Cerro Gaital

Tags: Cerro Gaital, El Valle, Islas Secas, Panama

Date: March 15, 2023

After a rest day at the hotel we decided to hike up to Cerro Gaital that we saw in the distance on our previous hike on the other side of the crater.

First we had to walk out of the town through a neighborhood with nice big houses and hotels. In one of the park-like gardens we saw a couple of peacocks roaming freely:

At the outskirts of town we walked along a dirt road with well tended gardens:

Leaving the dirt road we were on a path, also with lots of plants. Here are some pretty pink mini-bananas:

The path runs along a river and the locals have built low terraces along the river to grow watercress. Here is Felicie inspecting the small plants:

The river crossed the path in several locations:

A Southern lapwing on a field next to a large chicken farm:

The first part of the trip was on a public path along the river, going over a plantation, then next to a chicken farm and then finally along a few rural residences. Here is the entrance to a nice garden:

Then we arrived at the entrance to the Cerro Gaital path:

We were walking through dense jungle but on very well tended and easily accessible paths:

Halfway to the top was a viewing platform where we had a nice view over El Valle:

After the viewing platform the path became more challenging. Not only was it very narrow at times but there was also quite a lot of wind. Here the final part of the path leading to the top is visible in the middle of the photo:

This is what the path looked like when walking along it with dense growth everywhere around it:

View form the top of Cerro Gaital. The chicken farms are visible in the background:

Pretty flower:

Back from the trip to El Valle, we spent a few days in the marina getting the boat ready. We knew that this would be our last chance to provision before reaching Costa Rica so we filled the boat up with food, did laundry, got one of our propane tanks filled etc. This is the view of the coast as we were leaving Vista Mar:

We sailed non stop for two nights and a day until we reached Islas Secas. Here is a picture of the mainland taken during the trip:

We anchored in the lee of a few islands and stayed there for almost a week. Here is one of the islands in the evening light:

The snorkelig was quite good and we were thrilled to see all the new species that are in the Pacific. One day while Bjarne was cleaning the bottom of the boat he found this tiny, beautiful jellyfish:

Another one of the islands at our anchorage had several beaches: