Waving goodbye to South America, we head up north into Central America with our first stop being Panama.
What an interesting country! Its most famous feature is perhaps the Panama Canal, which connects the Pacific Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean and certainly speeds up maritime travel times. In the late '80s it was equally well known for its dictator who bore a striking resemblance to a cartoon villain from the Tick series called Pineapple Pokopo. In recent years Panama's greatest claim to fame in the UK was the solving of a mystery in 2007 when the missing canoeist John Darwin turned up buying property, an appearance that alerted authorities to the fact he had faked his own death a few years earlier. However interesting that is, there is another mystery lurking in the countryside; for want of a better name, it is the Man Beast.
It was in 1920 that a prospector by the name of Shea was alleged to have shot a large unknown hominid in the Serrania del Sapo mountains of the Darien province. He would describe the creature as being six feet tall and covered with black hair. The beast’s feet were ape-like with big toes protruding like thumbs while he estimated the beast’s weight to be some 300 pounds. Of course in best mystery hominid tradition the corpse was neither photographed nor preserved, ensuring that the mystery of the nature of the man beast continues up to today.
Next stop: Costa Rica.