That’s how one of the Bocas VHF net controllers introduced the announcements for Rana Azul, a local bar/restaurant. The description of “local”, however, is relative. Rana Azul is situated out in Tierra Oscura (the Dark Lands – isn’t that a terrifically creepy name?), more than 13 miles by boat from Bocas Town (if you go around the west side of Isla Cristobal, slightly less if you go around the east side), and by boat is the only way to go – there’s no land access. We were fortunate enough to get there several times; they were only open Friday nights for dinner and Sunday for brunch. The dock is the parking lot for dinghies and pangas (the local boats). The palapa is an open building at the head of the dock where the restaurant was. You’re surrounded by lush grass (inundated and squishy depending on the tide) and all kinds of trees. The first time we were there, a sloth slowly climbed down a palm and walked away into the forest. The food was as divine as the atmosphere: pizza, lovely tender steaks, and the best garlic soup we’ve ever had. There were more choices that we unfortunately were unable to get to because Rana Azul closed in October. The last blowout was Octoberfest, which we attended along with what seemed like everyone in the area. Tables and seats were set up out on the lawns, and the place was hopping. We’re sad it’s closed, but it’s been bought by another couple who plan to renovate and reopen, so hopefully we’ll get to have another great time under the palapa!
|Rana Azul from the water|
|During Octoberfest, loads of people both inside...|
|The dinghy dock - the only parking lot at Rana Azul|
|Free garlic - what more could you ask for?|