The Kalu Yala Blog

PHOTO JOURNAL: Full Moon Camping in the Valley

August 30, 2010

by Kimberly Kyle Hall
Posted In: Adventures in the Tropics, The Creation of a Culture

Earlier last week the entire group went camping up in the Valley. Getting 14 people geared up and out of the city on a Monday morning is quite the feat. Our exit from the city was accompanied by a heavy downpour – not a very promising start to our trip. Jimmy reminded us how different the weather can be up in the Valley and amazingly enough, when we arrived on site to find a clear sky and dry roads. Despite a few non-working lanterns and getting my car stuck twice, everyone had a blast and we enjoyed the rest of our trip rain-free.

As we neared the ridgeline to the south side of the Valley, the sky started to clear.

4x4 off-roading: A muddy hill snagged us for a second but Jimmy's expertise and little weight from the crew got us up the hill no problem.

Sarah and William removed some problem rocks before the Turks gave the hill a shot. Good thing William thought to grab the shovel from the lab.

Off-roading can be a real spectator sport. Everyone waited in anticipation to see how the 2nd car would handle the muddy hill.

With Gurkan driving, the boys got up the hill on the first try.

Ha ha...William. That shovel came in REAL handy the next morning when my car got stuck on a different hill.

15 minutes down the road we cross over the last ridgeline and into the Valley.

No river crossing today. Staying on the south-side of the Valley, we hiked through the jungle in search of a good camping spot.

The crew heads up to the hill to the spot William scouted. Ahead you can see the clearing.

There is something about a man with a machete. Cumhur helping clear a spot for the tents.

We all teased Ellie about her "camp counselor" attire - but can't blame a girl for being prepared in the jungle.

Luckily there was an architect present to help us figure out how to put the tents together.

William, Cumhur, Gurkan and Yigit gathered wood while the others set up the tents.

The tents Jimmy brought for the crew were pretty amazing. By the time we got all 5 tents up we felt like a little village up on the hill.

We got the fire started right before the sun went down! Phew...

Tents - Check. Fire - Check. Time for dinner and a cerveza.

While everyone ate - William spent some time removing all the plant seeds that got stuck to the hair of his legs. Shorts in the jungle - not recommended.

My first sit-down of the day. Sweaty, dirty and tired - the sancocho tasted especially good that night.

Kalu Yala camping

Craig and Alana win for most prepared. I was jealous of the head-lamp all night.

The Turks were excited about making s'mores over an open fire but we didn't have the ingredients. Betsy brought everyone some sausages that definitely made up for it.

full moon Panama

Soon after dinner the full moon rose over the ridgeline. Sarah has some amazing shots of the moon (look for them soon in our gallery).

Camping in Kalu Yala is not complete without a late night dip in the river.


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