The two hour drive East from Panama City, to the Darién gap, with my Sister's husband, Juan.
Juan is in the exotic hardwood business, and he's brought me along to experience a day-in-the-life of a Tree Farmer. We set off at 6AM to visit his Teak Farm, meet the indigenous peoples, sample the road-side fare, and time permitting search for wild cacao.
Rule #1, bring your passport. Colombia borders Panama to the East, and so it goes without saying that being an American, traveling with my Canadian brother-in-law and his Mexican associate, we were going to be spending some time being profiled at checkpoints.
Rule #2, bring your camera.
Rule #3, drink water.
One of the many decorated commuter buses.. Panama's version of the "art car".. This one dedicated to "El Patron".
Juan sees the Forest for the Teak
Hitching a ride behind a Toyota "HiLux".. the breeze feels great.
A herd of Brahman going against traffic
A local deep in the forest with his pets
Children of the Forest
We witness a spider wrap a cricket in a matter of seconds
Juan shows me the seed pod of the Panama Tree. The National Tree of Panama.
We ask a Village girl to climb a tree in search of Cacao pods
Juan prepares to catch falling children