Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It's October..and that means Octoberfest – Panama Style. Actually Austrian style with a Panamanian flair. This past Sunday (Oct. 23) was the annual Octoberfest celebration at Rana Azul in Tierra Oscura. The restaurant is owned by Josef and Maria, two Austrians.
They also own a Moody sailboat similar to ours – though their boat is for sale. They hired a band from Panama City, had a dance floor set up, lots of extra tables and chairs, extra restrooms (the men's room behind a blue tarp facing a small stream!), and a dessert and “shots” cabana and extra help. They roasted two lambs and a pig and also offered their clay oven pizzas.
Beers were 5 bottles for $5 (can't beat that!), The place was packed with local ex-pats, boaters and local Panamanians. The band (which we enjoyed a preview of the night before while sitting at anchor outside the restaurant) was quite good.

We feasted on heaping platters of food and drank a few celebratory beers (it was Octoberfest afterall). Lots of folks we've met over the past several months were here and so it was a really fun afternoon. Josef and Maria also celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary. It was celebrations all around.
The weather, which had been quite bad the previous several days turned out perfect (although a tad warm). It was sunny but because Rana Azul is a giant covered, but open-walled restaurant, it was pleasant.

We made the trek to Tierra Oscura after a few days near Bastiamentos where we enjoyed the company of some friends in the rainy weather. We had planned to go to the bat cave (that's why we went to Bastiamentos) but got rained out. It poured and poured and the cave gets filled with water (we understand you already have to walk in chest high water). Drowning in bat guana wasn't the group's idea of entertainment so the bat cave adventure was postponed to a later date.

On Monday following the Sunday Octoberfest, we took a group to the Jackson finca for a hike and tour. Having been there a few times we were the scout leaders and had a great walk. We managed to collect some bananas, limes, oranges and even a “biddybot.” . We saw a sloth (a first for us at this place),
hummingbirds and lots and lots of blue frogs and green and black spotted frogs. We trekked for a couple of hours and enjoyed getting some exercise and more social time (along with fruit “shopping”).
Tuesday morning (today), we headed back to Bocas Town. Someone is selling off some parts and bits having cancelled their Pacific plans. We plan on looking at the water jugs, spotlight, and perhaps even some of the tinned food for sale. We also promised some friends some waypoints for places in Providencia, the Cayos Cajones and Honduras so we'll get together with them while here. And as usual, we need to get some food supplies and fuel. So we'll take advantage of the few days here while we wait for our boat documentation papers to arrive on November 3rd. (Thanks Carol for sending them and thanks to Doug for bring them).
It's raining again – we are in the rainy season afterall. The good news is we're collecting plenty so there is no pressure for Michael to re-install the water maker yet.

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