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Air Power - 27 Jan



We took our two bikes (Catrikes, 3 wheels) out for a ride. Unlike Santa
Marta, Columbia, we went out the back entrance of the marina unnoticed. In
Santa Marta, these unusual cycles drew stares. We are used to that. Around
kids in the 10 yr old group and above, you have to stay aware. A cattle
prod would be a nice addition to the bikes. After wandering around the
national park, which was formerly Ft Sherman, we entered MonkeyVille. With
no responsibility or mandate to the electorate, these primates swing from
the trees hurling insults, branches and who knows what else at unsuspecting
visitors. (Was that a Snickers Bar?). "Neek, Neek, Neek, come back again,
and I'll taunt you a second time". They were clearly Monty Python fans.
Point a smart phone camera, and these cowards retreat to the upper
branches. If Rome had these devices around 300 AD, they'd be speaking
Italian in Scotland.

After our brush with the winged monkeys of OZ, we headed up another
overgrown road/trail heading to what looked like what could have been
dormitories, or at least an active part of the base. We passed a sign that
started with Rest.... I'm not sure why they would have placed a restaurant
out near some buildings that could be an active military base. After
crossing what appeared to be a runway for helicopters, (bigger than a
helipad, but too short for a Cessna 152), we cruised through some abandoned
buildings. At about the turn around point, we were met by a private guard,
summoning the military guard shack. Capitan Jose ....... came to greet us
(with revolver still in the holster). Jill's Spanish is a little rusty but
very effective. After disappearing for a few moments, the Captain
reappeared with a couple of burritos, tacos and plenty of hot sauce. Okay,
not really. But we were allowed to transit back to the marina with a stern
warning in a language we didn't understand. Restricted and Restaurant are
so similar.

This morning we got up at O'dark thirty. For us, that meant being ready at
0700 hrs for a tour to an Embera Indian Village. The ride on the bus was a
little bummpy, but we did cross over the Canal. We met our Embera canoe
drivers at the edge of the national park. Each canoe sat about 15 people.
The canoes were narrow, so we sat one behind the other. There was one canoe
that sat 2 abreast. These 30 ft canoes moved along pretty well with their
loads, with 25 hp motors. When the canoes heeled, I felt like I was the
only one balancing it. It didn't seem to bother the boat driver or the
bowman, who both stood the entire ride. 45 minutes later, we were greeted
by music and the folks we came to see.

It was a 6 hour visit, and well worth the time. We had projects on the boat
we felt needed attention, but were reminded by other cruisers, this is why
we are cruising. If the project is just a nuisance, just wait.

Dave & Jill

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