Lost and Found Lodge

Trip Start Aug 03, 2011
Trip End Mar 01, 2012

Loading Map
Map your own trip!
Map Options
Show trip route
Hide lines
Where I stayed
Lost and Found Ecohostel Chiriqui
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
bartended. found the treasure.

Flag of Panama  , Chiriquí,
Friday, September 2, 2011

finding ourselves on yet ANOTHER CRAMPED bus we were surprised to learn that it was only going to be for ninety minutes before we landed at our destination...dun da dah, LOST AND FOUND LODGE is a ecohostel in Panama's cloud forest. we were poached from our last hostel to volunteer as their bartenders for a week.

oh it's just a quick fifteen minute walk up to the ecohostel he says, no problem. fifteen minutes yes, quick, NO. try lugging your 40-60 lb pack with a small 5-10 lb pack in front up, backpack sandwich, hands full with groceries for the week, up a 80 DEGREE, stairway of death made of random rocks and roots....when its 75 degrees and humid. i think i can, i think i can, i think i can...they have these little motivational signs along the way, 'stop, relax and enjoy paradise, you're half way there'. if my hands weren't full i might have picked one up and thrown it over the edge. our poacher looks at us, smiles and says 'yeah, that’s how we all stay in shape here'. GRR

settle in to the dorm, check. queen sized bunk beds stacked three high, pretty impressive. they give us two pillows and FIVE fleece blankets, looks like we have some cold nights ahead of us. lengthy tour, check. learn our bartending duties, check. introduce ourselves to the guests, check.

duties included stocking the bar and serving drinks. tidy up the kitchen at night and show pet Rocky to the guests. Rocky is a kinkajou, translation is honey bear, and is nocturnal. Scotty was afraid of him so I played zoo keeper for the week while he stocked the bar. every night i showed him to the guests who ooh’d and ahh’d at his tricks. his fur was thick like a carpet but felt more like a very loved, matted teddy bear. hands and feet were small and soft like a babies. long, strong tail which he used as a fifth limb. small, sharp teeth like a puppies. long curly tongue which is useful in the wild to get honey or in Rocky's case, to sneak slurps of beer from guests hands. when he sniffs it sounds like a small pig, this is unique due to his injury a while back. i love it, gives him character and let’s me know what he’s up to.

he was playful and easy to work with. the only downside is that guests would ask me questions about Rocky, because i am not a honey bear expert, if i didn’t know the answer, i would make something up…’how old is Rocky’ five. 'how old do they live to be in the wild. fifteen to twenty years. ‘how does he clean himself’ with his tongue and his hands. i found they liked those answers better than i don’t know or ask Nico.

the bartending…would be better described as the managers’ personal dating operation. give the single girls as many free drinks on the house until they were tipsy enough to start participating in their charades. they encouraged this by initiating drinking games while they rubbed their backs, shared lots of tall tales and offered to chain smoke with them. NOW, i am sure this is standard behavior in all bars. all over the world. HOWEVER. when there are only ten people in the bar. you’re sober. and on the other side watching it all, it’s painful and makes for very long nights. we wish them the best of luck.

the ecohostel is set high in the cloud forest of Panama in the Chiriqui region. during the day you can take one of the many offered tours to coffee farms, horseback riding or river canyon hikes. we visited the hot springs and petroglyphs while there. i have never been to a hot spring because i refused to do so if it was going to be in a concrete, hot tub like setting. i wanted the REAL deal. bubbling water in a dug out dirt pool, surrounded by sticks, trees and rocks. at the age of twenty seven i FINALLY got that. after hiking through the jungle for a bit you came to a small house, with a tiny window, where a man collected your two dollars and granted you entry onto his property. there were three different pools you could choose from, ranging in size and temperature. in addition, there was a monkey who was quite friendly that followed you around. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! HOT SPRINGS. IN A JUNGLE. WHILE A MONKEY CLIMBS AROUND YOU?! i was a grinning fool. it was almost too much for me to handle. AND i was lucky enough to get a hand hold and leg hug from the little guy before we left. SCORE!!

the ecohostel also puts on a treasure hunt which is featured as a three hour hike through the hills with riddles to lead you to the GOLDEN TREASURE…your choice of a bottle of wine or rum. the hike starts out with a THIRTY FIVE minute. NINTEY degrees. UPHILL stair stepper. i think i can, i think i can... followed by a DOWNHILL swampy trek. SWATTING off KILLER mosquitos the entire way. crossing rivers. to find riddles that lead you to the next spot. LUCKILY there are multiple water features along the hike AND the mosquitos don’t pester you there. the hike kicked my butt. GREAT workout and we enjoyed swimming in the river. in the end we found the treasure and won a bottle of wine. WHOOHOO!   

we enjoyed our time with Lost and Found but after eight days of the gray and cold we were ready to head to BOCAS DEL TORO. goodbye cloud forest. hello island life and sunshine. whoo. whoo. whoo.

Fun Facts:
-Lost and Found only has TWO CDs. one being Shaggy’s greatest hits. you can only imagine after eight nights of listening to it on repeat we like Shaggy even less than we did before.

-met the WORLD EXPERT on tropical BEES and his aid who is studying to be the world expert on Australian bees. 
-i was bitten by a monkey. Lost and Found has a CRAZY monkey which they rescued just recently. he doesn’t like women and only a select few men. they don’t let guests pet him and post signs around his roped off area that say ‘dangerous monkey’. i of course wanted to test the waters. make friends with the monkey. prove everyone wrong. after a few days of bringing him nuts and trying to establish my dominance, he stopped hissing and would sit with me, naturally i decided it was time. i moved into his reach and we held hands for a bit, climbed on my lap. everything was going perfectly, or so i thought. but I CLEARLY MISREAD HIS SIGNALS. BAM. he bit me. just broke the skin and hopped away. lesson learned. :(  
Slideshow Report as Spam

My Review Of The Place I Stayed

Loading Reviews
  • Your comment has been posted. Click here or reload this page to see it below.

  • You must enter a comment
  • You must enter your name
  • You must enter a valid name (" & < > \ / are not accepted).
  • Please enter your email address to receive notification
  • Please enter a valid email address


Suzanne on

Hot Springs looked delightful! and the night shot of the mountains and clouds was spectacular!!... you should diffidently enter that in some contest. I think I must have missed some information about you pet that you showed off to customers???
What is it and where did you get it?

Laura on

Where's a pic of Rocky? I want to see what Scott was afraid of! LOL, Looks like fun fools, keep on keepin' on

Use this image in your site

Copy and paste this html: