Carolyn Broadwell - Travel Tidbits - Dec 2003 - Jun 2004

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Panama and San Blis

Hi Pedro,

Well, I'm back from San Blas, and it was a worthwhile trip! Lots and lots of little islands, with some crowded with Kuna Indians, and many others uninhabited. The Kuna women wear their traditional dress, which is a blouse with molas front and back, and a sarong type of skirt, then with lots of beads tightly wrapped around their arms and legs. and a red scarf sort of draped over their heads. They also have a black line from their forehead to tip of their nose, and a big gold ornament in their nose. They are very picturesque! The hotels are all pretty basic, and prices are usually a little high for what you get, but the hostel where I am staying sent me with a note, and they gave me a price of $25.00, which included the room with private shower (cold water only) and toilet, all meals (not bad - fish, crab, octopus, etc for two meals, and omelet, coffee and bread for breakfast) - and best of all - a guide and trips to all sorts of other islands, more or less as requested! The men wear western, very casual, clothing, and no one seemed to wear shoes. Islands are coral and sandy. The uninhabited islands belong to families, and grow coconuts, most of which are exported to Columbia to be processed for all sorts of stuff. We did have to pay a man to use the beach on one of the uninhabited (except for a caretaker) islands. The other guests wwere a young couple from Belgium, and a paniard, who left yesterday. The Belgians and I did a long tour yesterday, to a bigger island with more people, and a museum.

Everywhere, everyday there were people showing us molas for sale, and of course, that is what I am carrying to T'dad for Christmas presents. A good excuse to buy some...

As to the check list for the computer, I hope to have access to Yahoo, and will try it when I can hook my computer up again. I think I have done almost everything you suggested, but will go with the list next time to be sure. (I'm in the hostel right now, and can't hook my computer to their system.) When I tried to go to the two sites you put in, I just got a black screen! For both of them.

Anyway, tomorrow I leave for Trinidad. And I see I have only a 6 hour layover. By the time I collect my baggage from the flight from here, and then go to check in for the Trinidad flight, it will not leave me time to do much else. And I don't like the idea of transiting my baggage, anyway. Last year a friend in T'dad had lost her bag in the Caracas airport on a transit and warned me to be sure to collect it from any flight I took there, and then to recheck it close to the time I was flying. For her, it was 2 months before they got it back to her, and a big hassle. So, I am taking her advice!

Sorry for the long message; I know your rule is only one subject, or something like that...

I'm forwarding this to Darius and Sarah, just because of time; I've been on this longer than our alloted time, and finally someone else wants to use it.

I may get to an internet cafe with my computer later today. I just got back at 7 am from San Blas, and it is still morning now.

Love, Carolyn

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