My fishermen and woman have some more fishing tales to tell and I am hoping they will (at some point! I can only nag so much) share their experience on the blog. It was really windy the second time they went out but they returned safely with lots of stories to tell and fish for dinner. After fishing they came to get me at the hotel and we drove about 40 minutes to Playa Venao. We had lunch at El Sitio, a small hotel and restuarant right on the beach. Playa Venao, a crescent shaped beach on the southern tip of the Azuero Pennisula, is supposed to have the best surfing in all of Panama. The beach is gorgeous and after years of existing as a sleepy surfing spot it has attracted the attention of developers. There is a lot of construction going on with huge swaths of forest and jungle that have been cut down to make room for condos. The land looks ugly and bare with metal rising everywhere. It reminds me a lot of when Paradise Island was being developed to build Atlantis. I still mourn the Paradise Island of my youth, a place where I spent a lot time.
After lunch, upon the recommendation of the manager of El Sitio, we went to see a bit of the old Playa Venao. About a kilometer down the road and up a windy, rocky path we went to Playacita, a small hotel and camping ground on the beach. The property is run down and sort of creepy but the location is amazing. We saw howler monkeys hanging from trees, an Emu walking around and parrots in the trees. When the monkeys and birds got into a screaming match we decided it was time to leave.
We wiled away the rest of the afternoon at the pool and when the sun set we went into town, a bag of fresh fish in hand for dinner at Tortugas, a Mexican restaurant just outside Pedasi. It’s a no frills, outdoors kind of place (I embarrassed myself by leaping out of my seat when a bat swooped near our table) but the food is delicious. The chef took our fish and first made us ceviche, then grilled it with a sweet and slightly spicy tomato, pineapple salsa. It was perfect. We had so much fish that even after a dinner comprised exclusively of our fish we had enough for lunch the next day. After a walk on the beach in the morning, we went back to Smiley’s for lunch and he made us amazing fish sandwiches. It was the perfect food to fuel us for our drive back to Panama City. The drive was easy and we made it back into the city in time for dinner at Beirut, a Lebanese restuarant close to our hotel.
Today we leave to go back home. It seems unbelievable to me how quickly our two months in South America have gone by. Lots of deep thoughts to follow once we get back home, I am sure!