Panadventure

A continuation of: Riding in the Back of a Truck in Panama

Allison and I wake up in our detached room and walk in the direction of the water, to truly take it all in. That thick, saturated grass that I’ve since noticed in other Latin American cities covers Carlos’s property. The greenery goes on and on to the left of us, past the dog and that little house hiding among the trees. I wish I knew the story behind the people living there, but I don’t. I’m not sure that I ever did. This was, after all, four years ago. We have neighbors, but not close enough to be a bother to them or them a bother to us. We see sprinkles of people during our walk along the beach – that one guy in his boat near the shore, a breast-feeding mother seated above the sand, and a few others in front of their homes just steps away from the ocean. We are distant from the city, and life here in Piña, Colón is slow-paced and quite relaxed. We loop back around toward our temporary resting place, past the piles of garbage and across the black sand. The French woman emerges from the house, greeting the dogs with a few scratches and a smile, and innocent faces look on shyly in our direction from outside their door of that little house hiding among the trees.

The couchsurfer from France

We soon head out in that beloved truck with tire cage to the semi-private beach of Daniel from Slovakia, Carlos’s mate who was also staying at the house. Daniel is a funny guy, one of those not-on-purpose-but-my-words-make-people-laugh funny. His plot of land comes with overhead views of the beaches below. That’s where we see many locals, and where I see my impending death as I follow Allison through the water and around the giant rock to the beach on the other side. Cue the rising tides, and enter my fears. You bet your bottom dollar that I take the dry way back, even though it requires climbing and comes with the risk of falling. We spend the remainder of our afternoon as anyone at the beach does – relaxing.

Daniel’s private beach

Oh hey, Allison
There were horses, too

Back at the house, Carlos hangs up hammocks on the front porch, a beautiful white one with detailing and another with stained stripes and a sewn-on denim heart. I choose the latter for its views and doze in and out as the bright pinks and purples of the setting sky fade into night.

Some time later, Daniel starts a fire and we all sit around it, conversing under moonlight. We talk about movies and other things. After we tire of the flames, we return to the house where Allison and I cannot believe that Daniel would think of techno as the only real kind of music. Wrong, Daniel! So wrong. But whatever, we let him have his fun and dub him Mr. Saxobeat.

And just like that, our weekend in a stranger’s home by the beach in some town in Panama ends, and we make the long trip back to Costa Rica (24 hours!) the next morning – a shorter post for another day.

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