Panama ah oh ahh ohh ohh!

Trip Start Jul 01, 2011
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Joey and Veronicas
Suenos Del Rio Hostal
Las Lajas Beach Resort
What I did
stuff and things

Flag of Panama  ,
Friday, July 29, 2011

Spider bites, belly aches, ginormous bruises from water, ladies night at the Hacienda, who knew. Welcome to Panama. Paolo, Jimmy and I arrived a little over two weeks ago. Took the bus from Paso Canoas, the border between Costa Rica and Panama to the second largest city in Panama, David. Joey and Veronica came to pick us up from the bus station. We couldn't wait to see the two of them. We've been running around since, getting a sweet taste of the different parts of Panama. Our first week here we were chasing waves, let me re-phrase, the boys were chasing waves. Veronica and me were along for the ride, cameras in hand, although Veronica does surf. She's a tough cookie, can't wait to take pictures of her ripping one day soon. I quickly reverted back to my childhood vacations where the best seat in the car was the trunk on top of all the luggage. I can spread out, still see the sky and read my book, nice. Besides chasing waves we got to check out The Pool House Bar that Joey and Veronica are running. Darts, Ping-Pong, Pool, Foos Ball, and $1 rum and cokes along with Joeys Chilli Cheese Nachos/Hot Dogs=YUM and FUN! We also went white water tubing, you couldn't do this on a tube in the states, but were in Panama and it was awesome. The rapids range from class 1 to class 3, go BAJA MACHO! As we have been here Joey and Veronica have let us be a part of their world. They got a real good thing going on here, a good circle of friends and family that surround them, it's real nice to see.

A little over a week ago Paolo left for South Florida, that crazy little rascal.  Paolo, being in an environment where we think he really identifies with, showed us his passion for people, the ocean, and music.    I think after a couple days in David, people were already talking about him.  He really adds an explosive energy that no one can duplicate.  We missed him the moment he left.  Jimmy and I decided to take off for a couple of days. We went to Playa Barqueta which is about 45 minutes from David. We stayed for 3 nights at Las Olas Beach Resort. We had been away for almost a month and were finally gonna get a hot shower, ooh ahhh and ac. Needless to say it was a real treat. We almost didn't know what to do with ourselves but quickly adapted. I love hot showers. Jimmy caught some amazing waves. We would wake up, ok, the first morning I didn't want to get out of the bed. I was snuggled under the covers in our cold room. He surfed the first morning without me but then came and got me about two hours later. Over the next three days I could see him getting really comfortable with the wave and his style. I got some really good shots and loved watching him.

We came back to our home base, Joey and Veronica's house, which I haven't mentioned is totally rad and big. They have a car port with hanging hammocks and tons of cool plants. We stayed for a night then decided to take a ride up to Boquete, which is about 45 minutes from David. Boquete has a European mountain town feel to it. We stayed at Suenos Del Rio Hostel, $20 a night. Not bad for a little apartment right on the river. Boquete is beautiful. You are surrounded by mountains and it's around 70 degrees during the day and a little cooler at night. Jimmy and me went hiking to a waterfall, lots of green. After our hike we started to walk back to our place which is about an hour away. Walking lets you notice things that you wouldn't see if driving (men working in an onion farm, 50 ft drop offs to white water rivers,  beautiful homes tucked away from the road). I would love to take our families here one day.

Back again to home base but not for long, just a couple hours. We then took off for Las Lajas, hoping to catch some waves. We went to the bus station hoping to find our friend Tim. We did, can't miss his crazy curly hair and mischievous mustache. The 3 of us headed out. Joey told us about a place we could stay for $10 a night, but on the walk towards the $10 a night place we decided to check out Las Lajas Beach Resort prices. You can't tease yourself with a big room, comfy bed, AC, hot water and a pool and then think your gonna actually stay at the $10 a night place. We ended up staying at Las Lajas, just too good to pass up. We had a great time, only bummer was the waves were unsurfable, boo.

Our next adventure was a day trip out to an island to catch a great left hand point break.  Joey's friends Luis Alberto and Alfaro met us at the local supermarket at 4am to grab some goods to head to the boat ramp which was a 2 hrs car ride away.  After we launched the boat we coasted through a mangrove cove and reached the bay that leads to the ocean.  Suddenly the engine dies.  It's taking in water.  We switched the lines to the tanks and with a little uncertainty, finally made our way out.  Everyone was stoked, we could hear the waves crashing.  And if it's breaking here, we know its at least 8 ft on the island.  We pulled up and sure enough, the waves were cranking. Veronica and I got dropped off on the beach so we could get the best angle to take photos(and so we wouldn't get motion sickness sitting on that boat).  With just a hand full of guys out, the boys were immediately catching waves.  Another boat pulled up and the crowd got thicker but the waves were still coming.  Joey decided to paddle to the outside and surf by himself(that crazy bastard).  He caught some big ones.  He even said he was really scared.  He doesn't say that a lot.  All the other boys surfed real well getting lots of left handers.  It was beautiful how it breaks right off the rocks and lines up perfectly.  The last wave Jimmy got was a beauty, until his last maneuver sent him over free falling about 10 ft with the wave slamming him on his arm and chest.  As he got back on his board I noticed he was only paddling with one arm.  He waived at me as well.  He never does that.  What was wrong?  I became frantic yelling to the other guys to help him.  The other guys lifted him into the boat and it took off for the beach( and so did I).  His arm had been badly bruised and he thinks it was a muscle tear through his chest, shoulder and arm.  We iced it down and had some lunch.

We've now been back for the past two nights. Just been hanging. Were gonna take off tom., back to Mata Palo, Costa Rica. So far our trip has been amazing. We've met some really cool people and also been able to hang with our dear friends, add surfing, reading, and relaxing to the equation and I would say life is pretty sweet. The only sour part has been my sucky spider bite and Jimmy's ginormous bruise.  We love all of our friends and family and wish you could share part of our trip with us, but if not hopefully this blog will suffice. Until we write again.


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