Isla Linton is a sweet little island with a huge anchorage almost entirely occupied by French or German boats. Strange, first we found Bocas to be full of Americans, now Linton is full of the French – are there any Panamanians in Panama???


This huge fleet of boats is tucked away to the south side of the island which in itself is a convenient stop en route to the San Blas islands. There is another island just round the corner, Isla Grande, which is full of bars, restaurants and hotels but still has a lot of character and charm all its own. Isla Linton, however, has no inhabitants other than its friendly sloth, its traumatised agoutis and its band of really rather mad monkeys.


Now, for the record, I should state that I am generally quite a fan of monkeys but these ones were something else. While James and I idled in our dinghy just off the island so we could admire the movements of the sloth we heard an awful screeching which turned out to be coming from the agoutis. Agoutis are a rodent-like creature with longish legs and these ones sounded like they were being murdered. This was mainly due to the fact that three of the resident monkeys had decided to corner one and pick it up by its tail and drag it around the trees – I kid you not. Poor thing clearly didn’t like it so we distracted the monkeys by calling them over to us. Hmmmm, not such a good plan. You don’t know fear until you stare a crazed monkey in the face and it looks back at you like a deranged old man on crack…


Safely back on the boat, the next morning we were alerted to one of the other local fauna. Our bananas had been attacked. We’ve experienced this before in Saint Lucia and the culprits were a team of tiny little swallows flying in through an open hatch. So we shrugged, cleaned up the debris and blamed the swallows. But that night brought a visitor to our cabin – something whooshing over our heads which, there being no wind, seemed unusual. We flipped on the lights and found that we had a bat in the bed chamber, he’d found the one small hatch that we had forgotten to close and was hastily looking for an exit. He’d also managed to find our papaya. Now some people are funny about bats but James and I love them so from that moment on we’d leave nightly bat offerings of fruit peel and scraps of ripe fruit in an attempt to save our pawpaws but still feed our little friend.


As for the camel – well, I must admit it’s not the first thing you expect to see when you glance across at the grassy bank on the other side of the anchorage but nevertheless there IS one at Linton. Apparently the property also has 2 leopards, a bunch of Shetland ponies and a host of exotic birds; it has become a haven for all these animals that people have attempted to illegally smuggle in or out of Panama.


Although how you stuff a camel up your jumper I’ll never know – maybe that’s why they were caught?