Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
ing and fighting, I was more tired in the morning than I had been when I arrived on the previ-
ous evening.
Panamanians are very fond of cockfights, and near most huts one can see fighting birds
tied by one leg to little stakes driven into the ground. Unlike in Peru, where cocks are taught
different fighting methods I have already described, the birds here are trained to fight with the
to make them as formidable as possible. Of the two styles the Peruvian seems to be less cruel
to me, for a fight only lasts a few seconds, whilst the Panamanian cocks sometimes fight for a
long time until they are hacked and torn to pieces.
We passed through the little port Aguadulce, and from there on to Santiago where the gov-
and trees, and the continental divide can be seen to the north.
Santiago is quite a fair little place, but life is very monotonous, for the only diversion men
and women have is to wander around the plaza in the evenings and cast glances at each other,
or for the young men to hang around the church awaiting the exit of the seƱoritas, who have
been driven into its gloomy shadows by the little secrets of the heart.
these trousers they wear white shirts which are often embroidered. These shirts are not tucked
into the trousers, but are worn outside. This dress is called chingos . Wearing the shirt outside
has its advantages for two reasons. First of all it is cooler, and secondly the paysanos (peas-
ants) can put their hands under them to scratch themselves, a thing they do all day long, and
which seems to be their chief occupation between seed time and harvest.
The Panamanian is a born fighter and very clever with the 'machete,' and at one time re-
volutions used to be the national sport, but since American influence has put a stop to this
deal of truth in this, for I have seen many who liked work so much that they lay down to sleep
alongside it.
From Santiago on we followed a narrow trail through shady tropical forests. Enormous
creepers twist up the trees in the silent but terrible struggle for light and existence. We had
to cross several tricky rivers, but at the time, luckily, only a few had enough water to cause
had slipped I dismounted to have a look at it. There was a very strong smell of creosote, and
upon examining the pack I found that the bottle that contained the fluid was broken and that
the unfortunate animal's left flank was covered with this strong substance, which had oozed
bottle. When we reached a stream I washed him as well as I could, but by that time there was
a huge swelling, and a few days later an enormous piece of hide came off, leaving him with a
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