Monday, January 21, 2013


Today's trip would be a half day trip. It would take us north, into the mountains of the El Conte region. We were heading for Yaya Falls or as I liked to call them Yes Yes Falls .. damn, I am so incredibly funny.

At any rate our route took us up into the mountains on a incredibly winding roads. We'd done similar trips in Costa Rica, along narrow gravel trails and over wooden bridge where you could look back and see the planks rippling behind you... Panama boasts the best roads in Central America and they could very well be right. Windy and steep but well paved, though I imagine in the rainy season they would be more challenging. The vistas provided, however, were worth the trip

Our first stop was in the Cocle region where we saw the place where two rivers, Rio Colorado and Rio Blanco, converged. These are known as the Red and White rivers and they meet here, mingling the different colours of silt that give the rivers their names

From there we travelled to the area that contained today's featured attraction, Yaya Falls. Our guide book had described the tour as "a hike" More accurately, it was a "climb" but not a climb up a mountain trail but rather climbing steep, sometimes slippery stairs.

Stairs. What the fuck is it about Panama and stairs. At the DeCameron there were over 60 stairs to get down to the beach. Now here we were in the mountains and there were stairs to get to the falls. But worth it I suppose. Before we got to Yaya itself, we stopped at another waterfall where water had split in two this massive boulder formation

We continued the torture, I mean the stroll, up and down the stairs until we reached Yaya Falls themselves. The falls were nice, not the highest I've seen (I've been to Iceland) but at the base of the falls were the largest and best examples I've ever seen of metamorphic rocks. In the video, you'll see these huge rocks that almost look tiger striped.

I enjoyed swimming in the ocean at the resort but I have to say, it was awesome to be in fresh water. Our Panamanian guide told us the water would be freezing cold, well perhaps for her, but us Canadians just called "like home"

After paddling about in the Falls and scaring the locals, we got back on the bus. Our guide was from this area of Panama and she was great at pointing out a lot of interesting things for us. She explained that the locals here originally constructed their houses of a combination mud and water and straw, a little bit like adobe and some people still used this method to build little houses and outbuildings

One more stop before the hotel: A town who's major industry is making candy. To that end, they had several stalls on the highway where you could buy fresh made sweets at a discount price. We indulged. Well, duh

Then back to the hotel, back on the beach with Traveller in hand, and the end of another awesome day in Panama

Here's the video

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