Saturday, August 7, 2010
Adventures At Pauline's Caribbean Beach House
I just returned from a lovely week at Pauline's (you may remember her from my previous blogs) beach house near Nombre de Dios, a small town with a very interesting history. In 1502 on his final journey to the Americas, Columbus traveled with four ships. The crew was tired by the time they reached Nombre de Dios. Columbus was reported to say to his crew, “in the name of God we will go no further”. Hence the name of the town is Name of God (in English). In 1510 Diego de Nicuesa founded a permanent settlement at Nombre de Dios (the oldest, continually populated town in Panama). In 1519 a road was built to connect Panama City and Nombre de Dios. The road was called the Camino Real. The Spaniards used this road to carry Peruvian silver and gold across the Isthmus. In Nombre de Dios the treasure was loaded on ships for the voyage to Spain. In 1572 the Englishman Francis Drake entered the harbor in Nombre de Dios and attacked the town. After Drake’s raids the Spanish moved to the Caribbean end of the Camino Real from Nombre de Dios to Portobelo --a more secure port against the pirates. Nombre de Dios disappeared under the shadow of Portobelo. Today, Nombre de Dios is not a town that is visited by most Panamanians or foreigners.
As we pulled into Nombre de Dios, we were stopped by 8 Policia with 8 machine guns. Lucky for us, Chester (my famous anti-military English Shephard) was in the back seat and picked up on the bad energy of the Policia. When they surrounded Pauline's truck and got ready to search the contents under the tarp in the bed, Chester went ballistic and they waved us on.
Even though I'm retired and most every day feels like a holiday, a week a Pauline's Beach Resort felt like a true vacation. We snorkeled several times in the crystal blue water (notice the pictures to prove it); walked the beach several times a day (collecting priceless sea glass and beautiful shells); delighted in seeing new birds for me like flame rumped tanagers, buff-throated woodcreepers, golden-hooded tanagers (I confess...I stole this picture from the Internet), crimson-backed tanagers; and swam in warm ocean water with exotic tropical fish like fairy basslets, queen angelfish, striped parrotfish (I still feel badly about eating one in Mexico), and juvenile yellowtail damselfish (the bright blue dotted fish picture I downloaded from the Internet). We even did several art projects including the pictured broken tile table top.
In closing, if you can identify the fish in the second video, please let me know (Pauline & I can't figure it out). The fish in the first video are Sergeant Majors. Doesn't it feel like you are swimming in a huge aquarium?
Posted by Elaine Grace at 3:09 PM