The Forts of Portobelo

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Sun 4 Sep 2011 23:07
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 islands.
Above the bottom fort looking west towards Colon
Looking to town - big building on left is the Church and other big one is the old Customs House (Gold store)