Friday, August 21, 2015


One of my favorite pastimes since I was a kid has been camping. Its also probably the number one thing I miss from being in Canada, is going on long camping trips out in the woods, being close to nature and away from all traces of modern society... sitting around a fire and most importantly doing nothing at all.

Occasionally while working our more distant territories we do go "camping" as some of them take nearly a day to reach and it would be impractical to return the same day. Also most of them do not have hotels or hostels to stay at so we are left with the option of camping.

However, for the first time we got to go on a recreational camping trip. Its a bit different than camping in Canada but it was an awesome experience. A family visiting from Germany was kind enough to invite myself, Jean, and another couple on a 3 day camping trip in the Pearl Cays.

The Cays (pronounced Keys) are a group of tiny islands in the Caribbean about a one hour Panga ride from Pearl Lagoon. They vary in size and are completely undeveloped with the exception of some abandoned houses that were never finished constructing. I mention the history of these buildings in a previous post, basically someone started building them illegally and were forced to leave. There are no shops obviously. When you are on these islands you only have what you brought with you and what you can find from nature.

One of the keys is so small it is just one palm tree and a bunch of sand. The one we stayed on was somewhat bigger, Clark key is just about as long as 2 or 3 city blocks... I guess. You can walk from one end to the other in a few minutes, but its big enough that you can go for a walk and not see anyone. We brought all our camping gear and food for 3 days with us and set up camp under some young coconut trees. (we picked a place where the tents were not in danger from falling coconuts, as coconuts kill more people than sharks, you know.)

Hammock Zone
Tent City
Casa Mateo
we had a small campfire as well, we were told not to have a large one by some conservationists (the only other people you will see around here) as it would attract the baby sea-turtles that were hatching in the area. We went to great lengths, walking around at night with red flashlights trying to see baby turtles running for the water, but all we saw were their tracks, we just missed them each time.

We used a typical coal "furnace" to cook our food using wood heat, and also ate what fish we were able to catch in addition to what we had brought with. Our driver picked a dead fish out of the water on the way to the islands which turned out to be delicious.

Jean making Coffee

Camp Kitchen

Its amazing how the daylight changes your schedule when you are not exposed to any artificial light. We usually all went to bed around 7, and got up just in time to see the sunrise at 4:30-5:00 AM. We spent a lot of the time snorkeling and building sand castles, but somehow it didn't feel quite like camping because there were no pine trees. I don't feel like I'm camping without pines, but i suppose that palm trees are an acceptable trade.



March 23rd 2019

Well we finished our move up higher into the mountains, but then found out the situation was quite different than what we had been told. Wit...