welcome to our blog!

This blog tells the story of our 22-month sailing journey from Oakland, California, to Bristol, Rhode Island, aboard our beloved Bristol 32 sailboat, Ute. Please feel free to browse through the archives (partway down the sidebar to your left) to see pics and read stories of our adventures in North America and Central America . (Sorry the first 3 months of the trip are missing - they vanished somewhere in an internet cafe in Mexico - but all you're missing is CA, Baja and Western Mex).

If you're trying to track us down now that we're landlubbers, try us at uteatlarge at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

OK, so after all the aforementioned planes, trains, and automobiles (and boats), we arrived in David, near the Pacific coast and the border with Costa Rica, where we spent one night to plot our next move. David is a city of about half a million people, which is a pretty big city by Panamanian standards, and it and the surrounding area are very much the agricultural epicenter of panama - everything there has to do with farming, ranching, crops. For us, it was a launch pad to get into the Talamanca mountains.

It was kind of strange to visit a part of Panama that we'd sailed by way back in April - for some reason we just couldn't get it through our heads that we were now back on the same wild coast we'd seen from Ute. That was such a different chapter of our trip - and I remember seeing these big green mountains from offshore and wondering if I'd ever get a chance to come back and visit them (because back then, we didn't know we were gonna get to spend all summer here in Panama).

Over breakfast the next morning we sort of did the close your eyes and point to something in the guidebook approach. At one point the words geodesic dome in the forest canopy jumped out at me from a page in the Lonely Planet. Since Allen and Nancy were waffling about what to do I morphed into bossy-tour-guide-Cora and decided we were renting a car and driving to Guadalupe to stay in a geodesic forest dome. hey, who wouldn't want to stay in a dome home, right? so we were off for the mountains.

little did we know that in a 75-minute drive, we would experience a 35-degree temperature drop and a dramatic change in scenery. It was astonishing!

As we slowly gained altitude I had to double check the map to make sure we weren't actually in Ecuador. the quilted hillsides with baby clouds, the thousand shades of wet-green, the little farm plots nestled in river valleys - it was like being transported to the Andes. I had no idea this was right here in Panama all along! and good god it was cold. i mean really, legitimately COLD.

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