Gorgeous Sapzurro

Our first two days here in the bay of Sapzurro we were busy finishing our rain canvas, setting a stern anchor (sometimes some swell enters the bay), cleaning the boat, launching the dinghy, to snorkel along the reef, etc. and only marvelled from afar at the beaches and the pretty village. Yesterday we set out to explore the village and the bay. It turns out there’s no road to Sapzurro, only two footpaths through the steep mountains connect the village to Capurgana (the next somewhat bigger town 2 miles further south) or to Panama (Puerto Miel). All goods are brought here by small, but fast boats (“lanchas”) that commute between Sapzurro and Capurgana and also take passengers with them.

Sapzurro is a pretty place with a lovely church right at the seaside, basic, but well kept houses, some small tiendas, several bars and restaurants for the few tourists who come here. Most of them seem to be backpackers who stay in hostels, on camp sites, or in eco-lodges, but we’ve also met some Colombians from Medellin or Cartagena who have holiday homes here. The only real downside we can see so far is the trash problem. Since there’s no road, there’s also no garbage collection system and there are no rubbish bins. Each household burns the rubbish, but nobody wants to take ours–except for a stiff payment to take it by boat to Capurgana. We refused that offer, as we’ve already paid about 17 dollars for the privilege to anchor here (with water and rubbish disposal officially included…). In the end we found a guy from the “junta comunal” (the ones we paid the anchorage fee to) and he took over our three bags.

We’re the only cruisers travelling through, three of the other boats apparently belong to locals, our German neighbour liked this place enough to buy a restaurant and settle here, even though he still lives on the boat with his family. According to him it’s no problem staying here without an official cruising permit (he’s done that for half a year), there’s a coast guard boat with 4×200 hp outboards at the town pier, but apparently they don’t control sailing boats.

We’ve decided to stay here for a while. We want to go hiking in the mountains and get into the local village life. For some reason Leeloo also loves this place, even though fishing boats pass close by and our neighbours are anchored near to us (conditions that our asocial cat usually hates). But the weather is pleasant, a bit cooler, hardly any wind and she spends hours lying on deck and even ventures up on the sprayhood and the bimini in plain daylight (normally she only dares to do that in the dark).

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