrate. I wanted to go someplace special, someplace I haven't been before. 

I decided on Panama, Iowa just didn't seem appropriate for the big SIX OH.

If you enjoy relaxing vacations in a country with super nice people, and beautiful beaches I found the place for you. Isla Colon is a small island in the Caribbean a 45 minute flight from Panama City, Panama. If you like hustle and bustle and nightlife than stay away from this laid back one road island.

This is my kind of get-a-way.

We stayed at a B&B 50 yards from a beach. We stayed for 9 nights. 8 of those nights we were the only occupants of the B&B, the beauty of traveling in the off season.

 We began each day sitting on the porch overlooking a beautifully manicured property with "our" beach in the background, awaiting our coffee, tea, fruit smoothies and breakfast. Seriously, there is not a better way to start the day.

After a leisurely breakfast we had one tough pressure packed decision to make each day. Should we go to the right, or to the left. There were no car rentals on the Island, that's not needed when there is only one road that stretched form one end to the other. Our main mode of transportation is pictured below.

 Our goal each day was to find an even better beach than we found the day before. Some days we were successful.

 Some evenings were spent in the little town of Bocas Del Torro grabbing dinner at one of their restaurants, other evenings were spent winding down on the porch of our B&B eating whatever we had decided to pick up. I just turned 60, open the damn champagne!!

 A bus ride ( it's actually a van ) with the locals to starfish beach at the far end of the island was cool, the starfish were like nothing I had ever seen before. The one pictured below I would guess is at least 12 inches wide, and that was not unusual to see.

 And this boat........

 if only it could talk.

 Soon after I made the decision to stay on Isla Colon for 10 days, I wondered to myself, "will that be too long?" Um, no. Could have stayed another 10 days.

On the day we flew home, because of the flight schedules we found ourselves with most of the day to kill on the mainland of Panama before we flew out. So we got a cab to one of the Panama Canal locks, where they have a museum, video and history of the canal. We killed a few hours there and witnessed a few ships going through the Miraflores Locks.

Just a footnote. In case you think your local highway tolls are bad, the toll for one particular ship that we saw going through the locks, was $400,000. Let me re-type that so you know that wasn't a misprint. $400,000 was paid by a ships owner to go through the canal. 

The toll varies with the size of the ship and the cargo of the ship. Crazy huh?

Anyway, you can thank me now for not posting another 40 or 50 photos of this beautiful Island. I was tempted.

I can't wait until I turn 100, I'm thinking New Zealand.


Karen Ann said...

Stunning!! Beautiful!... just wow. Best kind of vacation - where you actually get to RELAX.

And the toll.. well can you imagine the money they're making then, to be able to pay that toll. jeeeeeez.

beth said...

wow….what a trip! your photos were perfect for giving us a feel of how relaxing it was there…..

Wayne said...

Not to dis Iowa, but you are right, it doesn't seem like the place for 60. What an awesome place, that starfish is amazing.

Wayne said...

oh, and Happy Birthday!

Marilyn Miller said...

I think New Zealand would be perfect for 70. Your time on the island is amazing. I dream of a holiday like that, but never do it. Maybe that will be my 80th.

Denise at Autumn Sky said...

First....Happy Birthday! And your photos are beautiful, showing the experience to be just what you described. Now that's an island vacation. I feel a little bad, however, that my 60 is fast approaching and I have no plans whatsoever.

Joey said...

Happy 60! I don't know how I missed a few of your blog posts? Anyway - sounds like a great vacation! I'm salivating!

Busy Bee Suz said...

Happy belated birthday. What an amazing trip for both you and your wife. I love that it was full of relaxing, good food and of course nature!!! Thanks for the heads up on the tolls; I'll take my ship elsewhere!