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  • Day144

    Playa Venao

    May 20, 2017 in Panama ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    To get from Santa Catalina to Playa Venao was even more complicated than getting to Santa Catalina. I had to take 5 different busses. The last one from Las Tablas to Playa Venao was only running once a day sometime around midday but no one could tell me when exactly. So I decided to take the first bus leaving Santa Catalina at 6 in the morning (which didn't show up before 6:30) to not miss my chance for that bus to Playa Venao. Wherever I had to change busses there was a direct bus going to Panama City. I really thought about just skipping Playa Venao and go straight to Panama City. Was Playa Venao really worth the hassle and the money I had to spend to get there? So far I still wasn't really impressed by Panama and thought maybe I should just get to Colombia where I knew I liked it.
    But I decided to give it one last chance and made my way to Eco Venao, a hostel Maren had recommended for me. Turned out it was the right decision!
    I had a really nice time there and met a lot of interesting people.
    Natascha is volunteering at Eco Venao. She had just finished her Bachelor in Interior Architecture at my University in Mainz and had so many nice ideas what to change at Eco Venao and we spend some time laying in the hammocks talking with some other girls about creative ideas for the hostel and other girly topics. I hope she's gonna stay motivated and will be able to implement some of her ideas.
    John is running the Venao coffee shop and roastery at the Entrance to Eco Venao. I spend quite some time listening to him talking about coffee and it felt great meeting someone being so passionate about what he is doing.
    Both of them helped me a little on figuring out what I wanna do when I get back. Even though I really enjoy my time traveling of course this is always in the back of my head and talking to the two of them made me realize I wanna keep on doing what I did. I've always been passionate about my job and I think I'm not ready to give that up for a boring job. Even if it would mean more money and less hours.
    One night I went with John to Panga, a really nice restaurant at the end of the beach. It was probably the best food I had on my trip. They were also selling Johns coffee so when he told them who he was we got a free dessert which was absolutely delicious.
    When we walked back along the beach there were tons of fireflies. It was so beautiful. The ocean, the stars and the flushing fireflies everywhere around. The only thing that was disturbing was that we didn't see where we were walking and you always had to be afraid to step on one of the many crabs crashing it.
    I also had my most expensive surfboard rental in Playa Venao. I took a board for a full day which was already $20. When I tried getting out I figured the waves were quite strong and I had to let my board go quite often. And when I thought I finally made it out another big wave came and when I let my board go again the leash ripped. Luckily I could grab my board before it was pushed all the way back to the beach. But I had to take the next wave to get out of the water to get a new leash and that was another $35.
    I went in and out of the water for the rest of the day to make the most of my money but as the waves were actually to big for me I mostly stayed to the front catching some smaller once and playing around in the white water.
    One morning Natascha did a yoga class on the yoga deck at the beach which was really nice. After that I had to figure out where to go next. As I had booked my sail boat to Colombia by now I knew I would be in Panama City till May 28th. So going straight to the City would mean 5 nights there which felt quite a lot. But I also didn't really feel like staying another day in Venao. When I told a few girls I thought about taking the bus early the next morning to Panama City Leila said we could take the bus together then as she was raking that one to get of earlier to go to El Valle. I remembered Simon in Santa Catalina had told me about El Valle and highly recommended it. So I decided to join her.
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