Portobelo with not so belo ending

This trip was wild – indeed! Read it and you may get some absolutely crazy impressions about Central America. The weekend was more than just a normal local experience…

I’m so happy that nobody was killed nor hurt very seriously. Elo – I wish you recover soon completely!

Guys, well, let’s start the story line…

A nice day was kicked off in Panama City. Elo and I went to the car mechanics since Gippsy’s muffler was making some strange noise. The guys with the dirty hands said, it would take 90 minutes. So we decided not to wait, but to drive towards Portobelo right away.


We took the street through the jungle called Soberania. I mean the real jungle with jaguars and stuff. It was so very green. We approached province Colon, not particularly the most safe place. We left the highway in Sabanitas. People here are dancing on the street for money. Elo says its a tradition in that area. Not a real value they provide, I feel. Then suddenly, the turquoise and blue sea appeared on the left hand side, creating an extrem bella vista. 🙂

I suddenly thought: I’m taking a job on here or in Sydney if I get it. 😉 This here is so much more beautiful than Dubai. Somehow, I connected the beautiful scenery here at the seaside to Australia, though I have not been there… yet!


Portobelo is a village some may find ugly, others beautiful. We booked the only free place. Whoop, a apartment is better than no place, right? Make your opinion about the village yourself:

We took the boat to one of Elo’s favourite beaches in Portobelo and had a natural coconut water drink with this chico:

Ending the day with some Caipirinha and a dinner in a nice place, which is like a restaurant/hostel. There is pirate spirit everywhere. It’s not far away from Portobelo. The place was not even half occupied. Still, it took them 65 minutes to deliver our food. What to say, we are in the easy peasy Caribbean. 🙂

The following soley is derived from the author’s imagination.

The next morning, we made a good omelette breakfast to start powerful into the day and prepare for our planed jungle hike in Soberania national park closer back to Panama City. My inner tension starts when I check read the following sentences. We took our stuff, jumped on Gippsy, put my current favourite song Enrique Iglesias – DUELE EL CORAZON on the stereo and enjoyed the beautiful ride singing to this song. Nice Caribbean scenery around us. Our mood was excellent. While we approached the town Sabanitas, we went little downhill on a straight road. Some 300 m ahead of us, the road should go uphill again and a police car was driving towards us using the blue light. They were quicker than all the other cars driving in the middle of a two way traffic jam. We did a good 30-40 km/h ride. Having seen the police car, just a few seconds later, suddenly out of nothing: *WHOOOM*NOISE*CHRASH* A car hit us from behind like shit. What the fuck! We were pushed into our seats. Our heads smashed back. Tension in our bodies. Speeding up! Hold, hold! We slipped to the right side of the street, where usually pedestrians walk. Elo controlled the direction of car. Break! Break! Break! Fuck it! We stop just a few meters in front of a canal on the right side. Luckily, no pedestrian was hit. Breath. Looking over my left shoulder, I saw this tiny yellow taxi on the other side of the street. Not very well in shape any longer. A guy on the driver seat and one on the passenger seat. What? I was wondering, how fast this stupid guy must have driven? At least 80 km/h. Fife seconds of silence. We saw the police car, that was ahead of us, arriving quickly, stopping on the left side of us. Rapid actions. The police men jumped out of their car, taking their guns and directing them towards the taxi. Two seconds later motorbikes with more police men slided into the scenery. They had automatic guns. They jumped of their bikes and the several police men started controlling the situation around the taxi. We stayed in the car. A few seconds later, I realized a bunch of people standing around watching the scenery. Elo told me, her head hurts. I was more lucky and felt no pain. The police came to our car. We could not open the left door. The window though opened. The guy said, he will call an ambulance, realising the blood on Elo’s face. I went out of the car to see how serious the damage was. Well, the car could not quite drive any more. The ambulance came and they took care of Elo, protecting her neck and moving my friend out of the car on one of these plastic boards. Guys, Colon is not the most safe district in Panama. Thus, we took all the stuff from the car and put it into the ambulance. 12.00 – Noon.

The trip in the ambulance to Colon private hospital would be, well, a story itself… Anyway, Elo has been on the phone just after the crash until we approached the hospital in Colon. She was managing everything, I was extremely impressed by that. Insurance, work, family, doctor,… Who knows how many people she talked to.

In the hospital, they did some X-ray checks with her. The Phillips device was almost falling into its parts. Private hospital! You do not want to see a public one from the inside. Afterwards, Elo’s sister arrived to kindly pick us and our stuff up. To get the rest out of the car, we wanted to go to the crash spot. However, on the road we were given the information that the car was towed away already. Well, I did not expect that this was organized so quickly. They must have optimized this process as of the regular improper driving skills of the population. 😉 Some calls, later we knew where we had to go. Arriving at the car disposal place a very kind guy helped us. He was asking for some documents from the police which we haven’t received so far. They are required, so we drove to the police. The car disposal guy was so kind to drive in front of us to help us finding right directions. Who would have expected: the first police station could not help us. They had no information. Sun, heat, humidity. Everybody on the phone – except Elo this time. One could see that she got sick of all this and just wanted to relax and recover. They told us to go to a different police station. The disposal guy ahead again, we followed. We lost sight connection to him twice. A call should make us find the way again. In the car, air conditioning maximum, again, Elo and her sister where on the phone all the time, dual calls, getting information, organizing and maintaining contact with whoever. Sadly, I could not help as of language barriers and no internet on my phone. I hated to be offline. So I managed to take care of the belongings applying German style structuring and orgnizing all documents. Well, we arrived at the second police station and went inside. A police officer came. He asked for the car registration certificate and insurance documents while standing behind the desk. The crazy thing was that the desk was kind of 170 cm high and the police offer seemed to be kind of 210 cm tall. Respect my friends. I assume, the taxi driver had alcohol from more than just one beer in his blood. We got the papers, the kind guy from the car disposal site took a picture for his records and we said “ciao”.

Driving back to Panama City, we went to the private Hospital National, since Elo wished to double check the results of the clinic in Colon and the doctor advised some additional rest. This hospital was nice. Good people, happy, smiling and helpful. Good atmosphere. Rather European style. But, they are slow. We left the hospital at 7.30 p.m.. What a crazy day… indeed with a local experience. An experience that we could have happily skipped.

Some pictures from that day…
Great breakfast in the morning:

On our way back, the mood was great:

Things change…

The nice private hospital in Panama City:

…Things can change so quickly without an opportunity for you to influence them. Thus, enjoy every day as if it would be your last. Make the best of every day. Live a happy life, seek after happiness. Within seconds, you might struggle to find ways achieving happiness.

Read about how the story continues… Vivo en Panama

3 thoughts on “Portobelo with not so belo ending

  1. Wow Alex, living life on the edge! So glad it wasn’t more serious and you’re both ok. Look forward to the next instalment, take care! X

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