After underestimating the strength of the blowhole on Isla Palenque, I’ve been left with a wet and consequently dysfunctional camera. As a videographer, this makes for a pretty substantial setback. Fortunately there’s a lot more on Isla Palenque than meets the eye. So while a replacement is on its way, I’ve taken the opportunity to use my audio recorder to pick up some of the island’s sounds.
On any given hike around the island, if you stop and listen for a moment you’ll hear the swirling noise of an ecosystem bursting with life. Birds chirping, insects buzzing, monkeys howling in the distance, and the wind rustling the leaves and limbs of a host of different plant life.
When Amble first told us we’d be here in Panama during “rainy season” I had visions of constant downpours. As it turns out rainy season just means it rains in short bursts about once a day, and so far it’s usually been at night. The drizzling rain falling on the trees makes for a soothing sound to fall asleep to. It’s a sound I don’t hear very often living in Arizona, but what really intrigued me was the booming thunder that occasionally accompanies the rain. The sky flashes white for brief moment and then seconds later a loud crackle rolls in and echoes off into the distance.
Without a doubt the most unique sound I’ve heard so far are the ribbits of frogs residing in some of the lagoons around the island. It sounds as though you’re in a cave and there’s a giant percolating pot of coffee off in the distance. The first time I approached this strange noise I stopped in my tracks, puzzled by what could lie ahead. Unfortunately for the coffee enthusiasts looking into Isla Palenque, there is no giant coffee pot hidden in the jungle (that I know of).
Lastly, my favorite noise: the beach. This isn’t the sound of the bustling beaches in California that I frequent the most though. This is the sound of an expansive beach that I have all to myself. On my iPhone I have an app that lulls me to sleep each night in Arizona with the sound of crashing waves. I love the sound itself, but the tiny phone speakers just don’t do it justice. On Playa Palenque the waves engulf you and wash away the thoughts of your busy mind. There is no traffic behind you, planes above you, or laughing kids in front of you. It’s just the calming white noise of the tide slowing coming in and then gently sweeping away. Over and over and over again, for as long as you want to enjoy it.