A Bonobo in the Panamanian jungle!

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“We are anchored in a little channel between an island populated by Kuna Indians, who live happily and in the time-honored way in huts made of bamboo and coconut and banana tree leaves; and opposite us, on dry land, there is the virgin and still unexplored tropical jungle. The south of the ‘Kuna Yala’ territory is considered to be one of the last unexplored territories, where marine charts are nonexistent or completely wrong! We sail with the help of information gathered by a few cruisers. But here, despite this, every day is a 'real’ adventure, with eyeball navigation to avoid the obstacles just below the surface of the water. We are at a little over 9°N, the climate is 100% equatorial and we are in the middle of the rainy season. We had regretted not being able to cruise in the Amazon Basin...well it’s as if we have! The torrential rain and the countless rivers turn the coastal waters into torrents of mud. The jungle is permanently covered in a mysterious mist. As with numerous populations living in seclusion, where life is mixed with the spirits and souls of the ancestors, photography is considered as being harmful to the soul, and disturbing and upsetting the spirits of the ancestors. Most of the chiefs (the sahilas) have therefore formally prohibited any photography of the members of the community and the interior of the villages. Certain of them even prohibit photography in general, even of the forests. It is best not to go against their laws, on pain of having a bad spell cast on you! We have finally been able to visit a village in the sun – Isla Tigre. Here we have received permission to photograph the village and its inhabitants, in exchange for 10 dollars, with the possibility of remaining in the anchorage for a month, and 3 dollars per person to visit the village and take photos for one month. Here at least it’s clear and simple!”

Nadine and Marc aboard: Bonobo.

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