We landed near the border with Colombia, close to where the Isthmus of Panama is at its narrowest, on a little airstrip wedged between the blue sparkle of the Caribbean and the green intensity of an impenetrable forest, and boarded a little fibreglass boat with a single outboard motor.
We made our way west, parallel to the coast, bouncing roughly in the surging surf, until we came to the island that is still called Caledonia.
“In the time of our forefathers,” a village elder told us, “white people came here – Scottish and Spanish people. We liked the Scottish more than the Spanish, for the Spanish attacked us and drove us inland away from the coast and the Scots did not. But there were battles and many ships were sunk”.
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