The next day I drove south and made my way through the dismal town of Panama, through Kudimbigala Forest Hermitage, and on to Okanda, a place that might make you wonder if the Apocalypse is not already underway.
Kudimbigala is a remarkable place. It is a 4700 hectare site of rocky outcrops, hermit lodgings (for meditation I presume), and small Buddhist shrines. I made my way up to what I perceived to be the highest rock and spent a couple of hours taking in the scenery. At the top of this not-so-easy-to-reach high point is a small dilapidated and forlorn stupa with a small statute of Buddha encased within.
I had to climb between large rocks as well as through trees and brush to reach it. There were steps leading up to an adjacent rock but not to the stupa itself. I was feeling a little bit like Indiana Jones so I went for it and was rewarded with a breathtaking scene. Once again, I found myself yearning for a companion to share this fantastic panorama but, alas, all my chums have decided to establish lives and settle down. Bastards and assholes. All of them. You know who you are.
After that I ventured a bit farther on to Okanda, an apparent refuge for survivors of Armageddon. From the looks of it appears to serve as a de facto landfill. The beach nearby, surprisingly devoid of litter, bolsters the Cormac McCarthy-esque vibe. Just to punctuate the feeling there is a boat resting on the beach looking forward to a future of slow disintegration. A marvelous place but exceptionally desolate.