Hey There, Sailor, Got Room For Three More?
This morning Kavitha and Shawn and I said goodbye to Kevin and Abeja who we may not see for a while. They headed north to Colon while we try to get a boat out of Panama City. Feeling kind of sad, I made a call to the "Maritime Office." Luís is our contact there, and he told us he would advise us when another boat came in.
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Luís had great news for us! A new boat had arrived the night before, just as we had been returning to the hostel so sad from missing the other one. The boat's name was the Boss Confio and if we wanted to meet the captain, he told us we should come to the docks and ask him in person if our group could gain passage to the Colombia border.
Kavitha and I rushed to the docks and went straight to the office. Luís took us to where the ship was docked. It's like a big warehouse, packed with plastic bottles, big wooden crates, bananas, big boxes of kitchen appliances, and a few dozen marineros, or sailors, working or sitting and resting. Little ships hugged close on both sides of the warehouse, attached by lines and pieces of plank. We walked to the Boss Confio and asked a big, bare-chested sailor on-board if we could talk to the captain. The sailor disappeared below, then came up and said Captain Juyoa was on board. Then he started collecting empty metal gas tanks and throwing them to another sailor inside the warehouse.
We went on-board, stepping lightly over the planks, and climbed over doors and down ladders like sea monkeys. The trustworthy ship had two levels, above decks and below, and it had a rusty iron color. There were crates of soda stacked to shoulder-length, and more gas tanks, tools hanging from the rafters, shoes, and clothes arranged haphazardly aboard. We passed the big navigation wheel, rounded the corner, and saw Captain Juyoa and his friend writing in notebooks, sitting and enjoying the breeze that blew off the bay.
When we introduced ourselves and said we were heading to Peru, Captain Juyoa told us, "Yes, that's where the Nazca Lines are, giant lines drawn in the desert. There are many teachers of metaphysics there. They can teach you about the power of the mind." I liked him right away. He asked where we were from, and when I said my roots were in the Philippines and Kavitha said her roots were in India, the captain became very interested. He said he wanted to visit India one day. He also said that he and his crew needed to stock provisions and were planning to leave on
Monday night at around 5 pm for the twelve-hour trip through the Darien to the Colombia border. I assured him that we would get there early, (I said noon, half-jokingly) to get our passports stamped and everything ready. With that, we shook hands and gleefully skipped out of the docks while other ship's crewmen whistled and said, "oye, mamacita" after us.
That was easy!
Now, check in next time to see if we actually made it on the Boss Confio to the border.
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Kavitha - Partytime in Panama!
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