THE WEEKLY #104: PANAMA CITY & BOCAS DEL TORO

After our San Blas Adventure, Josh and I grabbed a private room at Hostel Casa Areka in Panama City. With a fridge, a desk and pancakes included for breakfast we were on for a solid week. We had five nights in Panama City and we decided to hit the ground running. Literally.

I’ve been stepping up my running for the last few weeks with 30km a week on average and this week the goal was to do 50km for the week. The second goal was for one of the runs to be a half-marathon. I’ve never run more than 10km before this year so I’m entering unfamiliar territory. I ended up getting through the half-marathon in under 2-hours thanks to Josh my pacer. We also threw in four outdoor gym workouts for good measure.

People always ask me how to stay fit when they travel. They ask as if it is some sort of magic workout or secret formula. I’m not in any insane shape but if you want to stay in shape while you backpack around the world you have to push yourself to workout or run when the timing sucks. In fact, the timing almost always sucks. You are tired from an adventure, in a cluttered dorm room, it’s raining, there’s no park, there’s no gym, it’s boiling hot, it’s dangerous. There are always so many reasons you can use at any given time of why the workout can wait til tomorrow. So, like I tell the people who ask, to stay fit while traveling, you need to want to stay fit while traveling. You need to want it enough that you don’t reach for those excuses. You just get it done consistently.

I’m no motivational athlete coach or anything like that. Here is my outlook on staying fit while traveling. Eat relatively healthy but enjoy local foods. Make the time workout every second day at least while you are on the road traveling. You might not become as ripped as your mates back home who are gymming daily and eating broccoli and chicken from their meal prep containers. However, they aren’t doing their morning run along the canal in Panama. They aren’t working out on the beach in Bali and they definitely aren’t seeing all of the cool places around the world. That’s the trade-off. Convenience for the experience.

That’s what I tell myself as I run in wet shoes every day here in Panama that never seem to dry…

Anyway, enough about how to be mega fit and travel. Panama was pretty rad. We called our week the Panama Boot camp!

 

Pema joined up with us and we headed to Bocas Del Toro. It’s an epic little set of islands on the coast of Panama near Costa Rica. In the right weather, it is absolute paradise. Unfortunately, the rainy season was unforgiving and we only had about 8 hours of sunshine in 8 days. We made the most of the sun we had while shooting and hanging out at Azul Paradise. It’s an over the water bungalow style accommodation, which was bloody awesome even in the moody conditions. Luckily we had sun for the shoot there and to get to see the over-water bungalows in their prime.

 

We cruised the mangroves and found a few sloths, which was super cool and something we all checked off our Panama bucket list!

 

Our last 3 days on Isla Colon, Bocas Del Toro was pretty average to be fair although we did have one ripper sunset.

We all crammed into a one bedroom Airbnb and it rained for 90$ of the time. Josh and I took the bikes up north one day and ended up carrying our bikes through the jungle in the thunderstorm for over 3 hours. The total bike trip took 9 hours and it was just pretty messy. We crossed a number of rivers and were both knee-deep in mud at one stage. One of the tires popped and we ended up catching a taxi home for the last stretch with our bikes in the back of the truck. The next day we got the hell out of the shitshow, which is Bocas right now (cool place, terrible weather currently) and headed to Boquete, a hiking/waterfall town for a new week of adventures!

These are the other photographic highlights of the week. Hope you are all having a good start to this week!

 

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Discussion about this post

  1. Garrett says:

    I’ve enjoyed following your travels over the last 10 months as I’ve prepared for my own yearlong backpacking adventure in Southeast Asia. I’m in Malaysia now and heading to Indonesia tonight. Thanks for the inspiration.

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