Find your roots and grow, wherever you go. Travel-Yoga-Lifestyle

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Jungle Livin’ in the Cloud Forest

The bus from Bocas del Toro to David roared up mountain roads until we finally arrived at our stop. What seemed to be the middle of nowhere, the path into the mountain would take us to the Lost and Found, a unique jungle lodge set on the side of a mountain in the cloud forest of the Chiriquí province. I lugged my monstrosity of a backpack up the trail that had encouraging signs along the way giving me hope that we would soon reach our sanctuary on the hill. The lodge slowly came into view. With triple bunk high dorms, a full use kitchen complete with a vegetable shelf and pantry in case you need more provisions and it’s own bar with a light machine. Not too bad for being out in ‘the middle of nowhere’. The Lost and Found is also home to an adorable honey bear named Rocky, make sure to give him some love. IMG_7044The cool climate was a huge change from being in Bocas, bringing out the tights and poncho in the evenings, although as soon as you go into the valley the heat is back, as we found on our trip to the Los Posoz de Caldera hot springs, located next to Rio Caldera. The 3 natural pools were teeming with geo-thermal energy and minerals. Not too crowded and so nourishing, and the river close by was a welcome relief from the heat coming at you at all angles.IMG_7108IMG_7103 As they too claim, Lost and Found is the perfect base to venture off into the jungle on hikes in search of amazing viewpoints, beautiful wildlife and river sanctuaries. The lodge’s “Treasure Hunt” sent us off for a day of riddle-breaking and running around prehistoric looking tree roots, across rivers and down jungle trails feeling like Indiana Jones. The satisfaction of solving riddles and finding the clues hidden in the wilderness were just lovely side aspects to an awesome hike through the enchanted forest.IMG_7056IMG_7094IMG_7066 The bar featured great drink prices and games, including giant jenga, so when you’re not on a night hike or enjoying the mountain breeze you can hang in the ambience, listen to some tunes and kick it with some cool people.IMG_7097IMG_7102 IMG_7117

At night when cicadas, music and happy voices are all you hear, you almost forget you’re on the side of a mountain, until you feel the wind, hear the rustling trees and feel oh so lucky to have wound up in the Lost and Found.

Going from David or from Bocas, just tell the bus driver to let you off at the Lost and Found. It sounds sketchy, but they will know what it is, there’s only one road. Email ahead to confirm a reservation!

What other ‘hidden gems’ have you been to? Any eco-lodges in the forest I should know about?


Isla Bastimentos: A Magic Island Paradise

Upon the first arrival the little town on Isla Bastimentos of ‘Old Bank’ was almost creepy. Sure there is some trash, initially a feeling of where the hell am I and a few dogs that may make you feel a little uneasy, but all that quickly faded away as the hours went by here on the island. Raw jungle and shoreline, eating worm-filled guavas, making smoothies from jackfruit and indulging in a superfood green that grows on the island known as ‘chaya’, this place is ethereally beautiful, vibrant and colourful, sounds and tastes so pure. You can see it in the people here too, their way of life just so real and seeming to just give off this essence of ‘human’. IMG_6856IMG_6853IMG_6913Hostel Bastimentos is home for now, with comfortable and airy dorms set on top of a hill overlooking the water. If you take the back door and continue up the hill you will come to ‘Coffee up in the Hill’, a little organic coffee shop in a prime location that serves up delicious coffees, teas, fresh fruit juices and crazy good chocolate brownies. They also sell raw cacao, homemade coconut oil body products and lovely handmade jewelry. Try the chaya empanada, it’s worth it. The perfect place to spend a bit of time before heading over to Wizards Beach, a 20 or so minute walk from here, where swimming and surfing are both possible, just be careful of the strong rip currents.IMG_6933 IMG_6927IMG_6937The island has a couple of grocery stores but not too much so if you want anything special it’d be better to get it at nearby Isla Colon, or Bocas town, a short and fun 3 dollar boat trip. Although Wizards Beach in all it’s glory is kind of hard to escape, another amazing spot is Polo Beach. Straight out of an ‘Islands’ magazine for sure. This beach features the clearest water I have ever swam in hands down. So surreal and mythical, backed by the jungle and kissed by the sun, it’s rays dance off the glassy waters. We were so lucky to have a group of local jungle boys sweep us there by boat with their cute dogs, where they ripped out into the jungle to find us iguanas. They didn’t come back with iguanas, but their friendliness and willingness to help really resonates the feeling of this island.IMG_6953 IMG_6955If you don’t feel like making the trip to the big island for some restaurant eats, there are a couple little ones here that have been tried and tested by many. ‘Alvins’, just to the left of the town’s ‘park’ is right on the water and has decently priced casado like dishes, and of course fresh seafood. I have yet to check it out, but apparently there is a Thai restaurant up in the hill cooking up tasty concoctions. If I get tired of eating chaya and beans I will have to try it out. If you’re looking for ‘nightlife’, you won’t really find it here, yet a quick ride over to Caranero Island or Colon will satisfy the party craving. The other night we hit ‘Blue Bar’ a bar over the water with a huge deck where they just so happened to be featuring a live band. Live and extremely loud, and actually quite good. Locals filled this place, and it made for a fun night of sipping rum ‘n’ such under the bright moonlight and hanging with awesome people. There are no cars on this part of the island, so a quick hop down the footpath to the sanctuary of the hostel makes for a perfect evening. IMG_7029Bastimentos is truly magical. Being so close to the earth and surrounded in it’s loving embrace, time doesn’t like to make itself known here. And you just can’t beat making dinner to an amazing view, watching dolphins jump in the bay as your chaya boils.

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Beautiful Bocas del Toro, Panama

Hola amigos! I have been having internet issues/it doesn’t exist where I’m staying so this is my attempt at updating and sharing some beauty in a little slice of a technological flyer. What beautiful days these have been. Now in Bocas del Toro, Panama, on the big island of Isla Colon, or Bocas Town. Didn’t even plan to come here but glad I did! The islands of Bocas are made up of a bunch of beautiful lush swimming and surfing spots, busy and bustling like the hostels in town and muy tranquilo on the smaller islands when you need (102) Currently staying at Hostel Heike in Bocas Town, a very cool hostel with a super friendly staff, free coffee and pancakes in the morning with fresh grated cacao. The first day here we checked out Playa Estrellas or ‘Starfish Beach’ which was calm as can be and perfect for swimming. We only saw one starfish but it was indeed lovely. Yesterday we biked to Playa Bluff, such a magical place, not for swimming but the waves are fit for surfing. The sight of this beach and the waves really blew me away. A nice 30 or so minute ride unless your chain falls off multiple (99)

First delicious hostel meal in Panama.

First delicious hostel meal in Panama.

It is so beautiful here I can barely handle it. Looking at the glowing moon from our rooftop patio in such a heavenly light I feel like I can reach out and touch it. Breathe it all in. Drink it all in ever so slowly as this is now. Do it now, whatever it is that feels right. If it doesn’t, let it go, but wherever you are, really see it. Vibrant colours, smells, tastes and sounds. All of these combinations of senses that equal our human experience. Heart open and mind clear, feet free and arms reaching up we dive into the beautiful unknown of the present, every moment is purely magic. Allow it to flow through you. It is (103)photo (104)

Have you explored Bocas del Toro? What are your favorite places here?