Thu 21/03-2013 Day 429

My own 'Isla Corgido'

Pos: here
Loc: Isla Corgido
Acc: tent
Dist: 31,1 km
Start: 6:50 End: 15:10

When I was packing this morning, the tiny man came up again to watch curiously, and maybe to try and make more business? Sorry, I was pissed from yesterday’s request, and packed without taking much notice of him apart from a friendly smile for “Buenas Dias” and “Tschau, gracias!” And no, I didn’t pack any of “his” coconut!

This wreck of a yacht is another victim of the rough Caribbean Sea


The paddle across a channel to the shelter of the next reef was a bit rough, but soon inside the large wide reef there were only small wind waves to bother me – apart from the wind… Well, it has been stronger, but the constant now maybe 10 knots are draining also. Plus there must be a current going against me, as I am now not able to get over 4 km/h on average. At least 0,5 km/h more than on the first days…

A small white coral island


But I really enjoyed the view of the islands, the yachts became more scattered and fewer, and occasionally I paddled over very shallow beautiful reef spots. I stopped once on a tiny small coral island with just two palm trees and no hut – deal for camping! But this one was too close to another very inhabited one, and too early anyway to stop. I stopped on a second one, ideal with a beautiful reef, white sandy beach, and airy open palm trees giving a bit of shade, but it had a small now empty palm tree leaves hut, which I was not sure if some one would come back at night to live in there…they have different ideas of a “comfortable” hut and household to our European standards! And this hut had a laundry line with a towel…

Beach, reef, palm trees...
A brief rest at a sandy island spit
Caribbean Idyll...
A small white coral island


I stopped on a third island with a beautiful white large sandy spit, not inhabited, but with mangroves and HOT as hell here! No breeze going through the trees, and no wonder no one lives here.

It was close to 3 pm, and I thought to paddle another 10 km until 5 pm today. But then I saw “HER” coming up – my personal dream island! It was about 50 x 50 meters, and I didn’t spot a hut or any sign of human beings! It had a white beach with a reef, some palm trees letting the breeze through and giving shade, and no other inhabited islands in sight. I needed to stop on this one for the night! It was a bit too early, but…I didn’t see any “ideal” islands in the distance, they all looked like mangrove islands with again many yachts anchoring. And I also guessed I saw a village on the main land soon, which were actually even two villages, I learned later! So *this* one would be ideal now, and I thought I deserved an early stop!

My very own island, my very own “Caribbean feeling” for tonight! I would relax my skin after I going snorkelling on the reef, and would feel just like Robinson Crusoe!

I was just unloading my kayak, when a motor cayoco with three local guys came up to “my” island!!! 🙁 They liked to know my whereabouts, and I was able to “impress” the guys with my trip, and me being so bold to be by myself… They came from the first mainland village, spoke good Spanish, and we actually chatted nicely for a while. I looked at their catch in the boat – octopus, many conchas (those BIG local mussles), three big lobsters and one fish. They were out diving after those treats! I actually remembered I was passing their boat quite close. No wonder they were curious to meet me! I signed them three cards, which obviously pleased them a lot, as I took an interest in their names. And then I pulled out my “last secret weapon” – some sheets I printed out at home from the internet with some translated Kuna words and phrases! I asked them for help with pronounciation, and we had some fun “reading” the Kuna words and the Spanish and even English translations. They eventually even presented me a very pretty small concha shell they were diving for (fortunately “empty” and small, as the conchas can get BIG, up to 50 cm or such and heavy!)

They eventually left me alone after maybe 1/2 hour, obviously very pleased to have met me. I also was pleased about their friendliness and politeness! I think I am now of an age where I rather gain respect from young men than desire, and I enjoy telling them my age :-))) I just hope they won’t spread the word too much in their village on the mainland for more company to come up to “my” island! 🙂 But I didn’t know at that point I’d decide to stay one day to recover my skin.

The campsite was ideal: shady, breezy, and a bit hidden under the trees. No falling coconut risk, and I will recover tomorrow in my best private hotel I can get!

The snorkelling was so beautiful I can’t really describe everything. I also decided *not* to take underwater pictures, though my small camera should be capable of that. But I don’t want to risk it breaking some how…even if I have a spare one.

11 comments on “Thu 21/03-2013 Day 429

Edda Post author

Oh, I still remember those lobsters fresh out of the sea onto a fire made of cocos husks… Nothing like it!
We used to catch them with coat hangers, slide them under the tail and let them curl up around the wire, pull back and out of the hole they pop. Works better with scuba gear.

Richard Mason

A beautiful description of your surroundings.
I must check it out on google earth.

Hi Freya, so good to read this post. You deserve some good times & bliss with a beautiful island to camp alone & friendly local people.

Judith Norback

I’m glad to hear you are able to get some rest and let your skin heal (at least somewhat). You are very brave to be meeting with so many new people–and I’m sure you know how to handle these meetings by now. You could teach the rest of us….here are things to try, to act like, when you meet a total stranger.

Good luck! I hope the current lowers and the winds, too!


Well said, Edda. The indigenous tribes such as the Kuna are living at poverty level and rely heavily upon tourism and selling their colorful wares. Ten US dollars could probably support their families for a month. So who can blame them if they did not realize Freya was not just another tourist passing through.

Edda Post author

“The Kuna have a long deep rooted history of mercantilism and a longstanding tradition of selling goods through family owned venues. Most imported goods originate from Colombian, Mexican or Chinese ships and are sold in small retail stores owned by Kuna people. The Kuna traditionally excise no tax when trading goods and place strong emphasis on economic success. This tradition of trade and self-determination has been credited by many as a chief reason why the Kuna have been able to successfully function independently compared to other indigenous groups.” – Wikipedia

Forgive them, for this seems to be why they still are alive.

Frances Price

Freya, snow is coming tomorrow in the mountains where I live, so I am greatly enjoying your descriptions. Now while the snow flies around my house, I can imagine that I, too, am on a pleasant Caribbean island. You think about being Robinson Crusoe; I think about being Freya!

I hope your skin is more comfortable after your day off. Happy paddling!

Jörg Hofferbert

Incredible your luggage: Kuna words and phrases, spare-cam and an electric tooth brush

Randall Lackey

Wonderful to hear that you found a temporary Paradise for you to rest,enjoy and recover from some bad days behind you. you may, and I’m glad for you on that, be getting respect and admiration from the younger guys you meet, but you’re still a very attractive lady and far from old, just gracefully maturing and still very well respected by us older guys as well. I’ll be 50 in September myself. I suppose you thought I was just some young kayaker hounding the pretty Kayaking lady huh?Ha. Enjoy your stay on your Island. Safe Paddling always.


Freya, Du bist ja wieder gut drauf 🙂 Die Insel scheint Dir gut zu tun. Geniesse es und erhole Dich.

Comments are closed