Just Where Colombia and Panama Meet
Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
301Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Capurgana is a fishing village long known as a stopover for northbound drug runners. It was considered a dangerous area to visit until the leftist kidnapping rebel group FARC was cleared out by the Colombian military. One afternoon while Ellen and I stared for an opening in the clouds, Lorcan and Brunella made a restaurant reservation for us at Josefina's. Josefina told them that she had an abundance of fish, crab and lobster but no dessert. And she didn't serve alcohol. When told of the plan, Ellen balked at a dessert-less meal, while I hummed and hawed about the drinks. Then Lorcan smiled and said it was OK if we brought our own drinks. By the end of our succulent feast of snapper and crab, washed down by the finest Panamanian rum, Ellen had forgotten all about dessert
We hiked for an hour to a waterfall, then got poured upon the entire way back. But so what, the humidity was keeping us wet anyway. In spite of the rain, Capurgana was beginning to grow on us. The food was great, the people friendly, and our hotel, the Marlin, was a step or two above adequate. Even the horses and cats seemed to start smiling at us as time moved on in this car-less outpost. But after two days of feeling like wet socks, it was time to go.
It's a 2.5 – 4 hour boat trip, then a who knows how many hour bus ride to Medellin. We opted for a 1 ½ hour flight from Capurgana's recently reopened airport. As we walked to the airport that sat adjacent to the town's rain soaked soccer field, the sun started to shine and the seas calmed. Ellen stopped and gave me a 'why not stay longer' look. But our tickets were non-refundable. On the tarmac we bid farewell to Lorcan and Brunella and then climbed aboard a plane called an Otter. Ave Maria had seemed like an odd name for a boat that hadn't worked out as well as we would have liked. Why not fly in a plane that's named after an animal that swims.