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Also in this section:
A visit to Chitre with Darrin DuFord
El Valle's mysterious petroglyphs

Street work in the capital

Chitre’s tonics, centipedes and charm

article and photos by Darrin DuFord

 

Hotels on the Azuero Peninsula claim a seven percent occupancy rate. Not surprisingly, Chitre, the capital of the Herrera province in the north of the peninsula, remains off the tourist radar. Sure, there are no canopy tours. But there is no rush hour either. When I visited, a grocery store in town was still hanging a calendar from the previous year. I attempted to enter the Museum of Herrera in downtown Chitre, but it was closed, so a few guards outside suggested that the museum just might be open mañana. Mañana, as in the word synonymous with an unrushed lifestyle. That seemed to be the theme.

 

 

Plantains swing in the breeze in front of an open-air fruit market in Chitre.

 

 

Chitre street signs, as the sunrise hits them.

 

 

At this Chitre eatery, I accompanied the shrimp al ajillo with a glass of orange juice. The restaurant, in turn, accompanied the juice with a packet of sugar, in case I wanted to make the juice into a chicha.

 

 

Even though the job market left this man without work for several weeks, he insisted on me taking his picture, and he insisted on giving a thumbs-up.

 

 

One could either view Spiderman as one of the best comic book superheroes ever, or as an invasion by American cultural hegemony. In either case, the webslinger livens up a Chitre venue, and is given equal footing as Panama's own Atlas beer.

 

 

Owned by a Colombian family, Bazar Williams claims it can bring you luck through everything from bars of soap to tonics. I am not sure what the hats were supposed to be good for, besides blocking out the sun, of course.

 

 

Oddly enough, in a town where the museum appears to have no need for a schedule, the funeral parlor is open 24-7.

 

 

A centipede makes its feisty but slow getaway. This was a lucky one; a few other centipedes lost the frogger game to the tires of pickup trucks on the street.

 

 

Darrin DuFord is the author of Is There a Hole in the Boat? Tales of Travel in Panama Without a Car

 

 

Also in this section:
A visit to Chitre with Darrin DuFord
El Valle's mysterious petroglyphs

Street work in the capital

 

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