Overlanderoasis was an ideal spot, because within seconds we knew the names and dogs of everyone there. Within minutes we learned that there were problems with the ferry we plan to catch in Panama. The ferry service started in late October, and is scheduled to run between Panama and Colombia twice a week. We already have the tickets, for November 23rd. According to posts on the internet, since the service began there has only been one load of vehicles go across to Colombia.
We phoned the ferry company, and yes, the service has been suspended until early December. This meant that we are no longer in a hurry to get to Panama.
We decided to stop for a day and took advantage of the break to wander around Tule, taking pictures of the world’s largest tree, measured by mass, not height.
Bigger than it looks.
Capi, who was being taught dog manners by the other dogs, and who was not enjoying the hot climate, was delighted to find a fountain to play in.
Next morning we headed for the coast, taking the road recommended by our multi-talented host Calvin. Leanne, his wife was not so enthusiastic, recommending gravol. Six hours later, after being thrown from side to side as Bill braked into the turns, I had to agree with Leanne. Worse, as we careened down from the mountain tops, there seemed to be a 7000 foot drop on my side of the truck, with the edge of the road within inches of the tires, obscured by fog and greenery.
We ran into a funeral at one village on the way.
When we made it to Puerto Angel, we couldn’t find the campsite we were aiming for due to road construction and poor gps co-ordinates. Trip Advisor had recommended a hotel called Hotel Bahia del Luna. We headed there, down a long goat track that was mostly washed out. Eventually after a little 4WD we got to the hotel, in the middle of nowhere on its own beach, with few guests, a Swiss trained chef and our own little thatched roof hacienda. Capi was so happy she nearly drowned in the surf. Literally.
Next day we were on the way to CocoLeoco at Bahia La Bamba, famed surfer paradise and the only place I could find near Salina Cruz that accepted dogs. We had instructions that would put us within 30 kms of the spot but eventually reached a little village and an abandoned surfer camp. The locals did not know of CocaLeoco. A passing taxi helped us out and led us back to the surfer camp. The passenger in the taxi, Miguel, had the keys and showed us around. It wasn’t paradise but it was fenced and comfortable and there we stayed as night closed in.
In the morning we went to the beach. Spectacular! There is a freshwater lagoon full of camarones, and possibly camping on the beach. They have a turtle protection program in place, and a compound full of buried turtle eggs, identified by stakes giving the time and date laid. The area is guarded 24 hours a day by dedicated staff.
In the chaos of our departure from home, we forgot the bird books, guidebooks, and dictionaries so I don’t know what kind of falcon it was that landed on the road to grab a gecko, nor am I sure of what kind of duck looks like a large ruddy duck, but we could both identify the brace of iguanas attached to the belt of the man walking home to the village.