Zapatillas Island, Panama
As we sat on the dock at Hotel Angela, we became increasingly anxious. Would he show up? Should we go with Evil Guy? Twenty minutes later, we were even more anxious. Maybe I’m not as good a judge of character as I thought. I worried even more, because this time I’m not just making decisions for me but also for my friend who decided to trust me and tag along. I wonder if maybe Raul was just taking us for our money.
Evil Guy returns for a second time, more aggressive than ever, offering (ordering?) us a ride on his boat to Zapatillas Island off the coast of Panama. It’s a deserted island where a Survivor season was filmed, and is supposed to be simply amazing. I really don’t like this Evil Guy, but today is our only chance to see the island and we really want to go. We reluctantly agree to go with him. As we’re climbing into the boat, Raul shows up just in the nick of time. He argues with Evil Guy in Spanish, and kindly instructs us to get into his boat. We happily oblige. Evil Guy is even angrier than before, yelling at us and Raul, but we breath a sigh of relief knowing we won’t have to spend the day with him. Then we’re off to boat around the Caribbean!
The first stop is Dolphin Bay, where we spot a couple of dolphins off in the distance. The driver starts doing donuts in the water, and the dolphins follow suit, chasing the boat. There are two, then three, then four dolphins. All jumping and chasing the boat. We drive through some mangroves, enjoying the peaceful scenery and anticipating what’s next.
As we approach Zapatillas Island I can’t believe my eyes. A perfect little uninhabited island on a perfect little day just for us. White sand beaches, lush green palm trees, crystal clear blue water, bright blue skies, and not another boat or person in sight. It’s quite possibly the most beautiful sight I’ve seen, and still is the most beautiful beach I’ve been too. And best of all, we appear to have it all to ourselves!! The water is the perfect temperature and so salty we float effortlessly. We happily splash around, returning to childhood, doing handstands, somersaults in the water. We eventually decide to walk around the island, which takes maybe an hour. We finally encounter other people on the opposite side of the island, but we’re smug knowing that our side is far superior. As the day winds down, Raul has to coax us back in the boat to return to Bocas. As we get into the boat, we breath a sigh of relief knowing that we chose good over evil this day.