El Valle, Panama
El Valle is a quaint town that sits just at the start of soft mountains that run like a growing spine through the center of Panama. It’s atmosphere is a welcomed, pleasant way to cool off when crossing from the stagnant heat of the city on the way to the humidity of the of Pacific beaches.
As if out of respect to let rest, El Valle moves slowly, quietly watching la India Dormida, the sleeping Indian girl, lie still in the distance. Look closely, can you see her?
Town is made up of one road speckled with shops, stops, and the in between of few hotels and restaurants. Trails run off like veins from the main artery to natural sources of life; waterfalls, jungle and hikes beyond.
India Dormida is the reason most people visit. Offering a generous, welcoming walk up her side though vibrant greens. She is saturated with hydration, her wet density keeps her firmly, deeply grounded. Tree trunks are soaked to their core and further fed with sporadic waterfalls. The path along her curvy, turning profile remains defined and clear as she stays steady and sleeps. She doesn’t require too much of you and won’t take much of your time either. It’s an easy, gentle ascend. If your lucky she’ll send you a friend that knows her well to guide you and keep you company. She lets you see her from the inside out and lifts you up to stunning, clear views of green hills and rolling clouds.
In the evening, a scurry into the clouds to bow to the sun that is waiting to bid you adieu feels like the only appropriate way to say goodnight and goodbye to beautiful, peaceful El Valle. This hike slithers up a single narrow lane. Your attention is required at your feet but also to the creatures that have posted stop signs at eye level. The path is adorned with spiders that are terrifyingly enchanting and beautifully dangerous, but the fading sun asks that you move along. Just don’t forget about them on the dark walk down.
I’ve planted a little piece of my soul here to always keep a direct source and reminder of peace and beauty. Thank you, good night and goodbye dear, sleepy, El Valle.