Monday, 22 December 2008

No quiero vomitar morado 191208

As I passed the anchor line through my hands descending metre by metre beneath the surface my ears wouldn’t equalize properly and I began to feel some pain. This reminder that being, and moreover breathing, underwater isn’t normal for us homo sapiens was enough to unsettle me and I began to breathe quicker. Then I became all too aware of my breath and then breathing seemed like the most difficult problem I’d ever faced. I signalled to Claire, my instructor, that I wasn’t happy by which stage I was taking too many short shallow gulps of air but her experience showed as she looked into my eyes and calmed me down, directing my breaths like a conductor would an orchestra. From that point on, although never fully relaxed, I was much calmer and able to enjoy my first ever scuba dive. The rocks we were diving around were teaming with technicolour fish of all sizes, shapes and denominations and corals of all colours. It truly is another world down there and one I was privileged to visit for 45 minutes. We weren’t able to go to Isla Coiba, which is reputed to be one of the best dive spots in the world, but it was an unforgettable introduction to another water sport I can enjoy when the waves aren’t working.

Too many days with too little surf prompted me to make the move to the Caribbean coast, to the archipelago Bocas Del Toro. It’s not too many crow-miles away, but travel in Panama is mas lento. So two buses, three taxis , eight hours and no food later Kurtis (the Canadian) and I rocked up at The Purple House in David to break the journey. Everything about this place is purple, the walls, floors, furniture, books, cupboards, plants, air fresheners, the owner Andrea, the cleaning products…. Damn, I even inadvertently turned up in purple t-shirt. I’m not a major fan of purple, particularly not the sort of wishy-washy lavender purple that infected every molecule of this place. The cuteness of it all was cloying, overwhelming in the scorching heat of David and when the lovely poodle snuffled up to me and was introduced as “Cute-Si” by Andrea I think I had a little bit of lavender scented sick in my mouth. There was only a dorm-room bed available so I hardly got a wink of sleep before heading to the airport the next morning.

I arrived in Bocas on a funny little plane which skimmed and bumped it’s way over the highlands over to the East coast. The atmosphere, the smell, the rickety wooden architecture, the people and the prices definitely have a Caribbean flavour. Bocas del Toro is the name of the archipelago and also the main town which is on Isla Colon. It’s a ramshackle maritime town nudged up against the water with a few upmarket hotels catering for the rapidly increasing tourist boom. Bob Marley & Che Guevara seem to be the heros to the local mestizo looking rastas. I dumped my bags in my room, waxed her up and got a water taxi to the neighbouring Isla Caranero for $1 and surfed a nice left point break which reels down the coral reef on the east side of the long thin island. It was pretty fast and shoulder to head high with some real power behind it. It was breath of fresh saltwater and I had the first real surf workout of the trip which exposed the shabby shape I’ve fallen into. I’m pretty rusty on my lefts aswell (that’s assuming I was ever actually metallic enough to go rusty) but I had a couple of good rides in the pocket getting a few top to bottom turns in. I’m still not exactly at home on GG but damn she looks good!


korhil said...

LoL "No quiero vomitar morado 191208" mean in spanish "dont wanna puke purple"

By the way awesome pics

Anonymous said...

Cute-si is a cocker spaniel.