15 January 2010 | Ustupu, Kuna Yala
Another day, another island. Each one as freshly captivating as the last. Ustupu, the big city, contains 8000 people not counting mimis (children). Looking like an Amerindian Venice, north end is traversed by numerous canals spanned by bridges. Apart from several plazas and a few wider avenidas, the place is chock-a-block with houses separated by narrow paths. Built with vertical bamboo walls, dwellings have packed sand floors and frond roofs said to last 15 years and not leak. Hammocks are the sleeping accommodation of choice.
A Colombian trading boat, "El Nino Jesus", has apparently off-loaded and is awaiting return cargo, probably coconuts (previously used as money, they now go for about 25 cents). Kuna Yala is lousy with the trees and each and every one, no matter how inaccessible, is owned by a Kuna. You don't mess with the fruit, even aground. Using OPM after personal funds were depleted, purchased bread, intricate mola, feather painting and dinner with cerveza.
Want to stay awhile in every village, but uncivilization awaits, so tomorrow should find ILs and me further up the chain in San Ignacio de Tupile (Tannaquetupu). Eric Bauhaus in his guide suggests the ideal way to see nearby Mono River and its "very large crocodiles", is by kayak... Uh huh. Think I'll take dinghy with fast motor.
Apologize for travelogue. Will try to limit future aberrations.