Planet Hiker
2004-09-10 Fiesta Time at Los Lajos, Panama

After taking a short refueling break in David, I headed for Las Lajos - what was supposed to be a beach with nice surfing waves, according to all of the guidebooks that I could get my hands on. Naturally, it turned out that there were no waves at all, but that did not spoil the party.

By complete coincidence, I shared the bus ride with two other travelers, Rafael and Rachael. Rafael is this skinny, middle aged Italian, who has a taste for fast motorcycle riding. Apparently, he had over 100 motorcycle accidents already, which leads me to believe that he has a taste for sweet road rash as well. One other peculiar thing about him was that for the duration of our acquaintance, he wore Speedoes, with a little blue towel wrapped around his hips... Rachel, on the other hand, is from Australia and she has been on the road for over 3 and a half years (shit, I though that my 5 months on the road were beginning to start counting as "experience" but this girl totally blew that silly notion away).

The first night at Los Lajos there happened to be a "typical American", as the rest of the world refers to us, who managed to get his rental car get stuck in the muddy road. So Rafael with his Speedoes and I were invited to give a push, in exchange for a round of beer. After about half hour of pushing and pulling and sticking all sorts of random object under the tires with the purpose of adding more traction, we surprisingly did managed to get "typical American"īs car out of the hole. So the rest of the evening we spent socializing while holding bears in one hand and scratching ourselves over mosquito bytes with the other.

The following day we did not end up doing all that much either... At around noon we went out for lunch to a newly opened restaurant and stayed there till about midnight. Not really sure how it all rolled into that... I think the good times began when the owner of the restaurant, also Italiano, bough us a bottle of fine rum. Shortly after we were joined by Max - another Italian. He was tall, had a funny straw hat and enjoyed intertaining people with silly drug related jokes. As a hobby (since it did not seem that he had any sort of rigit working hours) he was running a pizzeria back in the town (about 14 kilometers inland). And then a well built German girl, Bianca, joined our table to celebrate her last day in Central America, as she was taking off back home the following day. Naturally, with so much international blood around the table, the beer flowed easy and before we know it, lunch turned into dinner, followed by fiesta and of course, after hours excursion to the beach with another bottle of rum in our hands. By about 4am, I found myself lying in a strangely contorted position in my tent, with Max and Bianca next to me... Now, my tent is really a comfortable, one person tent. Two persons IF you are willing to be really cozy with each other. How all 3 of us managed to squeeze in there, is a puzzle that I am still recking with. The next morning, being a good host and all, I prepared everyone breakfast - peanut-butter and honey sandwiches, covered in granola. Yammmmm!