Tag Archives: Panama

Tranquil Scene near Bocas Town, Panama

After traveling across Panama for quite some time, my wife and I earned some well-deserved rest. Our final destination was the island of Punta Vieja, about a 45-minute boat ride from the tourist hot-spot of Bocas Town. Our thatched roof hut was right on the beach and falling asleep to the sound of water rolling onto shore made it paradise.

At one point I took my camera out into the shallow water to take some pictures looking back at the thatched roof boathouse. As I was wandering around, a local man quietly rowed his cayuco just offshore near me. It was a nice addition to an already tranquil scene.

(0282) 0807.

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Old and New Panama City

Wandering around Panama City, Panama for the day, we made our way into the Old City.  It was pretty and full of history, but also full of seedy-looking abandoned buildings.  At one point, we were stopped by the police and told to leave the area before the sun sets.

Helpful, but not exactly reassuring.

August 2007. (0038)

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Almirante, Panama

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)

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Leafcutter Ants

This was a particularly fantastic adventure.

Alisha and I flew into Panama City.  We spent a few days exploring the largest city in Panama before heading to the small, domestic airport to catch a flight into the remote areas of the country. From there we took a four hour truck ride through the mountains, then caught a 20-minute water taxi to meet a guy at a bar, and then took another 40-minute boat ride to a nearly deserted island.

From there, we wandered and explored.

I had a near deadly run-in with a sting-ray.  We explored a native village and the children wouldn’t let Alisha and me leave.  We ended up kayaking into the middle of a shark going after its meal.  A local indian boy tried to teach me his tribe’s whistle, and then thought it was the funniest thing when I couldn’t get it right to save my life. I saw the coolest shooting star I’ll probably ever see in my life.  We celebrated my 28th birthday with piña coladas out of fresh coconuts.  And we sat and watched a group of carpenter ants carry leaves of a tree for nearly twenty yards into the ground.

August 2007. (0370)

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Sunken Boat

Sunken Boat

I’m not really sure of the story on this boat, except it sank awhile before we got there. So long, in fact, that if you look close, you’ll see some stuff extending out from the back. That “stuff” is someone’s ramshackle hut, complete with laundry line and boat dock.

I’m curious if the boat sank, and someone said, “I’m not leaving!” or alternatively, someone said “Hey! Sunken boat means free rent! Let’s go there!”

Either way, to get to this remote area of Panama we flew into Panama City, switched airports, flew another hour, rode four hours with our bags in the back of a pick-up truck, hopped in a water taxi and we passed this in said water taxi. Our final destination was a nearly deserted island with only a few people and a tribe of natives.

(0202) 0807.

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