From Uncruise Adventures…
Erika Hernandez Calvo, Expedition Guide, Safari Voyager
It’s another amazing day in this Panamanian paradise!
We woke up early to enjoy a delicious breakfast, gathering all the energy for what was to come later in the day. After getting ready, we boarded a skiff while Seamus, our deckhand extraordinaire, gave us a fun fact of the day. He always has something interesting and funny to share.
We set out from the Safari Voyager in search of a new adventure and landed on a black sand beach that was covered with thousands of red ghost crabs, which seemed to be running a massive marathon in front of us.
In the distance, on top of a Cuipo tree, a common black hawk was looking at us, or perhaps looking for prey.
“This is going to be a good day,” I thought to myself.
Punta Patiño is an example of a successful repurposing of the land. A former cattle ranch, it was purchased by the National Association for the Conservation of Nature (ANCON), a non-profit organization that aims to preserve the forest that connects with the Darien National Park and La Chunga Forest Reserve through a biological corridor known as, “El Bagre.”
Our walk along the Labonga trail was a challenging one that required the presence of a local park ranger or “guardabosques” named Plinio. An indigenous Embera, Plinio has worked in the reserve for 14 years. On this day, he escorted us through the jungle with his big machete.
Plinio does not speak English, but he has lots of invaluable information that he is eager to share. So today, I became a student and a translator and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be there and learn something new.
It was a hot, humid morning, and we are soaking wet. But it didn’t matter because we are all in awe of this incredibly beautiful and dynamic rainforest.
After our walk, we enjoyed delicious coconut water from fresh coconuts that Plinio opened for us using his machete. It was the perfect thirst quencher after our hike.
In the afternoon, we set out to kayak in the mangrove system of the small Rio Patiño. How amazing!
Calm waters, birds, the peace of nature surrounding us, and the feeling of being the very first explorers traversing through the canals…even though the canals have been explored before, it feels like no human has ever gone there but us.
All of us came back to the Safari Voyager with a huge smile on our faces and lots of stories to share from the days excursions.