Thank God it’s Friday, Thank God it’s Friday!
*Chants and does a hop, skip, and jump*
I’m particularly excited because this marks my penultimate week of classes as a graduate student. I’m almost delirious with happiness; which will probably only last till its time to find a job. Haha!
In March of this year, I went on a health mission to Panama with a great crew of students in varying fields of healthcare. If you’re new to the blog, I wrote a bit about the work we did here.
When we weren’t working, we played games, danced salsa, played more games, caught up with school work and went on some excursions. Two of the excursions brought us to one of my favorite places – the beach.
Sometimes I’ll get asked “what happens at the beach?” and my response is usually “what needs to happen?”. There’s a vast body of water (in differing shades of blue), that looks neverending like the horizon. There’s the contrast between the ocean and the sand where the tide meets land, the calming or roaring sounds of waves crashing on the shore, fish, seashells (which I like to collect)… I could sit for a good hour on a nice beach doing nothing. Beaches can be absolutely beautiful; and for me, this is enough.
With that being said, you can still make your own fun at the beach. At a beach in Los Santos -whose name escapes me- we danced bachata on the black sand, waded in the water until too many people (3 is plenty) got bitten by jellyfish, talked, and generally enjoyed each other’s company.
At playa arenal, we filled two boats that took us to the secluded wildlife reserve known as Isla Iguana (Iguana Island) (~20 mins from playa arenal). This small but beautiful island protects different species of birds, iguanas, fish and coral reef.
As we approached the island, I noticed the sky was filled with an incredible amount of birds. These birds are apparently native to the area and often stay in the air for up to 4 days! Throughout our time there, I didn’t see one bird come down to the beach or the water.
On the beach, it’s not uncommon to see several tiny hermit crabs. Don’t worry, they retreat into their shell once you come too close.
In the hour and a half we had, we walked around the reserve, took photos, picked up seashells and sea glass, walked through the water, and marveled at how pristine the island was. It’s nice to see that effort is being put into preserving the island and the wildlife that inhabit it.
Sadly, shortly before the sun began to set, it was time to head back to our hostel. Sigh, sometimes I find it difficult to properly articulate my experiences, but if you’re in, or can get to Pedasi, the boat ride to Isla Iguana is definitely worth it.
Note: Each boat cost us $70 which is quite pricey if you’re alone, but if you have a small group, splitting the fare equally will help offset some of that cost.
Are any of my readers from Panama? + If you haven’t been to Isla Iguana, is it something you’d like to do? Leave me a comment to let me know.
thank you for reading
All photos shot & edited on iPhone 6s+
same footprints, different sands