I woke up startled. After hitting snooze to my 3:45am alarm, I was was soon re-disturbed by a text from my boss. “We’re outside” it read. I was late.
Packing has never been a lengthy affair for me. As long as my wallet, passport, and camera aren’t forgotten, everything else feels fairly indispensable. This morning was a testament to that statement. After few articles of clothing stuffed into my backpack and a firm slap across the cheek, I was out the door – just two minutes later.
Luckily I was upgraded…first class. And did I look out of place. But the the quick flight landed us in Panama City after just a few hours and one long nap. With no checked luggage we quickly made our way to the curb where a friend waited to chauffeur us to the next airport.
Rueben was his name. A quirky Panamanian local whose car playlist consisted of no more than classical piano and The Godfather soundtrack. He was entertaining. A shameless whistler at nearby women.
I was distracted looking out the window. Not once during the length of the car ride did I witness land not in development. Golf courses, office buildings, residential skyscrapers, and agriculture – the amount of construction activity was overwhelming.
Soon we were at the next airport. A small strip of tarmac for prop planes and small jets. Due to traffic, we slipped in just in time to grab a cappuccino while still making the flight.
The coffee in my cappuccino came from the same volcanic region I am on a plane to – the Volcán region. An area that homes some of the world most coveted coffee growing forest.
*7:00pm – Volcán: On the Farm
At 6:00am this morning I was sea level in Miami, FL. At noon I was standing 1400 meters higher in the Panamanian rainforest. A warm lunch was awaiting us. Chicken, rice, guacamole, and an assortment of domestic hot sauces.
It was only an hour or so hike to the river. So afterwards we shot down to jump in. The water was muddy, but a fresh water spring cascaded down the hill side off a tall mossy cliff. It is likely the most pleasant shower around.