Travel Tip #64…Go Green

When I photograph nature, I like to stay close to it. If I wanted all the comforts of home, I would stay there.

So when I had the choice to sleep in a big ol’ fancy lodge in Gamboa, Panama, or Mateo’s humble little B&B, it was an easy choice. Not to mention, I spent less for 4 nights there than I would have for 1 night at the fancy joint.

Here are some random reasons why it was the right decision…

Fancy place: they have a/c and my cameras would have fogged up every time I walked out the door

Mateo: just a little rotating fan, which I actually needed to turn down at night

Fancy: hermetically sealed rooms

Mateo: screen walls, letting in the sounds of the night

Fancy: full tile lobby with a soaring atrium

Mateo: a couple of hammocks strung on the porch

Fancy: a leopard painted quasi tram that will drive you to the $35 (or so) frog exhibit down the road

Mateo: a van that he drove around town to find me and tell me that the monkeys had shown up in his back yard

Fancy: an anonymous collection of current and past guests

Mateo: a quartet of breakfast companions who offered us their extra beers as they departed on a bus for a Pacific surfing beach

Fancy: staff naturalists who will take you on a hike, for a fee, to show you some of Panama’s unique animals

Mateo: lounging in the back yard with a cup of good coffee as most of those same species wander past your hammock

Fancy: a multi-lingual staff

Mateo: a host who speaks as much English as I speak Spanish (almost none), yet never stops trying and manages to reach across the language divide with a warm smile and joyful laugh

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