Pangas and Plans ….. by Alan

……..don’t go together terribly well.

Our plan was to take the easy option and take a short flight to Bluefields, stay overnight there and then take the panga to the village of Pearl Lagoon. After a few days at Pearl Lagoon we planned cross the Lagoon to Orinoco returning the following day direct to Bluefields. From there another panga would take us up river to Rama, the start of the road network. All very easy to follow on the accompanying map.

We got to Pearl Lagoon reasonably well, except of course our hotel in Bluefields seemed to have disappeared temporarily…see Jans blog. Then we booked our seats to Orinoco – had to pay the fare from Bluefields to secure the ride.

A few things about pangas. They travel at the speed of light and the front sharp end is ajumpin! When the Orinoco panga arrived, of course, we were put at the front and it’s a good thing we had recently been to the dentist. Jan’s bag didn’t quite go overboard but some kid’s new baby walker managed to cause chaos in the boat.
Also it’s important to get on the harbour’s booking list early…each panga takes 20 passengers and then that’s the lot till the next boat, often the next day.


At Pearl Lagoon the plan started to unravel as there was no Sunday boat back from Orinoco. And then there was.

So, on to Orinoco, the Garifuna village, where we drank gifiti rum in the sunset, having been assured the phone call had been made to book our spots on the panga direct to Bluefields that would be calling in at 6am next morning.

But it would not call as it was already full. So we negotiated with Mr Rodney an expensive ride back to Pearl Lagoon, to try to catch the 7am boat to Bluefields. We were up at 4.30am on Sunday but, of course, when we got to Pearl Lagoon the list was already full with no more boats until Monday! We saw all sorts of boats – these canoes have dustbin bag sails!


We were considering a private $120 dollar alternative, reluctantly offered by Rodney, when, shortly before the public panga left, tickets came available at $6 each and minutes later we were off. And a beautiful ride it was.


We can only think some people on the list didn’t manage to get up in time!

Garifuna and gifiti are coming up next!

One thought on “Pangas and Plans ….. by Alan

  1. Cuidese Orinoco? Venezuela…. alli estare en Mrzo si me dicen en que parte del orinoco los espero para un Te je je,,,

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