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  • Day141

    Santa Catalina

    May 17, 2017 in Panama ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

    To get to Santa Catalina on public transport I had to take 4 different busses. The first to David where I changed to a bus for Santiago. From here to Zona and from there to Santa Catalina. All busses were running regularly except for the last to Santa Catalina. This one was only running every 2 hours and the last one was at around 5. But I left Boquete early and even made it to the 3 o'clock bus to Santa Catalina.
    In Santa Catalina I was staying at Villa Vento Surf. I had talked to Steven, the guy who runs the hostel, when I was looking for a volunteering position a few weeks back. He had offered me to work for free accommodation but as I ended up at Rapture in Nicaragua I didn't take his offer. But now I still wanted to see the place. It was a nice hostel and Steve and the girls working there were fun. I probably could have had a got time there but it was nothing compared to Rapture.
    I was looking forward to surf again so the first thing I did was heading down to the beach to check where I could rent a board for the next days. There was a point break which I was a little afraid to surf but also a beach break for less advanced surfers at the beach the other end of town. My hostel was kind of "in the center" which was basically one road with a few hostels, restaurants and shops with a small town beach which was nice for watching the sunset. From here a long road let along some more spread out hostels and restaurants towards the main surf beach where it had some more hostels right at the beach.
    I figured I should rent a board at one of the hostels at the beach so I wouldn't have to carry it all the way along the road as It took almost half an hour to get there.
    Walking along the road the place felt kind of deserted. Most restaurants were closed and I met almost nobody on the street. Here you could really feel it was off-season. When I got to the beach I was pretty disappointed to learn that the hostels here were only renting 8' softtops - a kind of board I had outgrown by now. The next morning I went back for high tide (which was the right time to surf this beach) hoping I would meet somebody who would know where to get a proper board. I saw to girls who were using exactly the kind of board I was looking for so I just asked if maybe the rented them somewhere around here. Turned out they were their own boards but they offered me to use them right away! Super nice. So ended up spending the morning with them surfing and chilling at the beach talking about life.
    In the afternoon I went to a nice restaurant overlooking the beach to write for my blogg but I ended up talking to a guy I met. He was from El Salvador but was working in a Hostel in Santa Catalina. We met again that night for dinner and he told me a lot about his country. It was nice because as I had been to El Salvador I could relate to lots of the things he was saying. He confirmed that the guy we met at the soccer game at Sonsonate was most definitely a member or leader of one of the big gangs in El Salvador. He explained a bit about the whole situation with gangs running the country but also confirmed what I had been telling everybody who was shocked I went to El Salvador. Even though there might be a lot of crime it's not dangerous for tourists as it doesn't concern you.
    The next day I took the only board we had at our hostel and carried it all the way to the beach as I didn't wanna trust my luck to meet someone who's willing to give me his board again. After another morning of surfing and chilling at the beach I spend the afternoon in a spot overlooking the pointbreak writing my blogg. Even though no one was surfing it was nice watching the waves from here.
    At night I had dinner at the hostel talking to Simon. We shared his left over rum and exchanged travel experiences.
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