One of the beauties of Kuna Yala is that the islands are mostly very close to each other, so with only a half hour of travel you can experience a complete change of scenery.
Today we leave Chichime bound for the East Lemmon Cays. We move very cautiously, ever mindful of the reefs all around us. Tom is at the helm, intently watching our forward-looking sonar, constantly making sure there’s enough water underneath the boat. I’m perched on the bow with the camera around my neck, polarized sunglasses on, scanning the different shades of the sea. The water is so clear that I can see the reef 30 feet below! It makes me nervous, and I occasionally forget to breathe… It seems that every island is marked by a wreck, a constant reminder that things can go very wrong very quick…It sure doesn’t help with the tension…
But we make it to destination unscathed, finding more spectacular scenery and a nice spot to anchor.
The weather is moody, quickly changing from cloudy, to windy, to sunny, back to cloudy, a quick squall, then sunny again, all within minutes.
With a shrug we jump in the dinghy and go explore the small island. There are maybe four or five huts, a few hammocks hanging between the palm trees, a bigger open hut functioning as a bar of sorts.
Some local men are sitting, having lunch and a few beers, Kuna women darting in and out of their huts carrying plates of fried fish, rice and tomatoes. Tom gets tempted and buys a beer.
The local people are friendly, if a little reserved. We are free to roam the island, which takes all of 10 minutes.
After that, we move to the tiny, uninhabited island opposite, walking its whole perimeter in about 5 minutes. Two islands, twenty minutes, tops. Within that short time my twitchy finger shoots about 150 pictures.
Then it’s time to cool our heels – and the rest of our bodies! It’s always breezy here, which keeps the humidity level down, but it’s still hot enough and the water is so inviting… Tom is like a kid, playing in the water, bothering the starfish… Me, well, I can’t keep my hands off the camera for too long…
There’s so much beauty here, stuff the travel agency posters are made of…
Regardless, we are already planning to move tomorrow. Just a little farther away lay the West Lemmon Cays and it is rumored they have Internet over there!
We have been incommunicado for a few days; no phone signal, much less Internet – which is not a bad thing, actually.
But Christmas is creeping up, and we’d like to figure out a way to get in touch with our families.
So tomorrow we go hunting for signs of technology.