Friday a bunch of us set off to find a new swimming spot that Holly (of Let The Adventure Begin) knew about. Emma (of a Woman, a Plan, a Canal… , but who has been way too busy to write for a while) was visiting and we all wanted to spend some time together. Joel (of Finding Myself in Panama) and Lauren (of Air Propel Latin America) and I met up at the intersection of Via Boquete and the road to Caldera. (whew, that’s a lot of bloggers all together!).
We proceeded to follow Holly’s car through Caldera and beyond on windy, hilly roads into places I’d never seen before.
We ended up at a spot with a little room to pull over and park, and then walked the rest of the way. It apparently is private property, and the guy at the gate said he would like $2/person when we leave. As close as I can figure this location is about 19 kilometers from the Via Boquete / Caldera road intersection, and we were going to Rio Chiriqui Nuevo. I did think to start my cycling ap shortly after we left the area so with any luck THIS will bring up a map that will get you close to the location. It’s a great spot so remembering how to find it is for my benefit as much as anyone else’s.
Little did we know what a beautiful spot awaited us!
And, little did we know the fun had just begun. As we got out of our cars we saw three other cars pulling in, and it wasn’t long before those people joined us at the swimming hole. As they started unpacking and getting settled, I turned around to look at the guy behind me and found I was looking into the face of Cesar Augusto Melendez, the rock climber! Not only is he a very accomplished climber, he’s quite handsome, a really nice guy and I enjoyed talking with him. I told him my daughter and son-in-law are climbers, and he said he hopes they can visit Panama sometime because he would love to take them climbing. He even gave me his card so I can get in touch with him.
Cesar was out with maybe 20 young people from Panama City. A lot of people from the city like to take advantage of the holiday and go to “the interior” to beaches, rivers, and other spots where they can swim, cool off, and enjoy themselves.
Then, the next thing we knew Cesar appeared on the rocks high up above the water! The next activity was for people to climb up to an outcropping of rock, grab the vine, swing over and jump into the water below.
Sometimes fun is not without risk, so we were very happy the injured girl hadn’t done anything worse. Hopefully it’s only a bad bruise, or at worst a cracked bone on the top of her foot.
Later, Cesar and some of the others decided to rappel down the waterfall!
It was amazing to see Cesar climb around on the rocks like it was nothing, so sure footed, unafraid, and capable!
But, like all good things, the time came when we had to head back. What a great morning! Not only did we have a great time with friends, we saw a beautiful new spot, and really enjoyed being there with the young people and Cesar. Thank you Holly for yet another great outing!