Panama is somewhat like Costa Rica was before the tourists bombarded the country a few yrs back. Life is laid back here and the tourist scene is just starting to develope in some areas and for now things are the way I imagine they have been for decades. A few days ago I took my bike down a small jeep path over the continental divide and decended into a wild caribean valley. Things were peacful and untouched, the jungle was in once piece, the jeep path was the only contact with the outside world and after 24 kms it turned into a knee deep pile of mud. After hiking with my bike for a 1km I left it and trudged on deeper into the heart of Panama. The locals I saw all stared, most the kids were scared of me and the adults I tried to talk didnt speak a word I knew back to me. At first I figured my spanish had gone to hell and I was getting pretty frustrated but once I made it back to civilization I found out the people I was talking to spoke an indigenous language and only the young kids were taught spanish in school. Returning to the spanish speaking world late in the evening I devoured 6 000 calories of food to get ready for the 150 km ride the next day to the fisherman town of Santa Catalina on the pacific coast. Having seen Santa Catalina on the Panama version of Monopoly I figured I was going to someplace devloped but what I found was a one store town which used a payphone to communicate to the outside world. Throughout the day people would call the payphone form around Panama and whoever was closest would answer the phone and then run around town calling out the persons name for who the call was for. Hardly a Monopoly worthy town, but soon I found out the real reason for the towns popularity was its enormous surf which is famous for being some of the best in Central America. While I was there the swell was small though and the surfers were going snorkeling not surfing. Today I am in the middle of a ride back into the interior to a small mountain town with nothing more than a few thatched houses where I will meet up with an American Peace corps volunteer to tour the area for a day and see more into the primitive lifestyle of the Panamanians. For now its plus 34 and Im off for a little siesta in the shade until the weather is a little better so Im not found melted into the pavement somewhere down the road.

3 Comments on “Heat”

  • Vicki December 15th, 2008 11:39 pm

    Thanks for sharing your adventures – looking forward to more stories.
    Love you very much

  • BikingBakke December 16th, 2008 1:12 am

    Cory these are awesome to read when it’s the same temperature in Calgary except on the negative side of the scale!

  • Ronald J December 18th, 2008 2:10 pm

    Hello Cory !

    Reading your history in Panama sounds very interesting your life style I really like, specially whre the places you are passing in your bike that is so cool man!!

    take care and keep in touch

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