Trip Start Sep 28, 2007
33Trip End Ongoing
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Another pretty Panamanian mountain town surrounded by wooded hills that apparently are full of interesting animals. It has at least two unique species. The first is the endangered golden frog, which one almost thinks may be endangered mostly because people keep putting them in aquariums. The second is the square tree which naturally grows with four equal flat sides, joined by 90 degree corners. Quite strange.
We arrived in a pretty sombre mood, because as we were getting off our bus at an earlier connection a man drove his SUV into the back of the stationary bus. He died at the bus stop before the ambulance arrived.
We spent our sole day in El Valle wandering around
We had a look at another captive golden frog on the way back (there were two in this aquarium) and I spent a good portion of the afternoon admiring our hotel's captive toucans (altough I object to the practice in principle) called Pancho and Pancha. They are given a strange range of things to eat here, from fruits to potato chips (fries)and rice, but they seem healthy enough anyway
After dinner we all went to the local cantina, the place locals go to get drunk on $0.60 beers. We walked into a huge empty warehouse, with the bar located in a side room, where the television played 'suggestive' images but the bar, amazingly, prohibited smoking. The four girls created a senation amongst the already sozzled patrons and spent their time ignoring attention from admirers. Local women don't go to these kinds of places (or anywhere really), and I can't say that I am surprised. Meanwhile the two boys tried to have a conversation with the locals. Tiago probably managed this beautifully, but it wasn't easy for me, in Spanish in a noisy bar.
We left after half an hour or so, on Tiago's theory that this is an important cultural experience but it is best to leave before any one starts to feel comfortable with the situation.
Next day we were back at our ill fated stop, to catch our connecting minibus to Panama City. It passed without incident.