I had a good stay at the Hostal Amarilla. The owner was a very good chef (being French of course) and his wife was very attentive to detail. I had a couple of very good walks on the beach, which encircled the peninsula, and had a good opportunity to watch the local fishermen do their thing. The small town was literally at the end of the road, and it carried that small town feel. The only downside to that experience was the over the top expensive nitrosomething hotel with the KTM in the lobby. I guess if one were into parasailing, watersports, and the rest of it, a $199. room may be justified...
The view from the end of the peninsula..
John Wayne, eh??
Success...without a divorce...
Lining up for the Miaflores locks. A continual lineup of ocean going ships....
Rains are coming...again..
CaptainJackVoyages a plug on the interweb. I sat here for four hours and used his wi-fi and had a wonderful meal. So maybe my readers will find his facebook site and like it, too. I was talking with a guy who said at one time, over 70% of the worlds' gold was stored in Portabello. This may help explain why Henry Morgan raided and sacked the town:
Attack on Porto Bello
In order to cover their debts, Morgan and his men decided to aim for a city that harbored lots of valuables. As the third most important Spanish city in the New World, Porto Bello, in modern-day Panama, was an obvious choice for the buccaneers. Furthermore, Porto Bello was considered the center of Spanish trade in the Americas, as its warehouses contained the goods and valuables of many wealthy merchants. With its enormous concentration of wealth, Porto Bello was extremely well protected by three Spanish forts.
However, the French crew refused to take part in this voyage because they did not get along with Morgan's English crew. It was reported that there was a dispute between a Frenchman and Englishman during their joint sacking of Puerto del Principe, and that it had been decided they resolve their quarrel in a duel. However the Englishman stabbed the Frenchman in the back before the duel could take place. The Frenchmen desired revenge against the English, but Captain Morgan appeased them by putting the criminal in chains to be carried to Jamaica, promising justice be served upon him. On return to Jamaica, Morgan upheld his promise and had the Englishman hanged. In addition to this, the French believed that they had been cheated out of their fair share of the loot by Morgan. Whereas the reputation of most pirates would have been ruined by this rumor, Morgan set sail to sack Porto Bello with his original fleet of ten ships and five-hundred men. When the fleet reached the settlement on the northern coast of South America, the buccaneers found the fortresses very intimidating. With this in mind, Morgan gave them a rousing speech, in which, he reminded them that the Spanish did not know of their presence and promised them gold and silver. When the sun went down, the ships began to sail towards Puerto do Naos, where there was a river that could lead them to Porto Bello. With information gained from a prisoner, the Buccaneers were able to surprise the first fort. The soldiers manning it were attacked by Morgan's swordsmen, some of them while still sleeping in their beds. Morgan's men came under heavy fire as they attacked the second fort, but managed to lay down suppressing fire while scaling ladders, and storming the fort, an effort costing his men many lives. However, the Spanish percieved the first two forts were easily taken, and subsequently surrendered the third fort, enabling Morgan's buccaneers to overrun the city. Not long after this, the Spanish counterattacked in an attempt to protect their wealth and center of trade, but the buccaneers were ready for the battle and Morgan organized an ambush of the fleet in a narrow passage. After defeating the much larger and more powerful Spanish fleet, Morgan and his men continued to inhabit Porto Bello for two months. During this time, they collected all of the wealth of the city that they could find, and ransomed the Spanish for the safety of its town and citizens. From the ransom alone, Morgan and his men collected roughly 100,000 pieces of eight to bring their total loot from Porto Bello to over 200,000 pieces of eight. In a foreshadowing of Morgan's future endeavors, the Governor of Panama asked him how he had beaten the Spanish army sent from his city with such small a force, along with an emerald ring and a request that he not attack Panama. Morgan replied by sending the Governor of Panama a pistol with a message as an example of the arms used in the taking of Porto Bello, and that he intended to come and reclaim it from him in Panama. Soon after, England sent Port Royal the HMS Oxford (as a gift meant to protect Port Royal); Port Royal gave it to Morgan to help his career.
Because Modyford had already been warned to recall his pirates, his recent commission to Morgan once again put him under enormous pressure from the Crown. Modyford officially denounced the attacks on the town by citing that he sanctioned only attacks on ships. Modyford attempted to justify his commission by emphasizing the rumored Spanish invasion of Jamaica. However, he did not believe that merely talking of a rumored attack would be enough to save his governorship and dignity, so he decided to try to provoke the Spanish into actually attacking Jamaica. Although seemingly illogical, Modyford hoped to cover up his last commission by granting Morgan yet another one.
(stolen from Wikipedia)
The landlady's daughter was a bit of a ham..
It was hot and muggy enough that I was seriously considering a swim. My neighbour casually mentioned that he had seen a crocodile (or alligator) "only a few meters long" the other evening. I decided to sit and enjoy the sunset and forgo the swimming. (I don't know if he said crocodile or alligator, but the thought of six inch teeth sinking into my body parts was enough to think about)
The harbour in which Morgan and other pirates raided Portebello...