San Blas islands, Panama | 24h in an unspoiled Caribbean heaven
Actually, I should have called this article “San Blas | The 24 most beautiful hours of my life”. 24 hours with no cell phone, no electricity and almost no water. Don’t even ask about Wi-Fi, because I will start laughing. It was just me, my swimsuit and my camera in a heaven-like place. I cry almost never, but in that place, a tear went down my cheek.
Looking for an excuse to finally upload all the incredible photographs I took in San Blas Islands, I decided that the best I could do is to describe to you everything I experienced in these islands, taking you, even for awhile, to a different world. A world, which is uncharted and dreamy.
I had already been 48 hours in Panama and specifically in Panama City, when the big day arrived. I could not wait for that particular flight, even before I leave from Cyprus, knowing that I would set my foot in a place only few people had the luck to do so. There were three ways for me to approach the islands from Panama, but I chose the easiest one. After a very short and turbulent, due to the weather conditions, flight with our 12 seater airplane, the smallest one I have been in, we arrived to the airport, which was located in one of the 378 islands there. A narrow runway in such a small island, leading directly to the water! I have to say that I was screaming “Oh God, help us!” during the landing.
I get out of the airplane and I felt it almost immediately. Thousands of… invisible mosquitoes were biting me, even if I could not see any of them. After I got over the shock from the flight (and from the mosquitoes) and after I was surrounded by the indigenous people called Kuna, who welcomed me with a wide smile, I got, along with 6-7 people, in a small boat to go to our cabins. We would spend that night in a small wooden cabin, built by the indigenous people on top of the water, with the endless blue as the background.
We arrived and my heart was beating really fast. My excitement was in the highest level and my smile was rather wide. I open the cabin’s door and I see the hammock in the balcony. “That would be my spot for the rest of the day!” I thought to myself and I smiled. Clearly, I was completely wrong.
That day, I had the most delicious fish of my life, from the kindest woman with the biggest and brightest smile I’ve ever seen. Τhe indigenous people, in the majority, are fishermen, so they know about fish. A visit to the nearby island Ailigandi, made clear to me that the natives are dedicated to their traditions, and this whole experience was not part of any destination tour guide. The Kuna indigenous people love their land, they respect it and they are not totally detached from the civilization but it is their very choice to live in this heavenly place. I played basketball with the children of the island, I danced traditional dances and I saw closely how hammocks are made, as well as the molas, the colorful and elaborate patterned cloth, traditionally made by the indigenous people in San Blas Islands.
When the sun began to set, we were taken to a small island, which had only one small wooden house and the cutest little monkey. There is this phrase “everywhere I look, I see a photograph”, which finds its true meaning in San Blas. Each passing minute, the colors of the sky were changing and the whole scenery seemed like a Windows wallpaper. My camera was on fire! I was swimming in the cold Caribbean water, along with the indigenous people and a little monkey. Sounds like a dream, right?
I will leave the rest to your imagination. The only thing I have to say is that at some point, after I went back to my cabin, with neither cell phone nor camera battery, I laid in my hammock and I watched the most beautiful sunset I have even seen in my life. I was feeling happiness and gratitude for being able to see such a spectacular sight. This feeling cannot be described. The beauty was inconceivable. Believe me. You would even shed a tear, too.
*** All photos are mine