Just got back from Islas Tobaga which is an hours boat ride from Panama City, where I just spent the last three days, and what a great little break it was. Its also know as the Island of Flowers (that may even be what Taboga means….I dunno!) and it really is covered in strong smelling flowers of every colour. I think the smelly ones were jasmine. The houses are old looking and colourful, and a bit quaint, and it has what is rumoured to be the second oldest church in all of the Americas. It has loads of history too, from Spanish colonisation to being a base for British pirates and more recently as a guard post for the US military to watch over the entrance to the canal.
I can also now say that I`ve sailed down the Panama canal by the way, after the boat trip there! Anyway, went on a pretty long hike up through the forest to the top of the hill (the island is basically a massive hill)checking out the wildlife and then having a sit down on a bunker at the top. I did the same trek via a different route the next day with a few tourists instead of just myself, plus a very friendly and manic Beagle that joined us as a free guide dog for the four hour trip.
Followed all that up with a long swim in the sea, and an evening chatting to an American couple, a young Argentine girl and the guy running the hostel, plus a pretty nice meal for 5 bucks at the local restaurant. Now I`m back in Panama City though and planning my route back to San Jose as I have little more than 2 weeks left. Next stop will be El Valle at the weekend to see the famous market there, and after that I will cross the border and go to Manuel Antonio national park for a wander about to catch sight of a few more animals.