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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
 Carribean9 votes
7.96%
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4.42%
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1.77%
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"There is nothing like returning to a place that has remained unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have. " -- Nelson Mandela

99--Panama: Welcome to Fantasy Island
@ CherieSpotting     Nov 30 2002 - 09:54 PST
cherie writes: Have you ever thought about sailing away from it all? What would it be like to actually go to Fantasy Island? Some island with a cool breeze and warm water. Some island where the native people haven't changed their traditions in hundreds of years. Some island where the locals paint their faces and wrap themselves in colorful hand-sewn clothing. I found all this (and more) in Panama. Welcome to my fantasy come true. Welcome to the San Blas Islands.

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Cherie trying to decide which "mola" to buy from the Kuna Yala women (of the San Blas Islands.)  
*Photo taken by Rennie Waxlax.

Cherie trying to decide which "mola" to buy from the Kuna Yala women (of the San Blas Islands.) *Photo taken by Rennie Waxlax.

The colorful Kuna women displaying their hand-sewn "molas".  The "molas" are the Kuna Yala's primary source of income.

The colorful Kuna women displaying their hand-sewn "molas". The "molas" are the Kuna Yala's primary source of income.

Three canoes full of native women and their colorful art.  More canoes arrive every minute!!

Three canoes full of native women and their colorful art. More canoes arrive every minute!!

Four boats now tied up next to Scirocco!  I don't even know what to do with my "molas," but I couldn't help buying them.

Four boats now tied up next to Scirocco! I don't even know what to do with my "molas," but I couldn't help buying them.

A Kuna displays her art with pride.
*Photo taken by Rennie Waxlax.

A Kuna displays her art with pride. *Photo taken by Rennie Waxlax.

"Molas" can cost anywhere from $5 to $50 dollars per square, is bought directly from the Kuna Yala.  (The price of the mola triples if bought from a store.)

"Molas" can cost anywhere from $5 to $50 dollars per square, is bought directly from the Kuna Yala. (The price of the mola triples if bought from a store.)

The women of the San Blas Islands.

The women of the San Blas Islands.

With my colorful clothing, people often mistake me for a Kuna Yala.  (I always blend in.)

With my colorful clothing, people often mistake me for a Kuna Yala. (I always blend in.)

So much beauty and color it was hard to choose!

So much beauty and color it was hard to choose!

We bought plenty of "molas" and gave all the children their first taste of chocolate.  (I hope there is a dentist on one of the islands!)

We bought plenty of "molas" and gave all the children their first taste of chocolate. (I hope there is a dentist on one of the islands!)

Some people say the islands are primitive.  But I found their "policies on paperwork" right on par with USA standards.

Some people say the islands are primitive. But I found their "policies on paperwork" right on par with USA standards.

Rennie practicing spear-throwing on Porvenir (the most developed island?)  Scirocco is anchored in the background.

Rennie practicing spear-throwing on Porvenir (the most developed island?) Scirocco is anchored in the background.

A hut.

A hut.

It is best to have a yacht when visiting the San Blas Islands since this is "Hotel Porvenir."

It is best to have a yacht when visiting the San Blas Islands since this is "Hotel Porvenir."

Rennie became a master at relaxation.

Rennie became a master at relaxation.

Anne practiced looking beautiful everywhere she went.
*Photo taken by Rennie Waxlax.

Anne practiced looking beautiful everywhere she went. *Photo taken by Rennie Waxlax.

Greg and I watched the canoes paddle in.  Then we watched them paddle away again.

Greg and I watched the canoes paddle in. Then we watched them paddle away again.

Happiness in a hammock.

Happiness in a hammock.

Giant coral dildo and local man with green bananas.

Giant coral dildo and local man with green bananas.

Greg's 29th Birthday beer and Birthday banana.  Simplify.

Greg's 29th Birthday beer and Birthday banana. Simplify.

Rennie and Anne on Porvenir.

Rennie and Anne on Porvenir.

A guy trying to sell me an octopus.  We opted for the lobsters.

A guy trying to sell me an octopus. We opted for the lobsters.

The lobsters we bought for Greg's Birthday dinner at $2 each.

The lobsters we bought for Greg's Birthday dinner at $2 each.

Greg and Nick at the "airport" in Porvenir. (Flights from Panama cost $30 per person.)

Greg and Nick at the "airport" in Porvenir. (Flights from Panama cost $30 per person.)

Everyone lines up for the one flight each day.

Everyone lines up for the one flight each day.

It is Fantasy Island..."Da plane, da plane!"

It is Fantasy Island..."Da plane, da plane!"

Does grass cushion the plane's landing?

Does grass cushion the plane's landing?

Cherie makes friends with a native and goes for a sail.  (Money seems to buy friendship in these parts.)

Cherie makes friends with a native and goes for a sail. (Money seems to buy friendship in these parts.)

And I used to call "Scirocco" rustic?
*Photo by Rennie Waxlax.

And I used to call "Scirocco" rustic? *Photo by Rennie Waxlax.

There's the sail close-up.  It is a patchwork of sewn together potato-sacks.  (Notice the Kuna bailing water out of his leaky canoe.)

There's the sail close-up. It is a patchwork of sewn together potato-sacks. (Notice the Kuna bailing water out of his leaky canoe.)

Porvenir--the island we left Scirocco at while we visited family and friends in the United States.  (We paid the Kuna Yala $50 to watch the boat.)

Porvenir--the island we left Scirocco at while we visited family and friends in the United States. (We paid the Kuna Yala $50 to watch the boat.)

The thatched huts of the San Blas Islands.

The thatched huts of the San Blas Islands.

The conch is the closest thing the Kuna have to a cel phone.

The conch is the closest thing the Kuna have to a cel phone.

A slug-like thing drinking my beer.  I hope it didn't backwash!

A slug-like thing drinking my beer. I hope it didn't backwash!

Conch shells line the shore of one of the local islands.

Conch shells line the shore of one of the local islands.

A native woman sewing a "mola."

A native woman sewing a "mola."

The biggest store in the San Blas Islands.  (And they don't even have ice!!!)

The biggest store in the San Blas Islands. (And they don't even have ice!!!)

The Kuna often keep turtles as pets!

The Kuna often keep turtles as pets!

Anne, Cherie, Greg and two "guides" who showed us around three different islands.

Anne, Cherie, Greg and two "guides" who showed us around three different islands.

Always having fun!

Always having fun!

A native Kuna Yala.

A native Kuna Yala.

One of the bathrooms.  (You don't want to see the other one!)

One of the bathrooms. (You don't want to see the other one!)

A colorful canoe.

A colorful canoe.

Two Kuna kids and their pet bird.

Two Kuna kids and their pet bird.

The kids came running out to greet us.  (They must of heard we were the boat giving out candy to the children.)  They couldn't wait to show us their pets!

The kids came running out to greet us. (They must of heard we were the boat giving out candy to the children.) They couldn't wait to show us their pets!

Here I am with "Jim."  He swears he is only 60 years-old.  Okay Jim, and I am still 19!

Here I am with "Jim." He swears he is only 60 years-old. Okay Jim, and I am still 19!

If you want to get away from it all...this is definately the place to come.

If you want to get away from it all...this is definately the place to come.

Cherie and Greg on Porvenir.

Cherie and Greg on Porvenir.

Rennie rowing back to Scirocco.

Rennie rowing back to Scirocco.

Kuna kids.
*Photo by Rennie Waxlax.

Kuna kids. *Photo by Rennie Waxlax.

Friends and huts, what more can you ask for? 
*Photo by Rennie Waxlax.

Friends and huts, what more can you ask for? *Photo by Rennie Waxlax.