Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wrapping up in Panama

Las Lajas

After hiking in Parque Amistad and cooking up our cheap but good dinner (see two posts ago), Leah and I headed back through David (the transportation hub of this region) to head to a beach called Las Lajas for a going away party for a three-year Peace Corps volunteer. We played football (U.S.-style) on the beach and drank--a lot. We started with jungle juice (see photo) and I ended up playing flip cup with Seco, the Panamanian rum.

The following day it was back to Leah´s house for my last night in Panama (through David, of course). We celebrated by cooking chicken parmesan and getting a bit drunk off cheap wine. I show the chicken here because a) this post is a bit short on pictures; and b) it's my favorite thing to cook and eat. As I think Leah would affirm, it was damn tasty.

The next morning I crossed the border and was on my way to San Jose.

I ended up spending a lot more time than planned in Panama--almost three weeks. I think this was due to a combination of factors. First, and foremost, Leah was a wonderful host. It was really cool to hang out with someone who was both a local and a gringa with similar interests and experiences. She kept having a next fun thing to do...so I didn't leave.

Second, I think I was a bit travel-fatigued by that point. This made me all the more happy to be hanging out with a friend and, unfortunately, speaking English.

Finally, Panama is a beautiful and diverse place with a lot to see. My extended stay of course cost me the chance to spend more time in other countries; but I don't regret it.

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