Friday, August 19, 2011


Written on the tiny Isla Granito de Oro.  11:30 AM  19/6/2011
"I'm stranded on the tiny Isla Granito de Oro.  Basically, it's a hill in the middle of the emerald green ocean full of crabs and frigatebirds.  A patch of forest stands behind me as I sit on this very high traffic beach full of hermit crabs.  As I sit in the warm sand, hundreds of them have changed their course towards me! However, they never get brave enough to crawl on me.  Curious little creatures!  My friends are snorkeling and I'm enjoying the peace and quiet. I take my camera around this tiny island and snap shots here and there.
I can't imagine it would be a lot of fun getting stranded on an island because it's hot and humid with very little shade.  And the shade that does exist is within the thick vegetation full of critters!  There's lots of water, but it's all the wrong kind.  Too salty. I sit under a mangrove tree watching the thousands of hermit crabs climb all over as they scavenge the beach for anything edible...or find a bigger shell to call home. 
I physically walked around this little island in a matter of 10 minutes.  The center part has a large portion of trees. Another side is all rocks full of large black crabs which connects to a smaller grassy knoll.  The tide is low, but when it's high, the large sandy beach disappears. While we've been here in these briefest hours, I'm shocked at how much wildlife I've already seen. My friends are witnessing the great coral reefs around these islands, but I'm also getting a fantastic look above ground.  We've spent months planning for this trip looking specifically for isolated places in Panama.  Many of these trips require an experienced guide to help us fully see everything in these far reaching paradises.
This kind of trip isn't for everyone.  It's only a matter of time before I can't do these things anymore.  I like getting older and I love travel.  But I'm also beginning to like comfort more now as well.  Certain countries require things from the traveller.  There's a reason why these places are isolated!  I'm not saying that this particular type of trip will soon end as I still have another 10 years before I retire into the European style travel:)  That's why I did Machu Picchu in 2008.  The Inca Trail was tough for me, but when I saw 80 year olds hike past me, I was motivated to push my limitations.   But our guide, Javier, told us why many birders won't come to this pristine and fabulous feathered's too wild.  I understand most of you birders because I do like my bed and breakfasts, but you need to know that this Coiba island experience was amazing:).  You'll see different kinds of birds here that you wouldn't spot on Pipeline Road in the Scarlet Macaw!!  Javier is an avid birder who is a magnet for these feathered creatures as he whistles his magical tunes.....and they come.

A hermit crab snaps me back from my ramblings.  Who knows if I'll ever be back here again?  But it doesn't matter because I'm here now....on this little island of gold."
Off to snorkeling above....
The rocky side of the island which is covered by water during the high tide.

Shells, among other things, are protected in the national park system.  So no souvenirs for home except pictures:)


  1. The older I get, the more comfort I require. Was a time when I would camp, now I require a real bed. LOL

  2. oh my goodness....this is fabulous
    I would have loved to this when I was young
    but didn't know it then
    and now it is beyond my ability...I know this despite the 80 year old
    passing you...I can't believe you went there too!
    ah I honor you and your reaching for life
    and all its joys and beauty
    more photos please

  3. That isle is exactly what I need for a few days! The wildlife - so unique from my perspective.

    1. Better hurry, next year the water will be up to the tree's knees

  4. Wow, sounds like a wonderful place to relax and have adventures at the same time! Great pictures!
    Thanks for visiting my site and for your comment.

  5. No way I would do this, so thanks for taking me along!


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