Bastimentos is a small island about 10 minutes by water taxi from Isla Colon. We went there to visit a friend who manages an incredibly beautiful 24 hectare farm. The island is really lovely, there are no cars and the only 'road' is a concrete path about 7 foot wide by maybe 1/2 a mile long. Most people live on or just off this main street. The houses are quite tightly cluttered and almost all are wooden Caribbean style with gingerbread trim - in various states of repair. Kids played baseball, a rather narrow type of baseball, on the street. The restaurants and houses on the ocean side stand out over the water, on the other side they rise up a low hill. The islanders are a mix of indigenous natives who still live traditionally (again to a greater or lesser degree), afro-Caribbeans, Chinese (who came for the canal and settled), latinos and foreigners. It's low season here and we only saw two other tourists.
After a great fish lunch we hiked up the hill to views of beautiful beaches on the other side of the island, to visit another organic farm: up in the hill. This farm is owned by a Scottish girl and her Argentinian husband. For some odd reason there are very few Scots in this part of the world, and I had heard of this girl for a couple of years. Jeanette and Javier and their two kids are really lovely and working very hard making their farm a beautiful place to be. They have a cabin for rent with great views and Jeanette makes excellent brownies with coconut oil and deliciously light teas. She has her own line of organic coconut based oils, lotions and creams and sells home produced chocolate. And Javier is a carpenter and built their house and the cabin. Very nice. She sells online and at the new farmers' market on Isla Colon, and to shops around Panama. I'm hoping we can trade some things!