Boquete, Panama

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November 5th 2015
Published: November 6th 2015
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Today, we visited the quaint touristy town of Boquete where the expats live. We walked 20 minutes to the bus terminal and boarded a yellow school bus for a one hour ride up the mountain to Boquete. The bus stops along the way to pick up locals who simply wave to flag the bus down. It was hot with no air conditioning but at least no one was carrying chickens. The cost for two one way was $3.40.

We saw more substantial dwellings than those in David and still all are behind gates and fences although in the country they had sturdy looking low rock walls. Good fences must make good neighbours. The soil seems even rockyer than in Newfoundland hence no gardens or any crops to be seen. We did see some skinny livestock and even some horses but very few. Coffee is grown in this province but we didn't see any, we will have to book a tour if we want to see that. The vista is mountains with clouds obscuring the peaks and valley with fast flowing brooks. The greenery is tropical and dense, not too many fruit trees other than banana which is abundant.

Boquete was the town we originally intended to live in for three months but I could not find accommodations for such a short duration, landlords prefer six months or more. I had also read that it rains more at this higher elevation and it seems to be true. To our relief, it was cooler with less humidity and really quite pleasant walking around town. There are craft shops, vegetable vendors and small grocery and other stores but quite a few are simply stalls with dirt or gravel floors. Lots of restaurants catering to the expats, anything from Italian to fine French Cuisine. We look for Panamanian hangouts where it is cafeteria style so we can see the food and point to what we want. A breakfast or lunch at these fine establishments is about 7 US dollars for both of us. We took a picture of the menu that was on the wall so I came home and used an online translator to figure out how to ask should we not be able to point. I carry a note pad with the words I need, that should work. The food is not spicy, more on the bland side with lots of chicken, fish and tripe. This is usually served with huge amounts of rice and beans and a bit of salad.

There are many hostels in Boquete that offer a private room and bath from 30 to 40 dollars a night. We are hoping to go back and partake of the 4 to 5 hour tours that leave Boquete to go to either a river canyon for a freshwater swim or a hot spring or white water rafting. We may stay overnight on such excursions.

We spent the morning, eating walking around looking in the stalls and shops and around noon the clouds drifted down from the mountain and it started to rain quite a bit so we ducked into an expat type bar for a beer while waiting for the bus to take us back to David where the sun was shining and it was hot and humid. The rain doesn't come until four o'clock here in David and it does not last long.

Back to our condo for a swim, relax with a book and a walk to the grocery store, Ramero, for today's dinner, before the rain starts.

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