We have heard about the Crocodile tours in San Blas for a long time but have never made it there. George and I talked about it and decided it was time to take a tour up there and experience it. George and Henny's daughter Brenda is visiting them and they thought she would probably enjoy it, and we arranged it so Kenia and Oscar could come as well. Pat and Harold picked up Blair and Joanne and the 3 Jeeps headed out about 9 am. We bounced and banged over big pot hole roads and around sharp mountain curves with only 1 Banjo break. Time to regroup. This was where we discovered that Blair was not feeling very well at all. His tummy was on the fritz.
We travelled up the road a bit farther to the banana bread vendor. Yummy banana bread but there was no butter to put on it. What is banana bread without butter??? Oh well
Another couple hundred yards down the road was the parking lot for the crocodile tours. By this time Blair was feeling really bad so Pat and Harold and Blair and Joanne parted company to spend some time on the beach before heading for home. We got on a tour almost immediately. 250 pesos each for a 2 hour tour. Not a bad deal!! So we were off in a panga with 10 people. The panga is a heavy fiberglass fishing boat that has been equipped with wooden seats for touring. They are very stable and because they are heavy, they are quite smooth to ride in. Perfect for what we were doing.
Our driver looked like a gangsta, but was very friendly. Couldn't speak a word of English which I wonder about because I bet half of their customers are gringo's right now.
Lots of crocs, birds, and turtles along the way. Here are some pictures of the first part of the trip.
We came across these interesting huts in the water so I asked what was their purpose thinking this may have been some place where young men were left in the dark to make them into men. Nope!!! They were built for a movie!!! So much for that great story!
The first part of the trip takes about 40 minutes and then we came to a water hole. There was a pumping station there so we guess this would be a fresh water source for the towns all along there. There is a restaurant there with a nice crystal clear pool to swim in. We had lunch there and swam for a while. They had a big poster advertising the Leopard that they had in the zoo which we will visit after lunch.
After we were filled up and refreshed, we headed further up the river to a place where they have some animals. Along the way we saw lots of turtles out sunning themselves on logs.
About 20 minutes later we arrived at the enclosures. All they really had were more crocodiles and lots of fish. We did see the leopard but the picture turned out real dark. Apparently they are breeding them here and repopulating them in their natural habitats.
There were lots and lots of cat fish if you bought some feed and threw it to them.
Kenia always finds something for a laugh.
The trip back was much quicker because we didn't slow down unless there was a really big croc. We did see a couple of them, but the wind in our hair was the real attraction going back.
We still had lots of daylight left so we stopped at the big pier at San Blas. It was a very nice walk out over the ocean and back.
The Muelle de Matanchen Pier has become one of the symbols of the San Blas region.
At the end of the Matanchen Pier is a statue dedicated to the "Loca de San Blas" (Madwoman of San Blas). Apparently a young lady who was mentally unstable and quite eccentric, fell in love with a fisherman from San Blas. They were to be married, but he went out fishing 2 weeks before the wedding and a hurricane came along and he was never heard of again. She waited for 41 years for him here to return here at the pier, but he never did and she died in 2012 at the age of 63 with a broken heart. She sold candy on the pier while waiting for him so when she died, the government made sure her ashes were spread in the sea off the pier, so she could be reunited with her lover. A famous band has made a song about her as well.
We got a nice picture while we were out there without the loco lady!!
We did see a ship off in the distance sailing to somewhere? There are apparently lots of larger fishing boats based out of San Blas but seeing them is an adventure for another day.
I forgot to mention that the service at the little restaurant at the pools on the boat trip, left a lot to be desired. Kenia asked twice for her lunch and when it finally came it was not even the right thing, so she went hungry. We stopped on the road home at Aticama to grab a bite to eat so she wouldn't starve.
The little bay beside the restaurant is a popular fishing marina with lots of boats on the beach. We watched a little one leave. The water is quite shallow so they have to row it out a long ways.
When I looked over the edge of the patio at the restaurant there were a couple of guys taking a break. That tire looks really comfortable. Think I'm gonna find one of them. We had a fun day today. Goodnight.
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