Carnaval came to an end, and little we saw of it really, the Children's Parade being the best.bit, and the Water Day the least enticing. Multiple water bowsers lining the sides of a dance arena hosed down the bobbing masses in the burning midday sun while the air pounded interminably to seismic speakers and earsplitting aggressive rap vocals. The endless row of blue tented food and drink stalls all sold an identical mix of BBQ chicken or spiral cut Frankfurters on a stick plus huge containers of ice and water drowning cans of Balboa beer at a dollar apiece.
It was a relief to leave, and I was truly sad not to have experienced thé Carnaval atmosphere that I'd hoped for.
The best day was meant to be Tuesday, but desperate to escape we had booked a ferry to the island of Taboga, Island of Flowers and erstwhile haunt of Pirates. The Calypso Queen and Calypso King ferries shuttle back and forth on the one hour trip across the bay from La Playita marina, ploughing noisily through our anchored fleet of yachts and tossing us all wildly in their overpowered wake.
Each top heavy ferry is packed with punters and everyone wears a big orange life jacket.
Gettting ashore at Taboga involved a steep climb at low tide to a wobbly pier. The largest collection of pelicans, cormorants, gulls and terns that I have ever seen carpeted the water, or darkened the sky as they wheeled and dived into the fish soup below.
Ashore Emily headed in the direction of sand and beach umbrellas. Mark led the male expedition along the village street and past shady cafes to climb the Cerro de la Cruce pimple at the far end of the bay. A hot walk in flip flops that had us scrambling in the blazing midday sun up ever steepening tracks to a white cross overlooking the bay, and then a gravelly slide back down again in time to catch the ferry home. Luckily Mark had done Shrove Tuesday pancakes for breakfast to give me energy for the expedition.