Bocas Del Toro

Surfing excursions use to be different. For me anyway. There was a time when I could put my board on my car drive west on I-10, turn left on I-5 in California and start surfing the coast. It was cheap as hell. It was a bit complicated at times, but it was “true” adventure.

Others were terrified to travel. They could surf great but they were skeered of “what was out there.” Something might “get em”.

I drove through the Chiapas during civil unrest. I followed the Federales to a bank robbery for a quick pass back to the border. I had to turn in a document, ensuring my re-entry into Mexico.

I was surrounded by marauders at the El Salvador border.

I did a chicken dance at at the Mexico/Guatemala border to get the people off of my car. It worked. They all got a big laugh.

I surfed my ass off. Including Puerto Escondido.

I was in Antiqua when the Pope was in Guatemala City canonizing a “guy” for having created a hospital there in the 1500’s. His body was in the hospital/now church. I was there. I cried. It was emotional. I am Catholic.

I was in Antigua going to Language School.

I grappled with immigration officers for my paper work in Honduras. They wanted 100 dollars, which was crazy. They said I was American and I could go to the magic box and get the money. I told them to fuck off and give me my fucking papers. They finally let them go and called me a crazy gringa, which I heard a lot, in my travels.

When people begged, I would practice my Spanish and begin telling them the story of my life. They would run.

I had so much fun. I met so many good people. I was served instant coffee by people, living in a Mexican coastal town. There was larva swimming in the cup. I threw it out when they weren’t looking.

You can drive for miles and miles of beautiful coast and cactus and out of nowhere, see a huge Catholic cathedral and town. Most people have the opposite problem than I do, concerning their digestive system in Mexico. I had to drink the water to go. OMG. That’s a crazy story.

You know you just have to get over your embarrassments.

The most I ever paid for a room was six dollars, except for the one night in San Blas. We thought we were going to camp on the beach. Big mistake due to the mosquito population. I had to rent a room at 2 in the morning. I think it was 130.00 and it had the biggest, boldest cockroach ever. I complained.

I drove six thousand miles in forty days and I spent 3000 dollars. That included, gas, border crossings, rooms and language school. And masks and a few other things I bought as souvenirs.

Now I am planning a trip to Bocas Del Toro, in Panama. It has taken ten hours of my life, so far, between texts, phone calls to Hotels, Pay Pal and the Bank. The Bank took my money immediately and gave it to Pay Pal. But Pay Pal wouldn’t give the money to the hotel for my reservation, because they were trying to protect me from being robbed. The rooms are expensive. I can’t take my board. It’s too long. And there’s no guarantee the immigration people won’t give me a hard time when I get there. I say a lot of Hail Mary’s.

So I sit in my little house. I love my little house. It’s on a corner and it’s a sanctuary for animals and a Nicaraguan/Costa Rican family. I love them. They love me. That’s a whole lot of love.

I await the time of departure.

I am beyond fortunate to have a friend that has a surf adventure company in Bocas. I met her in Northern Nicaragua on another surf adventure.

It’s going to be good, no matter what.

If it weren’t for my mother, who gave me my love of the ocean, my father getting drunk, hanging out with his attorney Bill Basford. They went to the surf shop together and however it happened I ended up with a Rick Noserider. That started my surfing in 1966.

Also, I thank my brother who taught me how to fight and shoot pool.

Patience and perseverance is the key to all success.

Now I am 66. Figure it out.

Namaste – Bitches

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