Jakob and I left Capurgana around seven in the morning, though the damn roosters had us up much earlier, and instead of paying three dollars for a boat to Sapzurro we decided to trek through the jungle with all our gear hitched to our backs. It had poured the night before we left, and although there were two small ridges to cross the guidebook said it was just an hour on foot. It could not have been any more humid, and with heavy loads on muddy trails laden with banana spiders in their intricate webs that led us to imagine ourselves Indiana Jones ducking and dodging danger, we finally descended into Sapzurro totally spent and drenched in sweat. Still, that kind of excercise through a thrumming and somewhat threatening jungle was one hell of a way to begin the day.
We stayed at the last hostel in town, at the beginning of the hill leading to the Panamanian border. On the other side is a tiny beach town called La Miel, and it possesses the nicest beach around these parts. Sapzurro is small as well, with about 1000 residents and even more crabs. Every time we approached our place the ground came alive with crabs running back into their subterranean cribs. There was a nice waterfall in the jungle where we got a shower each day and washed some clothes. When we weren't there we were swimming on the beach alongside the military outpost or drinking beers at the local pool hall where the locals have skill and style, all of them wearing gloves on one hand missing fingers on the pinky and ring finger. The second day we were there a Dutchman showed up and joined our small gang of white guys abused by the sun and mosquitoes.
The soldiers on both sides of the border were as nice as can be, though not one of them let me borrow his machine gun for a Rambo action shot. The first time we climbed the hill to the border Jakob and I both forgot our passports, but they accepted a copy of mine and the phoney number Jakob gave along with his name and nationality. It was probably the easiest border crossing I've ever seen. Once we got down the other side there were only five or six other people on the beach with us and plenty of rum and coconut water to keep us happy, though I almost got clobbered by a falling coconut while eating the coconut/receptacle under a tree.
The nature here is amazing - everywhere you look there is something to see. And there are so many fruit trees that a lot of mangos, avocados and coconuts simply fall and rot on the ground. What was nicest was watching the locals make the most of what little they have and enjoying life to the best of their ability. It truly takes very few ingredients to make a good time here, and the natives made me quite envious. Yes, they live in a beautiful place, but the environment is rough, especially when you consider that it's one of the wettest places on the planet with 45 feet of rain per year. And even though it seemed a bit preposterous when you saw a few houses with thatched roofs and no running water boasting some of the biggest stereo speakers you've ever seen, it only added to everyone else's enjoyment, for music is the lifeblood of these people. I could have stayed a month here easily and been very content.