Fixpoint

2019-11-16

Hiking La India Dormida

Filed under: Vita — Jacob Welsh @ 08:43

El Valle de Anton is a town situated in a dormant volcanic crater, about two hours' drive from Panama City (assuming you time it to avoid traffic). One of the surrounding rock formations is known as La India Dormida, because it resembles a woman lying on her back, with trees and rivers for hair, peaks for nose, chin and breast, and more gradual slopes for legs. I couldn't quite see it at least from the vantage points we got, but either way it made a great hike and a way to escape the swelter of the city and enjoy the cooler mountain air.

Crossing the Pacific mouth of the famed canal on the Puente de las Americas.

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On the right, a typical Diablo Rojo. On the left, the Saturday inbound commute.

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Highway passing through the suburbs.

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November is the end - and peak - of the rainy season. The grass looks happy.

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Off the highway and heading inland.

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First view of mountains.

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Looks like they're doing something with it...

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On the outskirts of town there was a strong presence of chinos (convenience stores run by Nth-generation Chinese). At this one, a taste of the local classifieds: hard drives and rabbits.

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We stayed at Hostal La Casa de Juan; I wouldn't recommend it. The perhaps nicer Bodhi was all booked.

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Indeed they don't seem to worry about much. Nor do the dogs that roam freely around the town, one of which we encountered taking a nap in the middle of the road. We didn't get to trying the pool table.

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The bikes were "free"; maybe one of them had a working brake. The bedroom had a thick odor of mildew, and we soon found why: when it rained, the roof leaked right onto one of the beds. When we pointed this out to the staff they acted surprised. Fortunately there were enough extra beds.

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Setting out on the adventure.

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Perhaps the botanists in the audience can fill me in?

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After the first ascent.

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Dinosaur!

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This would be why it's called El Valle.

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Sniping some folks on the next peak with the 40x optical zoom on my newish Lumix.

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Defunct vineyard?

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After the final ascent; the view is almost straight down. (They say I like a few hundred feet of rock under foot!)

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Petroglyphs.

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There's an excellent waterfall pool we dipped in to cool off. To get there we had to scrabble a ways up the rather slippery rocks, while it was raining, so I wasn't risking the camera, but here it's kinda visible through the trees.

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There must be some story to this massive thing...

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Across the bridge it opens back to the road and we've completed a 3-hour loop.

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Afterwards we grabbed a meal at Charlie's Empanadas y Pizza y something-or-other. Food was tolerable and service was surprisingly attentive, compared to what we'd heard of other places. Afterward we stopped for groceries at a Rey that looked just like they do in the city, made some proper piña coladas back at the Hostal, and played a few rounds of rummy, taught by Robinson as the rest of us had been missing out.

And we're back home on Sunday.

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4 Comments »

  1. [...] last night's article I had to pay the debt of having deferred my ever so carefully planned dig into photo blogging for [...]

    Pingback by Blogging photos and chat logs: some handy scripts « Fixpoint — 2019-11-16 @ 20:37

  2. As I fixed my lack of knowledge on Panama's "red devil" buses (and no thanks to you, footnotes please!) and I've been therefore informed that they are "local culture", I took a good long look at your picture there (and a few other pictures of further culture in this vein) and I decided that Diablo Rojo is just Spanish for Ayn Rand.

    That bike comment is... so you! But seriously, when you said hiking trip I had this possibly-too-european-image of tent on the back and fire camp, what is this middle aged trip there!!11 By the looks of that Hostal shack with its "extra beds" and extra all sorts (and where is Bodhi's pic, you mention it but don't show it?!), I can hardly picture it being worse to sleep ~anywhere other than in there.

    As for the company, I guess I know Indiana Jones there and the rest are warmly invited to register a key and come say hi.

    And hm, will you say it yourself just what you've been carefully avoiding here or do you need me to say it? :P

    Comment by Diana Coman — 2019-11-20 @ 13:14

  3. "I decided that Diablo Rojo is just Spanish for Ayn Rand." - hmm... fanciful; loud; garish; might get you somewhere, if you had nothing better, in that the working parts are hand-me-downs from another culture. That something like what you had in mind?

    "tent on the back and fire camp" - heh, and here I was thinking hostels were this sophisticated European thing and pitching tents in the muck is what us wayward colonials did.

    We didn't stop at the Bodhi, hence the "perhaps" nicer; I should have worded that clearer. (This wasn't quite so last-minute that we didn't make reservations!)

    "just what you've been carefully avoiding here" - lol, this some enumeration attack on whatever I might feel insecure about?? Well why not. Not enough ladies in the gentlemen's club? Virginia Slim oughta hit the gym?

    Comment by Jacob Welsh — 2019-11-21 @ 02:20

  4. Bwahaha the " hostels were this sophisticated" is the ...wayward colonials, lmao. Now I'll need to dig in the archives and unearth some pics too and that's saying something so well done you.

    "That something like what you had in mind?" - Yes, exactly that!

    Comment by Diana Coman — 2019-11-21 @ 08:11

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