(Isla Linton, Panama)
After a day of riding the local Diablo buses – old tricked-out school buses that, stop after stop, continue to challenge the maximum load capacity – yesterday to make a grocery store and hardware store run, today was all about maxing and relaxing.
What better way to start the morning than the inaugural round of Isla Linton’s Pro Wakeboard Tour. Albiet our wake boat is only slightly smaller than the usual MasterCrafts of the tour, the 30hp Yammy tows like a true beast. Greg threw down his usual tricks ripping and spinning on the sloppy skim board, Maria worked the huge wake getting airborne on the kiteboard, and I finally nailed the elusive 180. High scores all around and all before lunch.
For lunch we all had a date with a pitcher of Sangria at Panamarina’s French Restaurant. Yup, a French Restaurant in the middle of the Panamanian jungle. Pretty luxe, and a good excuse to stay at this anchorage till Tuesday when it was back open. The Sangria was phenomenal and the real icecream was a true treat, but it was the commute to the restaurant that was the real cherry on top.
Our current anchorage at Isla Linton is connected to the bay of Panamarina by an enchanting mangrove tunnel. A 10 minute dinghy ride through incredible root systems and completely enclosing overhead vegetation. Now that’s how you get to a restaurant!
Now there’s only one thing that could add to a day as great as today and that’s watching Greg getting slapped around by a monkey!
Isla Linton is an uninhabited island except for a family of spider monkeys. We pulled the dinghy up to the dilapidated dock and I was seriously weirded out by these monkeys walking out of the jungle on their hind legs displaying exactly why the theory of evolution stands. Standing at 3-4 feet they were so human-like in the way they interacted with us. Reaching out to grab food we had brought for them.
Before we went for our visit we had heard they can get kind of violent. Especially when you go to leave. This didn’t stop Greg from plunking himself down right between them and they all four got along just swell. Later when I thought about taking a seat the emotions of our little encounter started to shift. They seemed to be over the treats we brought them and were at a loss as to what to think of us. In short, one monkey left, another started doing a lot of yelling, and I didn’t sit down.
Greg took hold of the camera and started getting arty. When Greg attempted to take a close-up of the “friendly one” he obviously broke some personal space boundary and paid the price. It happened so quick, but that monkey packed one hell of a one-two punch combo. His right hand smacked Greg in the face while his left came in from the top grabbing a chunk of beach-blonde hair that could be seen in hand after the two parted. All three of us had a good laugh and the human-primate borderlines were created.
I’ll see if I can get a video of the Pro Tour put together and get it up here later. Until then, know I finally got the dive video up from the Coco Banderos. Check it out here.