Roy Jones - Travel | Writing | Photography


Days 282 to 293 - Wednesday 28th June to Sunday 9th July 2006

I arrived in Panama City in mid afternoon, and didn’t want to travel out to Penonome that same day so I checked in at Zuly’s, the hostel I stayed at back in February, and caught up with goings on in the World Cup, before heading to Penonome to see Yami the following morning.

Whilst I returned to Panama to see Yami, I knew she would be working and that I would have to amuse myself during the days, something I did by taking trips for a couple of days here and there to various places in Panama.

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The first week in Panama I went off to Chitre and Pedasi in the Azuero Peninsula. I stayed in Chitre for a night before taking a bus further south to the village of Pedasi on the southern tip of the peninsular. Pedasi is a village of about 2,000 people and is the hometown of Panama’s first female president, Mireya Moscoso, who ruled from 1999 to 2004. It is well known in Central America for having decent waves for surfers and being a generally nice little village.

Pedasi lays a couple of kilometers from various beaches, which turned out to be a 30 minute trek along a stony track. The beach I saw was a deserted expanse of black sand with waves crashing into the rocky shoreline. The village itself is pretty enough, with enough in the surrounding area to keep you occupied for a day or two. One of the main reasons for coming here is the surfing, with numerous beaches nearby offering supposedly excellent waves.

The morning after arriving I took the early bus to Playa Venao, which has a reputation for having excellent waves, where I was in two minds about hiring a surfboard and jumping into the deep end as it were.

The bus trip took about 40 minutes and dropped me off on the main highway, and wouldn’t return for about 8 hours. I found the beach, an open expanse of sand with grass at the rear and a small island about a mile off shore, and set about killing time. The area was completely deserted apart from the ramshackle huts and beach bar with no-one in. It stayed completely deserted for most of the day, apart from a herd of cattle that came down to the beach at one point to have a swim in the sea, encouraged by some cowboy dudes. I met a local surfer who had hitchhiked from Panama City and planned to spend a few days at the beach, sleeping in a hammock tied to the wooden frame of the restaurant, before hitchhiking back to the city.

I returned to Penonome the following day, and Yami and I caught a bus to El Valle, where we stayed for the weekend. I had visited El Valle during my first time in Panama, so I knew it was a cool little village. Not much happened over the weekend, we were given a tour of the surrounding area by one of Yami’s university professors who owned a weekend house in the village, watched the World Cup Final, and explored on some bicycles we hired for an afternoon.


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