Detox time

Trip Start Feb 03, 2013
Trip End Jan 25, 2014

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Where I stayed
Bambu Hostel David
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of Panama  , Chiriqui,
Wednesday, September 25, 2013

My time in David was a quiet one, which was exactly what I was after. I went there for a detox programme and to use the time to catch up with friends via Skype, upload my vast collection of photos from three months on Raleigh expedition and see what's been going on in the world.

After leaving Bocas and my Raleigh companions, I bussed across Panama to the city of David on my first solo journey since June. David is very much a stopover for most travellers, on their way between Panama City and San Jose, or to the nearby highlands of Chiriquí. I however had booked a detox programme over six days with the lovely Diwa and to make the most of it a stay in Hostel Bambu which came complete with a beautiful garden, pool and the very neccessary aircon.

It may seem a little odd to feel the need to detox, after ten alcohol free weeks. With the Raleigh diet of rice and beans or mac and cheese however and the opportunity to detox at the third of the cost in UK, I jumped straight in. The detox programme consisted of...wait for it...daily colonics (nice!) and being fed a detox diet of 'living foods'. Diwa's office was in the nearby town of Baguba/La Concepcion (it strangely has two names), so each day I hopped on one of the seemingly endless flow of minibuses for my visit. Whilst there I saw a number of indigenous local women wearing brightly coloured, but highly unflattering, missionary style dresses. Without my big backpack and sporting my Bocas tan however, I managed to blend in fairly well to the rest of the bustling town's population.

A typical breakfast was a pink drink made from papaya and wheatgrass or almonds. Lunch was usually a thick green energy soup made with different sprouts, local organic greens and avocadoes. And dinner consisted of a generous fresh mixed sprouted salad, accompanied by protein rich goodies like fermented nut/seed cheese and a veggie kraut side. Topped off with amazingly tasty dehydrated bread (I'm after the recipe and a dehydrator!), I felt very well nourished and exceedingly healthy.

Whilst there and at the recommendation of Diwa, I visited a Pre-Columbian archaeological site in Barriles, near Volcán. The place is actually private property, which has been in the same family for generations. I met one of the family who told me about the history which has been established, informed me of the questions left unanswered and showed me photos from the visits from National Geographic in the 1940s and more recently a large group of German archaeologists in 2001.

On the site they've found ceramics, sculptures, bronzes, petroglyphs, house foundations and large magnetic stones from a civilisations dating from hundreds of years BC, through to a volcanic eruption thought to be around 1400 AD. Here too is a magnetic source, so strong that it apparently makes the river, which snakes through the property, run the wrong way. After living in the national park of Guayabo with it's own national archaeological site and the care and expense that's taken to preserve it, it seems like madness that the many artefacts here are stored in an unlocked outhouse and the local hydroelectrical damn work unearthed (and destroyed) many more. Amazing though too, that sites like this may exist the world over - there's still more to explore!

So a week after I arrived in David, I feel lighter, brighter and ready for the next phase of my trip. With the accidental provision of 900 days on my latest Costa Rica visa and the subsequent void and additional stamp, my passport now has only just enough pages to get me through the rest of Central America. When travelling, a familiar place feels like home, so it's good to be back in San Jose and with exactly four months left until my flight home, I'm excited to be back on the backpacker trail once more...
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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