I’m Lonely (But I Ain’t That Lonely Yet)

Time Flies

We’re led to believe

But it’s us that fly

Time sits on its hands

As we rush by

 – Roger McGough

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Apologies for the tardiness of this post; I’ve been largely bed-ridden with a horrific bug over the past week.

Panama has rushed past in a blur of alcohol and beaches. Our first stop was the Caribbean archipelago, ‘Bocas Del Toro’. It’s easy to hop on water taxis between the different islands, surf, walk through the national parks or just soak up the laid-back Caribbean pace of life which has now become so familiar. On ‘Colón’, the amusingly named main Island, there are some fantastic places to eat including a little sushi bar called ‘Raw’ with half price sushi and Martinis between 4 and 6. Ideal. I’d definitely recommend a lychee Martini if anyone’s not yet had the pleasure. They also had novel chalk-boards in place of mats which was a refreshing alternative to pre-dinner conversation!

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There’s also plenty of fun to be had exploring the rather eccentric island nightlife. Most bars/clubs (well, places to dance) have integrated the sea into the structure of their building, with large areas cut out of the decking for people to swim in the beautifully warm sea below. I particularly enjoyed ‘Aqua lounge’ on the nearby island which had swings into the water and ‘El Barco hundido’ (The sunken ship) with floating dance platforms over a shipwreck. It’s fantastically weird to be able to dive down and pick up a starfish off the sea-bed in the middle of a bar!

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I’m afraid I don’t have much to report on our next stop, Boquete, in the Panamanian mountains. To be perfectly honest I wasn’t particularly taken with the place. It was largely made up of a community of retired couples and ex-pats. I wasn’t overly disappointed that this was where my illness started to kick in. The nine hour journey to Panama city was somewhat less convenient.

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All of my travelling companions having gone their separate ways, I’m now alone in the rather daunting capital city…although it is nice to have my own room for the first time in three months!

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Cold Town

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“Water, taken in moderation, cannot hurt anybody.”
Mark Twain

My lower intestine would beg to differ.

Shortly after arriving in Potosi, the highest altitude city of its size in the world, I began to notice the problem with eating the ridiculously cheap market food and salads, washed in local water. Unfortunately though, I cannot particularly blame the food or water as I’ve also had a raging fever for the past 24 hours and a belligerent head cold to match.

I must say, although I like to visit different places and different cultures, freezing my ears off on top of a mountain is not really my cup of tea. The bright light of the salt flats has additionally resulted in thorough sun burn and sun blindness resulting in an appearance much like the emperor off Star Wars.

One little nugget of useful information I’ve managed to obtain from this is that the local Mate ‘coca’ tea is really good at taming your altitude sickness! Although to be honest I’ve been finding it hard to tell the difference between altitude sickness and virus!

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I couldn’t resist a shot of this fantastic old beatle!

Unfortunately I can’t find The Fast Show ‘Jesse’s Diet’ (yoghurt) clip on youtube which I wanted to include…those of you who have seen it will know the one I was aiming for!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/fastshow/characters/jesse.shtml