|Beautiful Mago Mago Island in the Last Perlas Islands ("Pearl Island" in English), |
site of the 2003 season of the CBS series "Survivor."
While Chris stayed aboard Espiritu to continue her repairs, I was treated to a two night sailing trip to the Las Perlas Islands with our good friends Howard and Lynn aboard Swift Current.
|The Last Perlas Islands are a mere 30 miles south of Panama City. |
But with their pristine beauty and isolation, they may as well be thousands of miles away
Many of our cruising friends whom have sailed south with us from Mexico and through central America have gone directly through the Canal to the Caribbean, skipping these islands entirely.
Honestly, it's a head scratcher. But, we all do crazy things that noone else understands, right?My aim here is to make sure that noone else makes the same mistake.
|Our first stop: Isla Contadora|
After being nearly capsized aboard our dinghy several times at the surf beaches of Costa Rica, beaching the dinghy here was a real pleasure. Yes, it's as calm as it looks, folks.
FUN FACT: Isla Contadora became the new home of The exiled Shah of Iran after he was ousted out of his home country by the Iranian Revolution back in the late '70's. We never saw him during our trip, since we're pretty sure he's dead. But I kept my eyes peeled just in case.
|We saw Abe Vigoda in an Upper West Side coffee shop a couple of years ago,|
and we thought HE was dead, too. So one never knows.
|The bustling beach of Isla Contadora|
|OK, we can live with this!|
Isla Contadora is the most populated of all of the Las Perlas. There are a few charming waterfront establishments such as this one, the "Restaurant Romantico." Interestingly, many of the businesses on the island have the word "Romantico" built within the name. And why not?
|It's golf carts only on the winding roads of Isla Contadora|
|Orchids take root on the telephone wires|
Even the weeds are beautiful here! If you look carefully, you'll see a
garden variety chain-link fence being overtaken by the flora and fauna...
We looked for Turtle and Ari aboard this yacht named Entourage, but they
stayed inside the cabin...probably watching satellite TV in the air conditioning. :-/
|Flowers grow right out of the sidewalk on Contadora|
|Aerial view of the island|
|And like literally every little town in Latin America, there's a soccer field|
On day two we pulled anchor with our friends aboard Rapscullion and Precious Metal and
headed to the nearby islands of Isla Chapera and Mogo Mogo.
|Aerial view of the islands|
Yes, "Survivor" was here, back when it was still cool (IMHO).
We stopped watching it after the novelty wore off within the first couple of seasons.
|I'm pretty sure this is what heaven looks like|
|We snorkeled this thriving reef in 85 degree water. Swift Current sits at anchor in the distance.|
|We took the dink and went ashore on Survivor Island (Mogo Mogo). |
No sign of Jeff Probst or Elizabeth Hasselbeck...
|...but I think I might have smelled the remnants of Rupert...|
|Rupert and Zach Galafanikis: separated at birth?|
Anyway, a big hug and special thanks to our wonderful friends Howard and Lynn, who generously took me along for this trip to the islands.
|Are they cute, or what?|
So Chris and I remain here in the Flamenco Marina in Panama City working to restore Espiritu to her previous glory so that we can continue our sailing adventure. More to follow...