Sunday, March 20, 2011

stray dog, flat tire and a long walk

Yesterday 3 of us (las mujeres muy desportivas) walked 16K to Playa Drago on the other side of this island. As we started out an old white lab, who I named Old Yeller, started following us, despite our coaxing him to go back. He must have walked about 10 K with us, panting and showing signs of severe hip dysplasia. We finally found water and he lapped it up, regaining some energy. But there was no way he could finish the walk without collapsing which we did not want to happened.  We were able to flag down a garbage truck and beg the driver to take the dog back to town. It was a feat getting him into the cabin as it was really high and he had no strength to jump.  The guy put a huge tree stump at the door and then hoisted the old dog up. It was really touching to see him in the cab, almost smilimg with relief. We all felt relieved as well as he had found a place in out collective hearts.
Continuing our hike we arrived at the Playa after 4 hours, feeling great relief...the walk had been on asphalt although through a beautiful area where we heard and saw birds, and other wild life. Today my right hamstring is a bit sore but otherwise I am OK. Walking along the beach at Drago was soothing as the water was shallow enough at the shoreline that we could take off our shoes and soothe aching feet. We walked to Playa estrellita where there are big starfish. A swim in the Caribbean was all it took to refresh before the bus trip back.
I have included a picture of the bus driver repaing a flat tire on the way out. He did it in about 5 minutes with a lot of help from various passersby. That is the Panamian way...always stop to offer aide. The people here are very warm and friendly.
Today it is spitting rain but the clouds seem to be lifting and we hope to  go to another island and try some new beaches.

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