Portobello, Panamá

Portobelo Travel Blog

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Portobelo, Panamá - Fuerte en Portobelo

So we ended up having to stay in Panamá longer than expected because it was rather difficult figuring out how to go about getting to South America. 

Our dilemma: plane or boat?  At first we were thinking we were going to sail because it seemed to be the safest and the cheapest way to get there . . . and it also included a visit to the San Blas Islands, a plus for me!  

But after waiting several days for a sailboat to become available, it turned out to be the most expensive and inconvenient. 

Bummer for me because I really wanted to get better acquainted with the Kuna Indians of Panamá, who live in San Blas.

Anyway, we opted for the plane because we managed to find a pretty cheap fare to South America.  Still, though cheaper and faster, taking the plane meant not being able to hang out with the Kuna.

Portobelo, Panamá - Un fort à Portobelo

Give up?!  No way!!!  

That was one advantage to sailing, but hey now that we were going to fly, how were we gonna get there??!!  Hmm?!

We definitely had the time, so we decided to try to get there on our own by land, canoe . . . by any means!  But, it turned out being a lot harder than we’d expected.  

We got as far as Portobello, only to find out that there were either no boats available or it was just way too expensive for us!  Oh well!!

So there I was somewhat disappointed to know that I wouldn’t be able to see the Kuna in their own environment.  No reason to give up though!!  

As we walked around this cute little beach town, we came across a group of Kuna women, who were set up in the town’s artisan market.

Portobelo, Panamá - Fort in Portobelo

So, we sat down and started chatting with them, as best we could.  A bit difficult considering they hardly spoke any Spanish!!  

Good thing, there was a young "modernized" Kuna, who was there to translate.  These ladies were a blast. 

They had me cracking up because they kept picking on Arnaud . . . pobre Gringuito!!  And of course, I had to take some photos with them as a souvenir.  We had to pay, but it was worth it. 

Funny thing about that is there we were thinking that the Kuna disliked having their picture taken out of fear that their soul would be gone with the photo . . . nonsense!  For a few bucks, their soul stays put!!

Adios Panamá!  It was fun, but it’s time to keep on going!  South America here we come!!

Une ville située à 2h de Panamá, très sympa, calme comme j’aime, l’origine de cette visite était de trouver un bateau pour aller en Colombie et de voir les Kunas, un peuple indien qui vit dans l’archipel de San Blas.

Portobelo, Panamá - Unas señoras Kuna de San Blás

Ce sont plein de petites iles. Mais soit c’était trop cher, ou soit c’était trop compliqué.  

Prendre l’avion puis le bateau puis on ne sait pas trop quoi après......Heureusement on a pu sympathiser avec des vendeuses Kunas qui bien-sur nous ont fait payer (2 photos=2$, on est vendeur ou on l’est pas), car à la capitale dès que j’essayais de les prendre en photos, elles partaient en courant. 

L’excuse était que j’allais prendre leur esprit, mais à 1$, l’esprit y reste !! Ils ont une image toujours un peu négative du blanc, c’est comme ça.

abryan20 says:
IT's too bad it didn't work out with the sail boat, you guys should check out findacrew.com! I used it and was able to sail from Hurghada, Egypt to Cochin, India and it was a great experience.
Posted on: Nov 12, 2010
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photo by: AndySD