Day 3 – Panama: Those Clouds

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We assumed it would take ten-minutes. Ratibor said he wanted “to show us something.” And as such an innocent demand inspires, we followed.

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Around Volcán there are no “No Trespassing” signs. At least none that I’ve seen (not due to a language barrier…) We began on ATV’s. Racing along muddy pasture roads into the mountains. It did take ten-minutes – till we stopped driving, that is. And then our morning workout began.

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When the path wasn’t muddy, it was steep. And when it wasn’t steep…it was muddy. Thick globs of heavy earth colored clay that enclosed around our feet on each step and tried its damnedest to not let go. The path was trenched, but when permitted we opted for the high ground.

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Ratibor wanted to show us something – two-hours hiking later we saw it. It was the Caribbean Ocean, visible from the top of the continental divide. The air had changed. Completely different foliage was being seen. We not only crossed the continental divide, but into a different eco system.

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Those clouds. They are secretive. Protecting from visibility whatever is on those summits I’ve yet to see. As the trees twist, turn, and tower, lesser foliages fight their way skyward in a plea for sunlight. But no matter who wins that battle, those clouds. They control all.

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We headed back down. Not far from where the ATV’s had picked us up was a hot spring. Tibor had been here before. And because of it he had brought quail eggs. The top spring came out so hot that it could boil an egg. Needless to say, it was snack time.

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Indigenous Ngobe workers live there. Right next to the spring in fact. The boiling spring cooled before reaching a lower pool. And that lower pool served as their daily bath. While the Mother bathed, the daughter watched after her baby brother.

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We didn’t spend much time there. It was time to get back to our farm. Back up the rocky dirt road we had come in on. However, I did ask to stop one last time. Simply because, those clouds.

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Barb

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