Thu January 03 2013  —  e-mail Manfred

Panamanian Beaches, the cheapest and best.

Flag Panama

Wednesday, February 29 2012

7 years, 7 months, 7 days

Panama City, Panama.

About Travel Photography,
Colors of the World.

Manfred is creator of ThisFabTrek.com, travel photography, a travel blog and a photography blog (a journey from 2004 to 2013). 'I set out to see the colors of the world, always I try to capture the colors'.

Seeing, is understanding, so I report and photograph, but formost enjoy and live those different conceptions of life (all that TV [and the web] cannot give). I reject jealousy, animosity, bigotry. Be free!

Manfred in the desert of the Western Sahara

The mind, when pondering at night and always asked those questions. What am I doing in corporate wonderland of bank, university, office or church? Who is the other animal asleep deep inside, the thinker, punk, creative, or Indian, vagabond and healer, maybe artist, writer, photographer, traveler, globetrotter? Oh God, dare you to think. When I saw the lies, gambles and manipulations I follow the old dream and set out for the journey of life lived, the journey to see the colors of the world.

During years on the road I have taken the turns as they came along, and realized one thing: Only such a small part of the planet can be explored and such a vast land and sea mass will always remain unknown, to me; many swamps, jungles, deserts and oceans will never be traveled. But then I am father of twin boys, Daniel and David, my most important, and I show them some of the wonders and colors out there.

ThisFabTrek, Photography and Journey, the Stories from the Road and Life around the World, stopped in August 2013 after more than 9 years, Love and Peace.

Last vehicle.

G20, Chevy Gladiator.

Chevrolet Gladiator G20, The boys in Cordillera Blanca, Peru.
The boys and Chevy van, Peru.

The G20, the vehicle that came to me for the Americas adventures.

6 wheeled Land Rover.

Land Rover Defender 6x6
Link to Foley

The vehicle of the Africa adventures, a Foley 6-Wheeled Land Rover Defender.

Before, the MB307.

Manfred and MB307
Journey, Middle East.

The vehicle of the Middle-East and North-Cape Journeys. See all vehicles.

Daniel and David with nanny Aisha, the best we ever had, black African Woman carrying white twin babies, in Bamako, Mali.

Current Vehicle 40,235km

Trekking 927km

Ferry 2,782km

Train 7,015km

Land Rover 73,588km

Other cars 179,939km

Travel Blog

contains Festival/Fiesta/Art photography.

"There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo.

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it, to tell the tale." Living to Tell the Tale - Gabriel García Márquez.

"They never taught wandering in any school I attended. ... they never taught the art of writing a book, either. It's all so mysterious."
"Wandering is an art in itself. Wandering and writing don't mix"
"Writing demands commitment and if one thing your wanderer is allergic to is that very quality of commitment, for once one is committed he runs that very risk of failure ..." Wanderer - Sterling Hayden.

"Photography enables you to grasp a place first time round. ... Photography is a means of exploration, it's a vital part of travel, almost as essential as a car or a plane. " - Wim Wenders.

"The worst prejudice we acquire during our youth is the idea that life is serious. Children have the right instincts: they know that life is not serious, and treat it as a game..." , Egon Friedell.

"How far you gonna go. Before you lose your way back home" - Tryin' To Throw Your Arms Around The World, Achtung Baby, U2.

"If you want to be a hero well just follow me." - Working Class Hero, John Lennon.

"When I think of all the things I have done, I know that it's only just begun." - I love you, Lou Reed.

"One does not escape the Sahara - the Sahara let's you go or not" - Touareg.

"Planet earth is blue and there`s nothing I can do" - This is Ground Control to Major Tom, David Bowie.

"Glory for the crazy people/in this stupid world" - Ahmed Fouad Negm.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > central-america-caribbean > panama > 20120227-panama-beaches

After the crazy days, down Azuero peninsuala to the beaches.

Map, San Jose to Panama.

Download GPS (KML) track/waypoints.

Playa Veano.

Flock of gulls on beach Venao, Panama.
Flock of gulls.

Past Pedasi down the Azuero peninsula after the Las Tablas carnival craze, we roll into a dusty and windy Venao, an amazing bay of a Pacific beach. There are two Israeli owned bars/restaurants, lounge or beach bars, and I decide to bite the bullet after 5 days of deep down and dirty fried carnival snacks, sausages and chicken legs to go, all damn cheap and greasy, I always wonder how you can survive on this. But the bars and juke boxes and their music soothed with the best of Columbian and Panamanian Cumbia, some Puerto Rican and Cuban Salsa and of course Regeaton is all over Panama, that great Panamanian invention.

So here in Venao I decide to settle for some lounge music, some Lebanese Fairuz mingles underneath, some nice Hebrew stuff too that I don't know, we are in a lounge bar with an amazing view and sunset over the Pacific. Beer is a touristy 2USD, food an average burger (10USD) and burnt, rusty, oil soaked fried calamaris (12USD), just a tad worth then the fried chicken leg on the carnival (for 1USD). The calamari are unbeatable, uneatable; but our own fault, I think, to order Mediterranean food, Central Americans are hardly ever trained to do it properly, it is better to stick with their 'delicious' food.

