Living in the Crater of a Volcano
Trip Start Aug 26, 2005
125Trip End May 26, 2008
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The crater is big, so big in fact that you don’t even realize you’re in a crater. The rim of the crater was obscured by low cloud the entire time I was there and it was impossible to really get the grasp of being in a crater. I considered one of the many hikes to the top to look back down, however the persistent rain kept me limited to a few touristy sights around town.
It took me 4 busses to get here. One bus from Santa Catalina to Sona, then a bus from Sona to Santiago and from Santiago to the side of a road somewhere near a town called Anton, then from Anton to El Valle
I met an Englishman in El Valley who was just as much as a Chess fan as I was. We sat in the main plaza, with a posy of stray dogs at our feet and moved the pieces around. A few locals watched us in amazement. We asked if they wanted to play but none had any idea what we were doing. El Valley was beautiful but fairly uneventful, which is probably a welcome relief at this time in my travels. The rain continued the whole time I was there and limited my adventures. English Dave and I resorted to alcohol and spent 2 days and nights, eating, drinking, chatting, playing Chess and putting out candles with our 'Chi’. It works. It really works.
I made a phone call home, the first in a few months now. It was great to speak to my mum and dad after so long. I told them that I was losing interest in Central America and desperately needed a break. I was considering heading to the USA for 3 months, then returning to Central America to continue the trip north. The only problem – funds. They offered to fund my $600 US flight to the USA. Wow, that could completely change my life right now. But do I really want to go to the USA?
That night, after the call, I contemplated my options
I checked back into my lovely Panama City Hostel and thought about it some more. At 3 am the next morning, while I was looking at my book filled with options, and drinking beer at a local 24 hour restaurant with a few locals I decided to book a flight to Miami. A decision had been reached!