18.02.2013 - 18.02.2013
Monday, February 18
Today we decided to walk to the causeway - 10 Ks. We set out down the hill and ambled along. The weather is great, and we found interesting little places along the way. We found a large former convention centre, that was entirely deserted. Many of the businesses and offices that were running successfully some years back have fallen into disuse since the U.S. presence has left Panama. The walk was long and interesting, but there is not much shade at midday, and the temperature was well up in the thirties.
We found a fine spot to sip coffee, while we looked out at the boardwalk or causeway which links up three islands, and we decided to walk out and visit them. Along the way we found a lovely restaurant, where we sat under our own palm-leaf thatched umbrella. Fresh snapper was the wonderful choice. It was so fresh, I suspect believe it may have snapped the hand of the cook as he slid it into a sizzling pan! We looked out over the view of pleasure boats with the backdrop of a modern city across the bay. We relaxed with a few cold local beer and then headed for the islands.
This is the height of the tourist season and also the last week that kids are on school holidays. In spite of that, there is a deserted feel to the boardwalk and the islands. Our stroll took on monstrous proportions as we clocked in 15 Ks.
We decided to try out the local bus. Soon one came and we hopped on board. 25 cents each, but a ticket was needed. A passenger reached forward and clicked her pass 4 times for us! "Muchas gracias!"
Once off the bus we hiked along backroads, and happily came across a small market stand where Kuna Indians were selling some of their beautiful crafts. We had a look. Jude bought a Panama hat, which looks good on everyone. I couldn't resist a beautiful appliquéd cloth.
We continued on up the hill. We are actually in a park - Gutan National Park, so we often see monkeys and other animals swinging in the trees.
Eventually, we arrived at our little villa, and greeted Yvonne, who had arrived to join us. Though Yvonne was raring to go (?) we had a wonderful relaxing evening. Chef Eldon prepared lovely tender filet and roasted veggies. We finished the evening with several hands of poker.