Ending May 23rd
We definitely lost count of days and forgot many of our sorrows while staying at Venao. It sort of has that effect on people. All the guests, owners and volunteers were one big happy family by the time we left. We played together, worked together and partying together. So before we wrap up this entry to move on to what we did after Venao, there were some really exceptional moments that we want to show you.
The entire time we were at Venao, we were watching the developments next door at Panama’s next big thing: a restaurant called Panga. We did not expect to be on the beach long enough to see it open, but we were. But that wasn’t such a bad thing based on the amount of amazing food we consumed that night. Their motto is to try to focus on all local food, within 20km and handmake whatever is missing. Our motto is to just keep eating the delicious food until we cant eat anymore.
One of our great new friends, Jen, helped give the opening a bit of atmosphere. She is a traveling surfing babe who happens to sing like an angel.
Speaking of surfer babes, I have been bequeathed by the babest of babes her surf board. As she was headed back to England, I received a pretty sweet deal on the board, fins, leash and bag. We now have 2 boards, and are ready for whatever breaks this adventure has to throw at us. Just hopefully they are gentle, and maybe not over too many rocks.
Brett really upped his lighting game while here. His sign now features prominently in front of the hostel, and his lamp now hangs over the smokers hut (as we all know he has always wanted to make it more pleasant for people to smoke). In return for the lighted surfboard, he also received a legit surf board in return.
Finally, one of our last days a swell came in and ruined the waves. Not only was it choppy and messy to surf, there were frequent shark sightings. Don’t worry moms, these were just baby sharks that would only take a bite out of your thigh, likely nothing serious). So we decided it was best to head back into shore and not try to swim with them. They had other plans though, and somebody noticed that down the beach one shark had washed ashore. We ran like kids as fast as we could down the beach, and then stood in a circle wondering what to do. Thank god we had Marian with us, a bad-ass Venezuelan chica who didn’t wait for nobody and grabbed the beast by the tail and flung it back through the waters where it came from! (photos not by us!) Powerful!
On Sunday, May 23rd, we packed up everything we love including Sam and Chris, and headed back into Panama. Our expectation was to check in on the paperwork progress (it was supposed to be finished the following Friday) and then head down to the bottom of the Pan-American highway while we waited. We made a pit stop along the way back to the city, and discovered a hidden gem of a free camping spot. We cannot tell you where it is though, we have been sworn to secrecy.
The waves were absurdly fun. A very strange break, that gently rocked you but then threw you to shore. All four of us paddled around for hours.