"Soberania substitute" Gamboa by Assenczo

Gamboa Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 16 photos

There are many parks in Panama and even more park looking jungle. What distinguishes Soberania is the fact that it is ten minutes drive out of the cosmopolitan city and has the convenience of a concrete road, passing through it. This combo is probably born out of the weird presence of the American Canal Zone ? a territory owned by the USA and designed to be relatively impenetrable, for the foes and still manoeuvrable for the friends. Nowadays the road is in a very bad condition ? lots of holes over the whole stretch with strange regularity ? it might be in process of refurbishing or otherwise was rendered useless by the previous occupants. In any case, it is a speedy way to reach another road, Camino de cruses. The original owners of this fine piece of engineering were the Spaniards, who were trying to haul all the loot from their new colonies in South America. It is stretching from the Pacific to Rio Chagres, where the mules were relieved to see the barges waiting for the shipment of gold to be transferred to the Atlantic coast ports, such as Portobelo and Nombre de Dios.

The road is clearly visible in sections close to the modern road that dissects it. A ribbon of stones neatly assembled and limited by bigger ones produces a hard and passable alternative to the eternal jungle yak and muck. To the astonishment of the physical production is added the notion of all bandits lurking in the bush waiting for their fare share of the deal. No coincidence that there were many graves to be marked by crosses and thus the name: Camino de Cruses. This ?trek? is in sharp contrast with the Camino de Plantation or a modern path, proudly marked by USAID sign on each kilometre of gravel. This modern ?investment? is dutifully protected by park wardens who are present at key points and key times for collection of money presumably to be reinvested in the upkeep of the ?facilities?. While their tickets might seem ridiculous and useless, there is a definite need of them as guides when the ?trekker? decides to explore the whole length of the Camino de Cruses. Maybe there are pirates on duty too!?

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:More than just leaves
  • Cons:Hot, hot and humid
  • In a nutshell:Jungle with a twist
  • Last visit to Gamboa: Dec 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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