Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday



Colon,Panama: Dec 21, 1995

We arrived at 3 AM in Colon Harbor, in our crippled Cruise Ship coming from Barranquilla, Colombia.

We had to make a special case to the cruise-ship staff to let us off the boat. Crucero Express eventually organized a special taxi to whisk us across the isthmus to Panama City at high speed.

The road is notorious for bandits at night, and normally avoided.

At Paitilla Airport, in the center of Panama City, we wait for a 6 a.m. flight to the Carribbean island of Bocas del Toro.







We found Fernando, who had gone to Costa Rica after the San Blas islands.

We stayed at a hotel, called the "Boatel",

which was built out over the water.


You can hear the waves hitting the piers underneath your room.





We were hoping for a few days of diving.

There were now two diving operators,

whereas I found none just two years before.


We went diving in the channel the next day.

The dive was OK, but too shallow for my taste.



The next day we went on an around-the-island sailing tour.

This was a lot of fun; we sailed out to a group of small islands off the north corner of Bocas del Toro.




This was a snorkeling stop,

and it was challenging to snorkel through this gap in the island!





Lobsters for sale!




Picked up some Octopus!



We bought 12 lobsters for about $2 each.






We took the lobsters to the owners of a small Chinese restaurant on the corner, across from the Boatel.

They cooked up the lobster in a delicious black bean sauce! Yumm.




Christmas Eve

Lobster Feast








Christmas Day Diving and Picnic.












Fernando and Rob both flew home from here.


I flew to the town of David,

in western Panama near the Costa Rica border.





Aerial view of the bay and lagoon around Bocas del Toro.









I took a bus from David to the mountain town of Boquete.

This is a famous coffee and flower growing region. Boquete has an 11,000 foot volcano north of town.

The area was originally settled by Swiss and Germans. The town seems more clean and orderly than most Central American places.

It is very popular with Panamanians as a place to escape the summer heat


















A beautiful river and gardens in the middle of Boquete.









Another flight took me from David back to Panama City.

This was my first flight on these "flying boxes",

as the Shorts50 is called.





Text and Photos Copyright ©2001 Mark E. Halliday