Los Santos to Santa Catalina

04 Mar

In spite of the loud thumping outside I was able to sleep and latter, maybe around 4-5 when the music subsided two other people came to sleep. In the morning the breakfast communal table was surrounded by people speaking Spanish. I thought that were Panamanians but surprisingly I understood most of the conversation. It turned out that they from all over the world, Venezuela, Columbia, Chile, Brazil Dominican Republic, Brooklyn, a republic in itself, Russia, Poland. The atmosphere was the typical energetic hangout place where people exchange ideas talking about their life and their travels. When the Panamenians joined I could understand a word of what they said, their accent is so different. The Venezulans were complaining about Chavez-Maduro that transformed the country in a kind of Cuba, describing the situation as “terrible” and their hope is US to intervene somehow. They were not rich but people who were making a living by day-by-day stuff. The Brazilian told about the Carnival in Baranquilla, Columbia, considered the best in the world only after, obviously, Rio. The Russian girl spoke with such a New York accent, with enough “like” and “you know” that I thought that is pulling my leg and is from Brooklyn. But the thing that kept her apart was that being highly educated the ideas overwhelmed the “likes” comparing with her group age in the US. The Russian girl and the two Polish girls were teaching English in Panama City. She disliked Putin who, based on what she says, has no support in cities and educated groups. No surprise! Obviously Ukraine was on her mind. I pondered if to go or not to Coiba where all the operators contacted canceled their tours during the Carnival. One of the Polish girl advised me to go in Santa Catalina and look for local tours saying that I would not have any problem, And she was right on the money.

Carnival cooling in Los Santos

Carnival cooling in Los Santos

Outside the water hosing started already, the cisterns surrounding the park and two of them were working hard on the crowd that started joyfully to ask for the daily bath. I decided not to go in Las Tablas because of the water and foam danger on my equipment but I found in Los Santos the same. I went and paid to Lupe for the stay. I decided not to wait for the coming Los Santos queen of the Carnival and hopped a 10 minutes bus to Chintre, another one hour ride to Santiago, another one hour to Sona and finally I made the last 4:00 PM to Santa Catalina and in 90 minutes I arrived in heaven.

Santa Catalina on the Pacific Coast

Santa Catalina on the Pacific Coast

The road was full of places that organized any tour you needed and the standard price for going for the day to Coiba is a flat $50, compared with the hundreds that were promoted on the Internet. You have to pay $20 the park fee and if you want to stay a night you pay another $20 for the accommodation and the next day boat will bring you back if you are not eaten by crocs. A chat with Maltese owner of the Santa Catalina Inn where I stay, an after sunset sea dip and some dinner and a walk to the beach..

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Posted by on March 4, 2014 in Blog, Panama


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