Friday, December 14, 2012

The San Blas Are Good for the Budget

In several attempts to make us hang around the San Blas a little longer, a couple of our cruising friends brought out the wallet argument – that living here is about as cheap as it gets if you arrive well stocked with food. They claim that you can easily live here on $500 a month for two people, plus two trips to Panama City a year to stock up on $1,500 worth of food.

And in truth, we have had a cruising budget revelation while in the Kuna Yala. In October, we spent $600, $100 of which we spent in Portobelo before we left. We have finally made it to a place where our main budgetary expense is beer. Ah, the promised land.

Of course, we are steadily eating through all our dry goods, and all the stuff I bought from Costco before we left is almost all gone. We have also finally discovered a place in our hearts for canned chicken, now that we inhabit a place where the chicken in the store is left sitting in a bucket of water instead of in a fridge. Obviously, we aren’t eating a ton a meat, mainly because we’re terrified of major intestinal discomfort. However, Vlad has started making comments like, “You know, I bet tapir tastes good,” so maybe a Kuna chicken is in our future after all. 

The reason behind the magical San Blas budget is simple really. There’s just not that much to buy. There aren’t many restaurants. There are few adorable palapa bars on the beach. There are no hardware stores or marine supply shops or boutiques. You can purchase molas or basic food stuff, and that’s it. I know that there’s stuff that we need. I just can’t remember what it is, and aside from Vlad’s daily insistence that he’s getting anemic and that he could really use some carne asada or a nice steak we seem to be adjusting just fine. Our cruising kitty sure is.


  1. Sounds like a magical place! I can see why you'd want to spend just a little more time there. Bella Star is waiting on the other side of the Canal, though--hope to meet you soon!
    -Nicole and Aaron
    s/v Bella Star

  2. Loki and I have a great idea for addressing your chicken cravings and his chicken cravings in one fowl swoop. (ugh, frank's nephew's sense of humor wears off!)
    How about suggesting that some of those pesky newfangled free-range chickens find a more suitable home-- one that doesn't pass through the freezers/fridges/melting coolers of Nargana?
    Feral dog walkers that come in your wake would be much (non-incidentally) relieved.
    wishing you a christmas fish,
    gretchen and co.