It’s time to update our little adventure. Aside from a couple of misadventures, all is beautiful. We have signed up for a number of “Homeaway” progressions to carry us through December. Most of the houses or condos were available for a few days here and there, so it’s been a patchwork. However, we hit a jackpot in finding a beautiful spot in Volcan, which is another small town high up on the West (far side) of the volcano, while Boquete is on the East side. We went there yesterday at the invitation of the owner. We were warned that we needed a high clearance SUV or 4 x 4. The owner met us in town and we followed her out. The road getting there is a goat trail. Fortunately, this is near the end of the wet season and the road is drying out. Actually, I loved the drive in. We had just traded in the SUV for a 4-wheel drive Ford Bronco the day before. When we finally got there, the result was astonishing. It’s a new three-bedroom home in a high mountain valley. Neighbors leaving nearby are all expats and warm to meet. I will be sending a link to a number of pictures (hopefully later today). The house has a beautiful little brook running along one side and below.
The house is all one level and large spacious rooms, along with an elaborate electronic security system. It has a great kitchen. From the front room and patio, it has great views of the surrounding mountain valley. We have the house from December 23 to April 1. The house is ideal for guests, with separate bedrooms and baths. The owners are a nice young couple who met in college in Texas. She is Panamanian, she of course, spoke fluent English. She and her American husband live and work in Panama City. They found and built this place as their Shangri La (and it is) for their retirement. They have put a lot of TLC into it, and were pleased that we will take it for the extended period. Included in the deal is a gardener to take care of all the outside of the property. The weather was fantastic and stays that way all year. She says it is one continuous spring climate.
Like Boquete, the trip up from David is up a long continuous slope, rising 4,000 feet in 25 miles. The trip in can be slow because of trucks plying up the relatively narrow steep grades. The town of Vulcan is on a more flat area with the surroundings devoted to cattle and small farming. The property is about three miles from Volcan, which I would guess is a about 8,000 people. It has several restaurants, a couple of hotels, a supermarket and I don’t know what else.
We have found so much to love here in Panama so far. One of the main treats is vine ripened pineapple. Oh my, it is sooo good. Today and tomorrow with are in a boutique hotel high up in the hills above Boquete https://www.losestablos.net/en/about.html The hills surrounding it, as well as the hotel grounds, are densely covered with coffee plants.
At the start of this note I mentioned misadventures. The 28th of November was the big celebration in Boquete, commemorating Panama’s independence from Spain. We were told it is a “must see,” but “get there early to get a parking space” — we did. We got there at 7:00 as recommended. We parked in a downtown area that would give Sue scooter access (Sidewalks are some type of catch as catch can afterthought and total patchwork). The parades started 9ish. One marching band and drill team after another, and all made up with LARGE contingents of drummers (all with exactly the same cadence with the emphasis on LOUD). By 11:30 we had had enough and headed back to the car — OPPS! We can’t get out. The parade route is up one street, turns in a U and heads down again two streets over and we are in the middle. Well, OK, we’ll have to wait it out. OPPS! — there is no end! They just keep coming — same drum beat all day and still going without let up at 7:00 pm. Where in the world are all these marching units coming from. None are the same, they just keep coming. We tried our best to sleep in the car and kept thinking the it had to end soon. After so many hours of the one continuous drum beat, I was going berserk. Where they all came from, we never found out. Thirteen hours of absolutely continuous marching units. We got back to our hotel in David at 1:00 am, completely exhausted.
Oh well, just part of the adventure.