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Out of the bubble......... One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.-- Henry Miller

Panama!

COSTA RICA | Friday, 1 February 2013 | Views [601]

here we got REAL chocolate.

here we got REAL chocolate.

The border crossing to Panama was uneventful. 

I like crossing the bridge to another country. Something feels right about that.
Now, I actually don't know exactly which date it was - probably the 17th when we spend our first night in Panama in a town called Almirante. We took a hotel...not in Costa Rica anymore it was affordable and very  pleasant, though the town itself left enough to wish for. It's a port town. Apparently the places to go are on the islands right off the coast.
It wasn't early  enough (the big ferry left at eight o'clock) when we checked the boats to Isla Colon in Boca de Toro. The water taxis lured us in, but they were unable to transport our bikes safely (and the boats were overloaded to begin with), so we got our ten dollars back and headed out into the rain mid day........warm showers...and the roads steep as hell. There is no hurry......lunch under a sweet palapa in the rain and we had some good food we found in Ganguinola. The friendly farmer came out to talk to us.....Panama and it's people feels good!!!
We are still on the Caribbean Side of Central America and the road was only paved some 15 years ago as we found out when we stopped in a little village occupied by indigenous people of Panama who had come out of the surrounding mountains and forests only a generation ago. It was the self made hand bag that attracted me and our new friend Hannibal gave us the key to the new build wooden structure which is the market place for handcrafted goods from the people in the forests in the mountains to attract and sell to tourists. The bag he carried was made out of tiny pieces of candy wrappers woven together. He spoke very little English, no Spanish and communication was at it's finest! (this is not a sarcastic remark.....I really enjoy how sensitivity on different levels is developed through the lack of words). Hannibal's grandfather and three of his brothers decided to start a village closer to "civilization", so they  can get help when one of them gets sick, kids can go to school..and so on and so forth. They seem to stay true to their traditions and customs, but what do I know?
The only "restaurant" served one and a half buns of bread and two chicken wings each for dinner AND breakfast the next morning. The price was $2.50 each time and for each person. Accompanied by
an honest to god hot, organic, homemade chocolate drink...not what I am used to  but the idea that the Mayans and other indigenous people drank it this way is very romantic to me.
The next morning we left in sunny weather...Though there was a different feeling - almost like tension between Hannibal and us..
I can not figure it out, unless it was something like disappointment on his part that we didn't buy enough crafts? ( I bought a little bracelet and a case for my glasses and I gave him a tip... and maybe THAT was the exact wrong thing to do....) Lack of communication...though, I don't think words would have helped much in this case either. Something I will be wondering about for a long time....what happened? Or maybe it is just in my head? I'll probably never know!

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