Casa de Tortugas - Stories

Our first day staying on the island

We won't have our house for a while but we still want to stay on the island when we visit. This first trip to the property was quite the adventure. The boat ride out was beautiful and the weather was amazing. The excitement was especially high as we made our way though the mangroves right before getting to our property.

The first thing we did after unloading the boat was to kick off our shoes and put our feet in the sand for the first time. It was an amazing rush to know that this was our future home. Joy washed over us as we soaked it all in.

We watched the boat vanish into the mangroves and we started to move all our gear off the dock and up to our shed where we would be spending the next three nights. We very excited to be roughing it for a few days. There was only one small problem...


Right about now, panic started to set in. There is no way we could stay outside without any shelter at all for three nights. It rains pretty much every night and morning in Bocas. So we took out the pre-paid phone we purchased in town to call for help. 

We walked to the beach and up to the top of the hill searching for a signal but there was nothing usable. We spent 20 minutes moving all over the island looking for a signal but no luck. We were really starting to get worried at this point. We walked to the beach to look for boats but they don't really come very close to us. We went out on the dock hoping to catch a signal but still nothing. Glenn turned to head back up the hill and then saw it...


Oh my goodness! We're saved! We brought some tools and one was a flat screwdriver. Glenn popped the hinges off and pulled the corner of the door back. Tina squeezed inside and reached as high as she could to grab the latch pin and pull it down. The door popped open! WE ARE IN!

That was quite a rush but together we pulled through like we always do. Once we got in, we learned that we could unlock the door from the inside so we did and put the door back on. Then we set up camp.

Next it was time to walk the beach and explore a little bit. Our property has about 50 feet of sand by the dock which isn't very good for swimming or basking in the sun. We have another 70 feet or so a bit further to the East and then we come out to about 200 yards of amazing sandy beach. This is not technically our property, but in Panama, all beaches are public access so because we live right there, we get to use it without any issues. We collected a few sea shells including a cool conch which we brought home as souvenirs. We went for an amazing swim. We came back to the dock and made a fire to cook dinner.

We took some time to actually look around on the top of the hill and around the lower part of the property (while not looking for a cell phone signal). There are coconut palm trees, pineapple bushes, mangroves and some amazing flowering bushes. We have no idea what most of these plants are but there are a lot.

The ground in this lower area is rather mushy. This is because the tide comes in and blocks the small creek that drains the land. We will have our groundskeepers clearing that so the land drys out. But for now Glenn cleaned out some it and that helped a lot by the next morning.

Daily rain added to the blocked drainage
is a big part of the mush.

We had some unexpected visitors. There were some tiny crabs that decided they wanted to stay in the shed with us. A cute lizard stopped by. In the middle of the night, Glenn got up to "use the restroom" and there were a pair of eyes peering out of the dark. It turned out to be a cute ring tailed lemur. Sadly I couldn't get a picture of him. But I did get a picture of the scorpion that wandered in to the shed. Good thing he didn't want to stay!

We were so happy to finally be here. Putting our feet in the sand and swimming in the ocean and even the trouble with the shed made this feel so real. Up until today, it seemed more like a dream than anything else. 

Tomorrow, we will be checking out the jungle. 

<<Into the jungle
  Getting a bank account

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