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Holiday Hullabaloo: Chapter 5

Beautiful Bonaire, sea day, the Panama Canal and then some...

sunny 27 °C

The last port was Kralendijk, Bonaire and it could get any prettier, it did. Bonaire is famous for its scuba diving and windsurfing. They are also home to a protected mangrove forest and plenty of its own history. While dad took in the latter, the boys hopped a boat to dive in the national marine reserve and mom and I kayaked our way through the mangrove forest.

The island was beautiful, whether you were on land, on the water or under the water. Unfortunately, we had the shortest time in Bonaire and after our activites and checking off quite a but of avian and marine life (jellyfish, baby barracudas, brightly colored parrot fish, tarpin, pufferfish, corals, crabs, and more) we boarded the ship for the last time.

The day ended unfortunately when Marty caught the Dutch Antillean version of Montezuma's Revenge. Luckily our next and last day was at sea so he didn't miss much other than the Royal Caribbean Belly-Flop contest and the Miss Royal Caribbean pageant which I'm sure was a real disappointment for him.

Dec. 28th we were back in Colon, Panama where we had left from and were making our way later that day to Bocas del Toro, a sleepy little backpackers paradise on the northern Caribbean side of Panama. On the trip back we stopped at the Panama Canal's Gatun Locks (1 of the canals 3 locks) and saw a huge cargo ship making its way from the Caribbean side to the Pacific (in the mornings ships pass from Caribbean to Pacific and in the afternoon the locks work in the opposite direction). Its pretty amazing to see these huge ships pass through the canal, being pulled through and raised up with the narrowest of margins on either side. There may be as little as a foot between the ship and the walls of the canal. The photos will show a little better how the whole system works, but its pretty fascinating to watch and I don't have a drop of engineering blood in body. That's saying something.

After the Gatun Locks we caught our flight up to Bocas del Toro although upon arrival we were a few bags lighter than when we started. Apparently if your bags are too heavy, they just don't put them on the plane until they feel like it so 3 of our 5 checked bags didn't make it until the next morning.

We checked into our hotel in Bocas del Toro called Playa Tortuga and settled down to relax for the next couple of days.

Posted by tuffchix 13:58 Archived in Panama Tagged family_travel

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