The Forts of Portobelo
In 1597 the Spaniard moved their primary Atlantic port
to the deep bay of Portobelo. For almost two centuries, the gold that was
plundered from South and Central America, was stored here. Galleons would arrive
from Europe with various goods that would be traded for gold in large
bi-annual fairs. This gold was obviously very attractive to pirates,
who endlessly attacked the returning ships, but also tried to
get to the source, the storage facility in Portobelo.
To protect the gold, various forts were built around the
bay. Today Mike and I visited the fort of San Fernando, opposite the town. There
are three tiers of battlements and we climbed all the way up to the top. What a
climb! Not only is it very wet and slippery - it is hot and
extremely humid even at 10am. Your perspiration cannot cool you down, it
just runs off you like a warm shower! But it was worth the trek for the
view and some well needed exercise.
Tomorrow we head east back to the San Blas