In a previous blog post, I’d written about Alisha and my “off the beaten path” adventure in Panama (you can read that previous blog post here). Something I didn’t mention in the entry was the small village in which we grabbed a 20-minute water taxi to take us to the next town over.
After riding in a pick-up truck for several hours, our driver turned off the paved road rattled his way down a dirt path. After a few minutes, we arrived in Almirante, Panama and a small concrete building along the water.
The water taxi station was, essentially, a boat-house, big enough for only a couple boats. The floor was so filthy I couldn’t tell if it was an actual dirt floor, or a cement floor and was just covered with an inch or two of dirt. The docks appeared to be hap-hazardly constructed, or the wood was pilfered for other things (I couldn’t tell which). The amount of garbage floating around was stunning. Children were wandering around, watching us watch them.
In situations like this, it’s difficult for me to raise my camera to start snapping photos. I don’t want to appear like a standard tourist and fire away, taking pictures of people, but I also want to record the situation for my own interest.
After waiting about ten or fifteen minutes, the water taxi arrived and chaos ensued. The boat held about two-dozen passengers, and people were barely out of the boat before others started piling in. Alisha and I had our bags with us, and they were quickly taken by the dock worker and thrown in the back of the boat. We quickly sat down as close to them as possible. It seemed like only mere seconds the boat was tied to the dock, before we shoved off and were making our way through into the bay and across part of the Caribbean Sea.
Before our boat hit warp speed, we slowly crept through the village of Almirante and its ramshackle huts.
August 2007. (0187)