THE WEEKLY #113: BIG HIKES AND LA TORMENTA
I’ve been in El Valle de Anton so long now that I can’t even remember arriving. Has it been a month yet I’m not sure? Right now I wake up, eat my free pancakes and fruit and then all that’s left to do is to figure out which mountain, waterfall or adventure is on the agenda.
I’m part guest part full-time resident at Bodhi Hostel now and am giving out tips left right and center about the hikes. It’s fun to be semi-permanent for a while even if I am still in the dormitory without much of a packing system other than a locker.
This week we attacked one of the bigger hikes in Panama, known as Tife. There are two Tife Waterfalls out in the jungle. It involves a 6-hour hike in with all of the gear and a 6-hour hike out. Most people do this over several days.
Without knowing the route too well, terrain or what we needed we set off and it was an incredibly sweaty and rough journey but a beautiful waterfall at the end made it all worth it. We slept in an open cabana at a locals house, showered under their tap and enjoyed a warm coffee in the morning. It was cool to kick it with a local family out in the jungle area for the night. They need to hike out (on a horse) to get to civilization for supplies, school, doctors etc.
The second big hike of the week was to Cerro Turega. A lesser trafficked hike provided a steep challenge. We had to scramble up the side of the mountain in the mud. Even our local guide was slipping as we hauled ourselves up in a hilarious fashion, grabbing on to trees, roots and anything we could. A huge storm hit us halfway up with an insane downpour, thunder, and lightning. The lightning was striking close to us and we had to make a rush down the trail, which had now turned into a river.
My camera battery slot was waterlogged, which justified me carrying a spare camera body around for the last four months. Sony a7ii is a great camera but hot damn that thing is not durable for adventure. I am through three camera bodies now and between them, there have been 8 repairs in two years. Mirrorless system just can’t hang on my adventure level. That or I am too reckless. One of the two. I have to seriously consider switching back to regular DSLR purely for reliability and weatherproof functions.
I found out that Australians have 6 months in Panama with no visa necessary, which was a huge win and meant I don’t need to go through the drama of getting an extension for the extra 10 days I will stay in Panama until my flight out of Bogota, Colombia on the 6th.
That’s a quick wrap of my week. Hope you all had some stellar adventures. If you want to check out any of the blogs I wrote this week, I will link them below.
A journey of 30km with over 2000-meters of incline through the forest of Omar Torrijos National Park to reach the epic Tife Waterfall in Panama.
Cerro Turega is an epic trail that leads you past waterfalls before up an intense incline to reach the three peaks at the summit with panoramic views!
Cerro La Silla is a short journey to an epic viewpoint atop the mountains to watch the sun rise over the horizon with views of Valle de Anton and beyond!
Cerro Chame hike for sunrise to the cross at the summit is an epic journey but it is the other ridges that are my favorite!
Isla Farallon is a unique island off the coast off Farallon on the southern coast of Panama, only a couple of hours drive from Panama City.