There are many old forts that surround the bay - an obvious indication of the value the Spanish placed on this town. The fort of San Fernando is built on the north side and is on three layers. We hiked it the other day and only Michael made it to the top battery. It has at least forty cannons still there. We'll hopefully tackle the other forts time permitting.
Portobello is also known for the Black Christ. Each October 21st, there is a pilgrimage to the church of San Felipe de Portobello where a wooden statue of Jesus of Nazareth, known as the Black Christ, is located. People come from all over the world to this pilgrimage because of all the miracles associated with this statue. The streets to the town are all blocked as many come, traveling on their knees, from as far as Costa Rica as part of the pilgrimage. The statue is quite elaborate and can be seen in the church behind glass.
We have managed to stroll through the town - but it was mostly in search of things like immigration, the port captain, laundry, the bakery and the bus stop. We've been to Colon twice (not a nice city) to get the alternator repaired (they couldn't); to find wire and hose (none to be found) and to get some provisions (mostly successful). The bus trip in is $1.30 per person each way and it takes about an hour and 15 minutes. We negotiated a cab for the second trip (shared with a German couple aboard Odin) for the whole day to do the major provisioning run and many stops. We filled the cab to the brim and caused it to bottom out over several bumps.
We also did a fuel run (another cab to the nearest gas station about 30 minutes away). So we are now fueled up. We have gone to a local Hostel a few times for a Happy Hour (50 cent beers) and on Sunday there is a dominos/potluck/live music (cruiser band) that we'll hopefully enjoy.
It's been the summer weather pattern - rainy, windy, cloudy, sunny, hot. The howler monkeys howl. The frogs croak. The exotic birds make exotic sounds. And all is well.
A funny note(Lorna!!!) - the Hostel where we enjoy Happy Hours rents a monkey for $5 a day!
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