As I reflect on the past three and a half months living at Red Frog I started thinking about all the things I liked about living here and realized that it really has been an orgy for my senses. Every day is a discovery of something new.
Living in a jungle and remote island is one big sensory overload most days. The daily experience is intoxicating.
Red Frog Beach: An Orgy for Your Senses
- The beautiful assortment of flowers all over our island – some with incredible smells.
- The smell of ocean air mixed with the rainy jungle earthy smell.
- The smell of early morning fires of the local Indians.
- Saturday morning baking – we started a tradition of trying to bake something tasty each Saturday and it always filled the house with a wonderful smell.
This is list could go on forever but the highlights include:
- A deserted Red Frog beach during an early (well not even early…10 AM) run.
- The abundant flora and fauna – red frogs, sloths, ants marching in straight lines to their queen with giant leaves on their backs, more types of birds than I could even begin to name, palm trees, banana trees, etc.
- Stella and Sebby’s face when they embarked on a new adventure
- The clear glass like ocean on our early morning boat rides to Bocas
- Lightening lighting up the sky on nighttime boat rides home from Bocas
- Star gazing on a clear night – you can see more stars than you think imaginable
- The brightness of night-time when there is a full moon – it is more like daybreak or sunset it’s so bright
- The darkness of night-time just after a full moon – you can barely see your hand in front of your face
- Pipa – fresh coconut water that is a definite thirst quencher
- Fresh clean water from our local freshwater well on Red Frog Beach
- Coconut oil – I cooked with it often
- Lemon grass – we could pick it right on our property and I learned to make some pretty amazing different recipes with it as well as lemon grass tea
- Fresh juice smoothies – I especially got addicted to the local frozen lemonade and loved La Buga’s “Tiger Tail” which was blended lemonade and ginger
- Patacones – such a bland accouterment but very addictive with a bit of hot sauce
- Bocas chocolate – tasty, organic and local – it’s an acquired taste but a rum ball or pot de crème from Super Gourmet is incredibly satisfying!
- Saltwater in my mouth from a “rocking” by a big wave
- Coconut oil on my skin – coconut oil is used for everything here: lotion/massage oil, bug repellent and of course cooking. It leaves your skin silky smooth.
- The sway of the water taxi as we crossed from Red Frog to Bocas and back – took me right back to my childhood on my Dad’s boat or friends pontoon, I wanted to go straight to sleep and Sebby usually did!
- Sand on my skin, between my toes and even in my mouth.
- The splash of waves against my body.
- The hand of Sebby or Stella as we walked to the boat dock, explored the island or went for a swim in the ocean.
- Sweat dripping from my body to be cooled by either a dip in the pool, ocean or a breezy boat ride.
The sounds of Red Frog Beach, I can’t even begin to describe it all to give it justice but I will try.
- The sounds of the jungle are so overwhelming some times. Crickets, all sorts of bugs, frogs, birds, etc. All singing at once! Wow. I will miss this the most.
- Middle of the night thunderstorms that jolt me out of bed. I lie in bed and just listen to the wonders of nature. They are powerful and amazing forces of nature that have the ability to clean the island, reshape the beach and completely knock down enormous palm trees.
- The waves crashing against the beach – we can even hear them from our villa nearly 400 meters from the beach.
- Hearing the locals of Bastimentos speak in their Guari-Guari, a local dialect used by Afro-Caribbean Panamanians. It almost sounds like music as they “sing song” talk to each other.
- Our family sing a longs – Justin loves to make up new songs to old lyrics and the kids love it too (and I admit, it’s a lot of fun for me too). Our current favorite is “Punta Lava” – sung to the tune of “Oh Pretty Baby” – that we sing as we load up to head to Red Frog and have a drink by the ocean at Punta Lava (the beach bar)
- The hum of a boat approaching as we wait on the dock for a water taxi to head into Bocas town.
And my favorite sense of all? The sense of calm we’ve all felt living here. The moments when we can just sit, relax and take it all in without the worry, stress and constant pull of life.
It’s been a great adventure and we look forward to returning here some time soon. We leave a week from Saturday and we plan to enjoy every minute we have left here.