Mon 19 Apr 2010 11:18
Now on the mainland of Panama experiencing splendour and squalor in Portobelo. This town was used for storing the gold and silver to be shipped to Seville with forts, batteries a magnificent church and a superb customs house all beautifully built in the 16th century. Henry Morgan (the well known pirate) captured the town with just four hundred and sixty men and held it to ransom. The original slave quarters are still in situ and lived in - all that has changed is thatched rooves to tin. The church has a saint and every October people walk on their knees from as far as Costa Rica as pilgrims. You can imagine the magnificence of this town in earlier centuries.
We have been paddling up the river to see sloths but didn't see any! Did see capuchin monkeys - really handsome animals. You can just walk out into the rain forest and if you have a hammock spend as many nights as you want.
This country is quite incredible.