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playa venao

March 15, 2010

el sitio hotel

playa venao, panama

day #4 & #5

|march 8th & 9th|

apparently, even if you live in a 5 star resort in Panama you still need a vacation.

the family that I stayed with took  2 days off to go visit one of their favorite beaches, which was a 3 hour drive from their house.

(we had to pay off a corrupt cop on the drive over – don’t worry, this is totally normal and my host was actually pissed because she found out she overpaid since she wasn’t completely aware of the correct etiquette (the key is to slip $5 into your passport when he asks for ‘a donation.’)

this little trip was easily my favorite part of my adventure.

I paid $5 for the most amazing 2 hour yoga class that was held in an open hut on the beach. you haven’t lived until you hear the pounding surf of the Pacific Ocean while you use a mahogany yoga block to help you into an intense back bend. plus it was around 95* F so it was practically Bikram.

I was able to glide across the water on a surf board for the first time in my life. I may have only made it to my knees, but now I can say I surfed on one of the best surfing beaches in Panama.

I woke up every morning to the most amazing bowl of piña yogurt with fresh diced fruit and honey and locally made granola.

a surfing competition had just been held there that weekend, but a lot of the ridiculously attractive guys stuck around for a few days to catch waves on what they called a ‘5 star day.’  I consider myself to be an arms/shoulders girl – as in, I will swoon over a guy with amazing shoulders.  good deltoids will win me over any day, and these tanned, toned surfers all had AMAZING arms.  maybe I’m a little obsessed, but I could have sat in the shade with a Balboa (Panamanian beer) enjoying that eye candy for the rest of my life.

I also ate the most amazing fresh farmer’s cheese, grilled fish, more french fries than I’ve had in the last 2 years, and plenty of ice cold Balboas.

they’re considering buying property here, and you bet your ass I strongly encouraged them to purchase a little plot where they can see the sun rise over the misty mountains.

on our drive back we stopped at another resort that was a little more…eccentric.

at first we thought it was pretty neat to have all these birds running around, but then we were exposed to emu poop.  it was all over after that.

we also made a pit stop at Frostee’s, a local Panamanian ice cream place, and a giant super market.

muchos cerveza.

and I know how much some people love their hot sauce.


I made it back to Pittsburgh today, but I still have a few more posts up my sleeve for this trip.

stay tuned!

oh, and a few of you may notice that I ate some things on this trip that go against the strict vegetarian lifestyle that I’ve been maintaining for the last 18 months.  I’ll be discussing this soon, too!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 15, 2010 4:50 pm

    What an adventure! Those photos are absolutely gorgeous. And, hey, life is about enjoyment–even if that means sampling some meat in paradise every now and again.

  2. March 15, 2010 4:56 pm

    welcome back! such amazing pics, can’t wait tto see the rest! oh corrupt cops in other countries…i never know how to deal with them but thank god whoever i’m traveling with always does! and it can be hard to be veg in a place where you aren’t really supposed to eat fresh fruit/veggies bc of the water (not sure if that’s the case in panama) and where veg options usually aren’t available! i know i had a really hard time in costa rica bc EVERYTHING was meat somehow. like even the rice!

  3. March 15, 2010 8:20 pm

    Holy hot sauce!! What an amazing trip…it’s so neat that you got to see Panama from a local point of view, not a tourist one. Those boys sound delish :)

  4. March 16, 2010 4:26 am

    Hehe, my favorite thing to do in the world is to go to other places’ grocery store! Thank you for the quick glimpse!

    I want a pic of that fresh farmers cheese!!

  5. March 17, 2010 12:48 pm

    Ahh i know it’s custom–but that situation with the cop would freak me outtttt!!! i’m sure it was an interesting experience though :)

    gorgeous pictures. GORGEOUS hot sauce (hey, you know I love my food spicy!!!), and i adore all the birdies around–except, bird poop is never fun! haha!!

    can’t wait to read more about the trip, and i hope to hear from you soon!!! XOXOXO

  6. March 18, 2010 9:15 am

    Yoga on the beach in PANAMA?! Girly, that sounds like the life!

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