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panama

Panama Series: Cool and Colorful Pedasi

Headed 210 kilometers, direction south, ready to exchange the steep hills and windy weather with sunshine and sandy beaches on the Pacific coastline. We had absolutely no activities planned for the day, besides drinking cocktails, soaking up some sun and cool down in the water. I’m fine with that…When it’s just for a day. What you should know about me is that I’m someone who gets easily bored and I actually hate sunbathing (which is why I’m always pale) and swimming in the sea gets kind of boring after a while, when there’s no other activity involved (such as snorkeling, volleyball or whatever).

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We made it to one of the most colorful towns I had ever seen. Modern street art on every white wall, vibrant colored houses, colorful fountains – and a huge sign welcoming us as we entered the town. “Pedasi” was written in multicolored capital letters, with a much more subtle hashtag “visit Panama” below. I remembered to add that hashtag to everything posted on my social media platforms from then on. Maybe the local tourism board would notice me and give me some freebies? Or at least a friendly discount on one of the local tours – or maybe a free drink somewhere? Note; none of that never happened. 

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Our hotel, Residencial Santa Catalina , was conveniently located in the town center and had all the facilities we needed. As we’d already been on the road for a good week, we figured it was a good idea to use the laundry service provided by the hotel. Although there wasn’t really any laundry service on-site. Still, the receptionist offered to take our laundry elsewhere and have it done for us and didn’t even ask for any payment. Fair enough. Later that evening, we received our freshly washed laundry – folded and everything. Even my tiny underwear was folded. As a very sensitive person, I got ridiculously emotional looking at my pile of folded undies and once smelly hiking wear that now smelled like a rose garden. I think my boyfriend’s mother felt the same way, as we both had the idea to leave the lady a generous tip. It would have been even more generous, had we known what would happen at another hotel, four days later..

What was supposed to be one of the nicer beaches in the area, was a little drive outside of town, so we took the car and went to check it out. The beach was crowded. People, their dogs, parked cars and lots of non-recyclable trash everywhere. Lovely. We stopped to take a few pictures and got back in the car to locate another supposedly nice beach. With some help from Google, rather than our outdated guidebook, we managed to find one. This one was way less crowded, and a little less littered than the other one. We decided to stay.

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Nobody were in the water except from us and a bunch of tiny grey fish jumping out of the water and dancing around us. Fish in Panama seem to be a lot less afraid of people than fish anywhere else I’ve been. Why is that?

I enjoyed the moment to the fullest. The clear blue sky, the sunshine, the crystal clear water, the calm atmosphere, the escape from time… and it all came crashing down when we witnessed a dog taking a dump right in front of us, and watched the waves crash into his fresh produce. “That’s it, I’m out”, I said to everyone and got out of the water. Yes, I know there’s probably a lot more poo in the water than just this one – after all, fish poo in it. I just never felt the need to witness it in action. And where were the owners of the dog anyway?

As soon as we made it back to the hotel, I jumped into the shower and washed every inch of my body while picturing myself being completely covered in poo. I guess this phobia comes from an old childhood trauma of mine. I’ll tell you the story. So, my dad and I, went to Greece when I was fourteen years old, a year after my mother divorced him. He didn’t like the overcrowded beaches, and neither did I, so we walked along the beach, probably two kilometers or more, in search of a more secluded place. And we found one. There were literally no one there. Just us. It was simply too good to be true. We jumped right in. It smelled kind of weird there, but we didn’t think much of it….that was until we saw a “no swimming” sign, sewage pipes and…you guessed it, POO. Lot’s of it. Terrified, we ran out of the water as if we were running away from sharks, and headed directly to the hotel to get rid of the feces glued to our skin. Awful.

Meanwhile in Panama, I finished my shower and put on a nice skirt and one of my favorite shirts (which my boyfriend refers to as one of my hippie shirts). I was all set and thirsty for cocktails. We discovered a Mexican restaurant called Tortuga’s – a great place for fajitas, tacos and homemade cocktails (which included fresh juice). The food was good and service was great. Our French-Canadian waitress seemed quite relieved when she realized she didn’t have to speak English with us as we are all French speakers. Immediately, she went from nervous to relaxed and talkative and let her bubbly personality shine through.

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Our lazy day in Pedasi had been an interesting one. A similar kind of day in a different destination was lined up for the following day. Next stop, Santa Catalina!

 

 

 

 

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16 comments on “Panama Series: Cool and Colorful Pedasi

  1. The dog poo story made me laugh out loud but then your Greece story made me vomit a little in my mouth. Lol. YAIKS! You actually swam in sewage? Sounds funny but I know it wasn’t when it actually happened to you. Sorry that it did. :-/

    • Yeah, I did :/ My dad managed to laugh about it the next day, but it took me at least a year before I was able to tell that story and stop feeling shameful about it.

  2. rovingjo

    Haha I about died with the poop story both the dog in Panama and the one in Greece. I love all the colorful street art and think I would have been entertained here for hours just looking at all of it. And the colorful houses and hammocks, it is all so quaint. I hear the beaches are real nice but I have never been and being originally from Venezuela and now living in Florida I am a bit spoiled. Glad you found a nice place at the end of the day to eat and enjoy some cocktails.

    • The beaches are only nice if you go to the less touristic mini-islands in Panama. All the others are full of washed up trash, trash and more trash everywhere. And dogs are never on a leash on the beaches there, and if they need to do their business, they do. lol

  3. What a colorful town, I’d love to see all the art on the buildings. That owl is so cool looking! And I loved your poop story lol, too funny. I’d be running away too if I saw a dog poop in there, yuck!!

  4. That’s lovely that the hotel washed and folded all of your clothes! Sounds like you had a pretty emotional journey, but it ended with clean clothes, clean bodies and good food. I call that a success!

  5. Kathy - Walkabout Wanderer

    Oh no what a horrible childhood experience :-/
    Pedasi looks like a wonderful place to visit. I love how colourful it is. Very photogenic. I haven’t yet been to Panama but I am hoping to go next year when I travel in central and south America.

  6. Tony (tonyandkimoutdooradventures)

    Sound like the beaches are the place to avoid. Some great photos and my wife has hippy pants too……

  7. OMW poor you! I absolutely destest dirty beaches and people that litter 🙁 I had a similar “poo” drama happen to me in Malta once, totally awful. The bright walls look great though and that little place with the hammocks looks so fun and colourful!

  8. What a colourful city, it is a shame the beach wasn’t what you expected! I would love to visit Panama, looks like a great place and I hear it isn’t too pricey!

    • The capital is a lot more expensive than the rest of the country, that’s certain. Our hotel in Pedasi was not expensive at all, nor were the restaurants. I hope you’ll get to visit 🙂

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