I’m likin’ this hikin’

Last weekend, I hopped on a small bus from Albrook Mall with my three lab mates and another friend, and three hours and $4.25 later we were deposited on the side of the street in El Valle de Anton – a small town up in the caldera of an extinct volcano. Later in the evening we were joined by two other groups of Gambodians who work for STRI. They were also staying in the same hostel as us, and we all spent a very pleasant weekend enjoying the climate (due to the higher elevation it’s slightly cooler and much less humid than in Gamboa!).

On Saturday, we stocked up on fresh fruit from a local market and embarked on a hike up to the upper edge of the crater. It was a beautiful trek up on a trail that wound up through the cloud forest and past a bunch of waterfalls. When we got to the top, it felt like we had emerged in a completely different place because we stepped out of the jungle and into one of the only grassy spaces that I’ve seen since being in Panama. This meant that we had a great view, during the breaks in the clouds swirling around us, of the town back in the valley. It was an awesome hike!

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Checking out some old carvings in the rock wall on the way up…
My lab mates, Xochitl and Zach, and I taking a nice photo at the top…
My friend Lily at a neat swimming spot that we biked to after the hike

Also of interest:

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Look what you can buy in the grocery store for $3.95?!!?!

The trip was a great breath of fresh air, so to speak – a nice chance to get to know some more people and do some outdoor adventuring!



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