Yesterday was my first full day in Bocas and I don’t start volunteering at the school til Tuesday so I had nothing to do so I just walked around the town trying to figure out where everything is etc. Where I live is about 5 seconds from Main Street, and when you go round the corner from my street to main street you pass the port of Bocas Del Toro:
It was SO hot yesterday, at least 30 I think. I was walking around for about an hour and in that time I drank my whole 750ml of water and even after that I had a headache when I got back and had to lie in a hammock drinking water and eating crisps for like half an hour to recover!!! I guess I’ll have to get used to it.
Anyway the shops here sell a lot more than I thought they would. There isn’t much I can think of that’s in the fridge in my parents’ house that you couldn’t get here, except the meat substitutes like veggie burgers. The prices are higher than England for all the imported things (so basically everything except eggs and some fruit), so for example a packet of spaghetti (£1 in England) is about $2.50, but it was my choice to come to an island so I shouldn’t complain.
The one thing that won’t be so easy to shop for here is clothes. There are a lot of touristy shops with souvenir t-shirts and bags etc. They do have normal clothes in there too but they’re not very well organised and there’s nowhere to try them on and there isn’t much variety of sizes etc. I don’t want to buy loads of clothes but for example I want a plain black vest top kind of thing but yesterday I couldn’t find one anywhere.
In one shop I bought 3 bananas and 2 plantains and I didn’t know how much they’d cost before I went to the till, so I was expecting about $2, but it was only 80c!!! Now I know what I’m gonna be living on if I’m broke!
While I was on the road, a guy with dreadlocks said “rasta!” as he walked past me so I decided to ask him where the reggae/dancehall clubs are, which led to more conversation and in the end he walked round town with me and a girl from the hostel showing us different things. He took us to the fire station, where they still have, next to the normal fire engines, the first ever fire engine they had here! This is me and him on the old fire engine:
He also showed us the sports hall which had a basketball hoop at each end and a volleyball net in the middle (which you can obviously take out), and really old wooden bleachers (only about 5 rows high). He said the basketball season has finished now and doesn’t restart til February but during the season there are games there and teams come from the other nearby islands etc. You can go there at any time when it’s open and just play without paying or anything, and there are balls in a cupboard there apparently, so hopefully I can find a basketball buddy soon.