I put a smile on, just then something bizarre happens, the music switches, plays some old Bon Jovi rock, some Beatles, and I still only shake my head. Only when I hear the 7th Bee Gees song in a row I stand up, pay and walk out of the place, this is more than the average man can handle. I even ask whether she could play some Panamanian stuff but the arrogant full-breasted, tattooed know-it-all Columbian bar tender tells me that Alfredo Escudero is hardly something she would play in this établissement of class, but Bee Gees yes. Yes I wonder, why wouldn't you want to give your clients some lessons in the grandest variety of Latin music, in a Central American, Caribbean country, full of heritage, why would that be so misplaced?

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Playa Guanica.

Playa Guanica, past Tonosi is then a very local affair, music excellent, beer 65c, food delicious, local, shrimps in sauce and fries for 6.5USD, and in the morning the quiet unusual; sunrise over the Pacific.

Christina, Guanica pebbles beach, Panama.
Christina.
Waves and shaoows on black Guanica beach, Panama.
Waves and shadows.
White salt foam, black volcanic pebbles, Guanica Beach.
White foam, black pebble.

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Playa Cambutal and beyond, pure paradise.

Beaches wide and empty, beyond Cambutal, Panama.
Beyond Cambutal.

But wait, wait this is even getting better. We get to Cambutal and beyond, where the dirt road starts, past some stream crossings, where the grandest and loneliest beaches commence and nobody goes no-more. How many years will the solitude out here exist, before the lounge bars and hotels move in, when will the road be paved and the locally held properties be sold? Those beaches are black sands or pebbles, hundred meters wide when the tide is low, steeper and a force not to underestimate when the tide is in.

Out there where the road ends, almost where the mountains of Cerro Hoyo start, is nothing, is where the double killings by stabbing took place, a murder and another one to redeem it, and never before and never after has such an atrocity occurred out here on this peaceful stretch of coast. But so Escahorta tells us, it was the year of her quinceañeras, and she had started to go looking for her dad at night, and that night she found him stabbed to death, and the murder redeemed by her uncle. Her father had worked hard on the land, made it in potatoes and corn, and bought some of the coastal lands when they where cheap, his success was the thorn in the eye of the envious slayer. That day 40 years ago changed her life forever, resuming responsibility she worked as a maid to support her siblings. Today Escahorta wants to sell the inherited land, she doesn't want to work anymore.

For food we are back in Cambutal and intuition leads to a nice lady, Nubia, she owns a delicious restaurant with a juke box almost at the end of town; if you, dear reader, ever get here; Chicken and sauce, or fried fish and rice and beans, with plantains and salad, all comes for 2.5USD and is delicious and yes, beer for .65. Yes, here you want to stay forever. The spume on the beach is white, sand black, and with some luck you watch some riders who take their horses swimming and body surfing in the waves of the Pacific; Cambutal is paradise.

Horses in ocean, en of day, Cambutal, Panama, Pacific.
End of day.
Riders take their horses swimming in the Pacific Ocean, Cambutal, Panama.
Riders in Pacific Ocean.
Ride into sunset, Pacific Beach, Cambutal, Panama.,
Ride down the beach.

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Punta Chame.

Dramatic sunset colors, Punta Chame, Panama.
Dramatic sunset colors.
Lonley on glisten ocean. Kite surfing, Punta Chame.
Lonley on glisten ocean.
Under an bloody red sky. Kite surfer in air, Punta Chame, Panama.
Under an bloody red sky.
Kite surfers, Punta Chame, under an orange sunset, Panama. Pacific Ocean.
Kites under orange sun.

On way to Panama City we turn into Punta Chame, wide windy peninsula of granular salt and pepper sands. Punta Chame has two faces: a sunset side where you go to watch the kites fly on glisten ocean waters under a bloody red sky. The other side is reserved for sunrise, to view thousands of pelicans hunt for fish in the dawn hours of the day until the orange ball of fire turns white and the big birds settle. We would come back to Punta Chame a week later, but the pelicans would not hunt but a lot farther out, hundreds of dead jellyfish instead litter the morning beach at low tide.

Thousands of Pelicans are feeding, just at sunrise, Punta Chame, Panama.
Thousands Pelicans feeding.
Washed up jellyfish. Beach Punta Chame, Panama.
Washed up jellyfish.
Sunrise colors, Punta Chame. Ocean.
Sunrise colors, Punta Chame.

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Splendid Panama City.

Panama, maybe the friendliest, the most secure country in Central America, surprises with the most splendid capital, a skyline like Dubai or Miami, a cosmopolitan feel and pulse, a Casco Viejo heritage.

Car repairs take their time, it's the same wheel bearing as twice before, and after the repairs the breaks don't work. Bored I put my 17-35mm f2.8 Nikon lens in the washing machine, it is when you hide things too well that you forget where you put them, time to smile, this is how one manufactures an expensive paper holder. Friday night we see a Cuban Salsa life explosion in Havana-Panama club in Casco Viejo, and for a long time I have not danced so much and till 3 in the morning. Panama City, while we eat the nicest squid and shrimp ceviche that is sold almost everywhere, keeps us busy organizing the crossing to Colombia, as it is here in Panama where the Pan Americana highway ends in the Darien jungle. So, see you on the other side... March 2012.

Panama skyline.
Panama skyline.
Casco Viejo Panama.
Casco Viejo Panama.
Banjo player sings Belafonte, Panama.
Banjoplayer sings Belafonte.

And yes, the Fab Trek has been going for 7 year, 7 months and 7 days, 777, jackpot, but not yet time to go home.

www.thisfabtrek.com > journey > central-america-caribbean > panama > 20120229-panama-beaches

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